9th November 2010

GeoVation camp ‘How can Britain feed itself?’

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Well done to the short-listed ideas teams who took part in the GeoVation camp at the Hub King’s Cross, London, last weekend.   The five teams were:

City Farmers (Community allotments to feed the community)

Geofuture (Integrated community food mapping)

FOOD NATION “Made Today – Sold Today”

Ugly grub (Local farmers to sell your produce 4u)

The world’s a village: ONTOLOGY to link data

The weekend kicked off on Friday evening with the arrival of the teams and other geo-campers who came along with an interest in the challenge and helping to develop the ideas.  Peter ter Haar, Director of Products at Ordnance Survey, came along to introduce himself and explain why Ordnance Survey are supporting GeoVation.geovation 192

The camp was delivered by Innovation Scout who, throughout the weekend, guided the teams through a programme of activities designed to help them better understand the problem, identify the solution and begin prototyping.

There was a real buzz in the building as the teams worked extremely hard over the weekend and it was geovation 189ainspiring to see so much enthusiasm for the Challenge.

During Sunday the teams worked on developing their pitches ready to deliver to the judging panel in the afternoon. Chair of the judging panel,  Roland Harwood from 100%Open was joined by Liz Ratcliffe of Ordnance Survey,  Eloise Dey of Sustain’s Capital Growth project, James Cutler of emapsite and Nick Snelgar from Future Farms.

geovation 209After pitching, the teams waited nervously while the judges deliberated before announcing two ideas finalists: City Farmers (Peter Boyce and Helen Steer) and Food Nation (Louise Campbell and Michael Ferguson). The finalists are invited to the GeoVation Showcase next May to pitch for a slice of £25 000 funding.  The judges were impressed that the Food Nation idea could be brought to market quickly and deliver impact. They felt that City Farmers was a well articulated problem which could link to other projects. GeoVation will be working with each of the pitching teams in taking their ideas forward.

Thank you to everyone who took part and made it such a great weekend.  Here’s a comment from one of the participants. DSCF2958


We are very grateful to our judges who joined the panel at short notice on Sunday: Eloise Dey, Nick Snelgar and James Cutler.

Eloise HeadEloise studied the Anthropology of Food MA at the School of Oriental and African Studies. She explored the relationship between man and global food chains focusing on the cultural reproduction of childhood obesity in the UK. Since then she has worked in London gaining an understanding of food sustainability in urban contexts. She has worked from launch on Sustain’s Capital Growth project, which aims to convert 2012 spaces in London into food growing areas that benefit the community by the year 2012. Alongside this she joined Tristram Stuart and the Feeding 5000 team to co ordinate an event that would raise awareness about the issues of food waste. Following on from the success of the Feeding 5K Eloise became one of the founding members of A Taste of Freedom and is currently working on an educational event to raise awareness and tackle the issues of surplus food.

Nick Snelgar of Future Farms, a co-operative, set up in early 2004, whose purpose is to grow food within the parish of Martin in Hampshire, for sale to the people who live there.

james cutlerJames Cutler is CEO and founder (with Justin Saunders) of emapsite, leading provider of digital geographic content and geospatial services for professional users. James has been at the forefront of the digital mapping industry for more than 20 years having previously co-founded international GIS consultancy GISL Limited and up until 2000 worked in or managed projects across Europe, Africa and Asia. James’ industry knowledge and leadership skills are allied to a deep understanding of the role of location-centric services in the enterprise and it is James’ vision that underpins the continuing growth and direction of emapsite. As a leading exponent of geospatial web services emapsite is increasingly embedding GI within mainstream business processes. James is increasingly to be found, seen and heard across the GI and related industries as emapsite provides ever wider and deeper access to the world of location content.

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