26th May 2016

AR Carbon: A flashback to the 2013 Environment Challenge

Viv Alexander

So what’s it like to be a Geovation winner and how does the Hub support and help your venture to develop? Today we have guest post from Richard Page of  AR Carbon, one of the winners of the Geovation Environment Challenge in 2013.  He talks about his experience of how the Geovation Hub helped him develop his mapping application:

Body textThe impact of winning the GeoVation Challenge in 2013 on my business cannot be underestimated and my business would not be in the position that it is today without it but what you may not be aware of is the ongoing support you get as a winner.  The most obvious expression of that support is the GeoVation Hub in Clerkenwell Green, London. This modern, shared work space is an amazing resource that brings together OS staff, competition winners and business in an environment that is designed to promote invention and innovation. Mapping is core to my business. We use it to display the results of the soil tests that we perform each year and to improve the service that we offer to our clients, we needed an application that would allow our clients to interact with our mapping, enabling them to plot their farms on our map and also allow everybody else to search our data. Creating such an application was way beyond anything that I could achieve and I was at a loss to see how I could move my business forward. The solution came from Ordnance Survey in the form of a three-day ‘Hackathon’. For those who don’t know a hackathon is where groups of experts get together to work collaboratively on one single problem with the aim of finding a solution to that problem in a time scale that is measured in hours rather than days or even months. The expertise from OS came from developers based at the Hub and UX (User Experience) designers from OS. The result was the framework and design for the app that we use today. This framework was then given over to Seb Ovide and James Milner who developed the full application and working with my web developers, integrated the application into my website. I can’t begin to calculate the value of this work nor can I predict the ongoing value that it has added to my business but I can say that it has helped me attract more customers and given me the ability to clearly demonstrate the benefits of my business to people not necessarily experts in soil fertility management of the specifics of my business and for that I am extremely grateful.