You have just a few days left to enter our current GeoVation Challenge to help British business improve environmental performance – with a chance to win a share of our £100,000 innovation funding pot. The following guest post from David Simoes-Brown of open innovation agency 100%Open, shows how they help organisations create value by innovating with others. This could help get you thinking of ideas to create value from waste.
Here’s an example of how a small British business helped a global corporation improve its environmental performance using a partnership approach. 100%Open helped Interface, the world’s leading designer and manufacturer of carpet tiles to team up with the Zoological Society of London to develop an innovative approach to tackling the problem of discarded fishing nets in developing countries.
This partnership is known as Net-Works and aims to work with local experts and coastal communities in the Philippines and beyond to develop a community-based supply chain for discarded nylon fishing nets. These are recycled into carpet tiles having been collected, cleaned, tested, baled and shipped to Europe. This will improve the coastal marine ecosystem, create livelihood opportunities for those communities and demonstrate that cross-sector collaboration can create a sustainable business model with commercial, environmental and social benefit.
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There’s only a week left to enter our current GeoVation Challenge in which we’re offering a share of £100,000 in funding for the best ideas to help business to improve environmental performance and so we’ve been busy spreading the word amongst the developer and entrepreneurial community.
On Monday night Chris and Viv were at the Google Campus for a Dreamstake Founders event to promote the latest challenge to the entrepreneur community there. The Dreamstake Academy consists of a series of workshops focussing on the fundamentals of launching and building a startup and Monday night was part of their series of ‘Learn from Founders’ Startup Stories evenings in which presents an opportunity for new start-ups to learn how to create a successful startup and avoid the obvious mistakes.
The evening kicked off at 6.30pm as Chris delivered a keynote presentation on GeoVation and the role of geography in innovation to an audience nearly 100 people. Chris explained how our innovation challenges are focussed on finding innovative and useful ways of using geographic information, including open data and tools, to build new ventures that will generate social, economic and environmental benefit. He introduced the community to our latest GeoVation Challenge, ‘How can we help British Business improve environmental performance?’ which is calling for innovative ideas that address the identified problems using geography, technology and design. The challenge is supported by the Environment Agency and runs to 1 May 2013.
Continue reading 'One week left to enter our Innovation Challenge'»
You may have missed it, so we thought it was timely to remind all our GeoVator’s that Ordnance Survey recently refreshed the portfolio of products that are freely available through the OS OpenData portal. Releasing both a new height dataset, as well as making significant updates to one of the backdrop mapping products, here are just a few key points that might whet your appetite.
The portal has been updated with a new version of OS VectorMap District and a new product – OS Terrain 50® being released, we’ll cover the height dataset first.
The image illustrates OS Terrain 50 data overlaid on backdrop mapping
OS Terrain 50®
Developers can also now access a new fully maintained analytical height product called OS Terrain 50. The new product, which has a similar resolution to Land-Form PANORAMA, will enable users to access an advanced product with consistently maintained height content for the whole of Great Britain.
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Time is running out to submit your ideas to our latest GeoVation Challenge. We’re offering a slice of £100,000 in funding for the best ideas which use geographic data to help business improve their environmental performance and I’ve been finding examples to help to get you thinking.
When Ordnance Survey moved offices in January 2011, we down-sized from a building designed to accommodate more than 3,500 people to our new location which was built for around 1,000. This meant we had a lot of excess furniture which we wanted to ensure was disposed of in an environmentally friendly way. The excess furniture included racking and shelves, desk screens, filing cabinets, cupboards, desks, desk chairs, meeting chairs, plan chests, pedestals, soft seating, plants and much more.
We used a company called GoGreen to help us manage disposal of the furniture. GoGreen provides an end-to-end sustainable proposition with a zero-to-landfill guarantee which, for unwanted surplus items, includes donation to UK charitable and other third sector beneficiaries. They processed some 17 895 items amounting to 484.6 tonnes – and nothing went to landfill.
Continue reading 'Go Green – and reduce our environmental impact'»
With just 2 weeks to go until the GeoVation Challenge closes, we’re looking for your innovative ideas which use geographic data to help business improve their environmental performance and we’re offering a slice of £100,000 in funding to get the best of these ideas started.
To help you get your thinking caps on I’ve been looking for examples of great ideas which are helping businesses and people to improve their environmental performance by reusing or recycling their waste.
Lots of ideas centre on how one person’s waste can be another ones business. One example is Proper oils, a company who collect used cooking oil from businesses and transform it into green bio diesel which can be used to power vehicles or for heating thereby making a ‘greener’ company and reducing its carbon footprint. Proper Oils collect used cooking oil from anyone buying oil in bulk, such as catering companies like restaurants and take aways as well as large institutions with their own canteens such as hospitals, universities and prisons. They operate primarily in London and the South of England. Proper Oils has recently received funding to launch ‘Unblocking The Community’, which will provide a way for householders to recycle the waste cooking oil and fat as well.
Western countries produce up to 300% more food than we actually need a lot of which will become waste. Some companies and projects are finding positive ways to reduce this waste. Brixton People’s Kitchen, is a project which launched last December that aims to bring strangers together to eat while reducing food waste. The premise of these projects is to help reduce food waste in the community and anyone can join the event by donating food, cooking or turning up just to eat.
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On the weekend of 27/28 April, we’re supporting BlueLightCamp, which is a free event being billed as both an unconference and hackathon. Attracting workers from across the blue light services i.e. Fire, Police and resilience services, the aim is to innovate through promoting good-practice sharing, exchanging knowledge, networking as well as providing an opportunity for concepts and solutions to be tested through the hackathon.
Through two mapping agreements that we have with the Public Sector, Ordnance Survey already works closely with many of the blue light services, providing: digital map products; the sharing and visualisation of data; supporting better problem solving and helping to reduce costs and drive up efficiency levels amongst other aspects. So it seemed entirely fitting to support the BlueLightCamp as we have a further opportunity to engage with and support the very individuals that work in these services.
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GeoVation funding can help to get your innovative ideas off the ground. We’ve recently published some case studies in which GeoVation winners, explain what happened after they won funding, and how they developed their ideas.
For instance, Foodnation were awarded funding in our ‘How can Britain feed itself?’ GeoVation Challenge. Foodnation’s mission is to have neighbourhood Foodnation hubs within bicycle-riding distance of most households in the UK. It provides a platform to connect customers and farmers in their local area easily and allow them to make transactions to buy and sell local organic food and find fruit and veg box-delivery schemes around the UK. The idea came from Louise Campbell, who after receiving funding was able to set up the company in March 2011.
After securing funding, the first steps in the project were to obtain the data and build a platform for transactions to take place. The pilot website was thoroughly tested and feedback fed back into the development of the site.
Continue reading 'Could you be a GeoVation winner?'»
Held at Imperial College, London between 8th April and 26th June, Urban Prototyping (UP London) is an International festival that brings more than 300 developers, technologists, academics, artists, government bodies and community groups together for a series of events that focus on the role that digital technology can play in creating sustainable society.
This year we were invited to participate and contribute to the agenda, which has a specific theme concentrating on the role that digital technology can play in harnessing the creation of resilient environments, economies and communities. We were delighted to accept the invite, as the festival presents an opportunity for us to introduce our range of products and services in such a context, whilst allowing us to engage with communities that might not have previously considered the many benefits geographic information can bring to potential innovations.
Continue reading 'Digital technology to digital economy – our involvement at Urban Prototyping Festival'»
We are currently running the ‘ How can we help British Business improve environmental performance?’ GeoVation Challenge calling for your innovative ideas to help create a better place. The best ideas can win a slice of £100,000 in innovation funding to get their ideas off the ground.
If you’re thinking of entering you may like to know more about the GeoVation Challenge process. What is the basis of the challenge and what happened before we launched it? What happens after you submit your ideas and how are the best ideas chosen?
In our video below, we explain the GeoVation process and the steps to becoming a winner of innovation funding from GeoVation.
Find out about what happens at a Powwow and how we launch the GeoVation Challenge.
Hear from our shortlisted ideas about collaboration and what they gain from attending a GeoVation Camp.
Find out about the ‘Innovation = Problem x Solution x Execution’ formula.
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Last year we ran a GeoVation Challenge asking how we could transform neighbourhoods in Britain. One of the GeoVation winners was Shout Crime – an idea for app to make it easier to report hate crime. Below David Williamson of Development Keys tells us how this is progressing.
Hate crime is one area of the criminal justice system that, evidence shows, often goes unreported. Recognising the negative impact that hate crime can have on individuals and communities, Ideal for All (IFA), an Independent Living Centre in Sandwell, decided to use its experience and resources to make a real difference. Drawing on the passion of one of its User Groups, a project was conceived to develop a new, flexible and accessible reporting system for hate crime. an application that would provide a crime reporting mechanism for individuals and a visual analysis tool for communities and agencies alike. Recognising the strength of commitment and the technical integrity of the project, Ordinance Survey decided to back the concept and awarded IFA £25,000 to develop the first application for both desktop and mobile technologies.
Building on the excitement of receiving the award, Ideal for All set about the detailed definition of the project that is ‘Shout Crime’. Our newly formed Steering Team, including experts in the field of Information Technology, crime reporting and community engagement, was supplemented with specific skill sets around project management and the delivery of successful web enabled applications. An Invitation To Tender was issued toward the end of 2012 with an aggressive set of requirements for delivery of the Shout Crime application by the end of March 2013. The New Year saw the development contract awarded to BoilerHouse Media, Birmingham and the project was up and running.
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