Research & Development

2018 WEX Innovation Award

blu-3 won the 2018 WEX Innovation Award for its approach to the circular economy in the construction of a sewer connection through a tunnel heading under one of the busiest underground stations in London.

The strategy included reuse of water on site for several construction purposes, reuse of excavated materials and completing a sewer connection which avoided any disruption to traffic and pedestrians on the very busy street above.


To support this project, blu-3 commissioned a global research project into technologies related to its field of activity in the delivery of utility infrastructure. The study was undertaken by a leading US company which specialised in this area using their own database of technologies and included a unique international patent search called Patent Watch, their own proprietary software, ensuring that blu-3 benefited from anything that was already in existence.


Industry experts in the relevant areas were interviewed and the study drew on experience from related industries including the mining sector to ensure that appropriate technologies were not overlooked. In addition, research interviews were required with end users in the targeted areas to obtain the desired level of resolution on innovative companies and technologies. The information and intelligence that was gathered was then synthesised to develop a bespoke analysis. Sector activities being examined for blu-3 included utility installation technologies, material reuse, new materials, excavation technologies, robotics, BIM and 3D modelling, network interventions, IoT/ AI and sensor technologies.

Should you wish to discuss our research and development programmes further, please contact us