16th December 2016

Challenge ideas invited to Geovation Camp


The Geovation Challenge judging panel have now selected a shortlist of five finalists, who have been invited to develop their ideas at a 2.5 day Geovation Camp. The ideas have been selected based on their ability to offer innovative solutions to the problems associated with managing underground assets and which have the potential to become commercially sustainable. The Geovation Camp, which is being sponsored by BGS, will be held at  Ordnance Survey in Southampton from 1-3 February 2017.

The finalists are…

GeoPharos: Know where you stand

Realising that outside of a technical office there exists a lack of knowledge of geological, geophysical and environmental risks which affect public and private assets, GeoPharos aims to create a map-based digital environment to aggregate, interpret and showcase these diverse range of datasets. Enabling citizens and stakeholders to check for environmental subsurface risk hotspots at different scales, this can help identify potential problems and management needs of both their underground and above-ground assets.

Routes to the Roots System

Aiding the prevention of damage to underground assets, ‘Routes to the Roots’ is a system for modelling existing and future tree root structure and growth, providing visualisation of how roots interact with underground assets, in a specific location. Insights gained can also be used to aid the selection of appropriate trees for planting in urban and peri-urban environments, meanwhile positively contributing to flood prevention in an area.

The Lie of the Land

Demystifying the lack of visibility of stakeholders for a given area – the ownership of land, its users, development potential and relation to the environment and geophysical properties – ‘Lie of the Land’ aims to make identification and communication easier between owners of underground assets and all interested parties. Through an open, web-based, location-driven portal, both open and commercial datasets will be leveraged to provide simple access to vital information about land, enabling better collaboration in infrastructure projects and reduced risk of damage to third party assets.

National Underground Register

Addressing a lack of access to detailed underground asset data, ‘National Underground Register’ intends to regularly obtain copies of utilities’ data on underground assets and translate into a location-based database. Through a permit authorised user access scheme with specialised 3D graphical software, and tablet and phone applications, this data can be better accessed and extracted.

Online mart providing maps showing utility underground assets

Addressing no online national mapping system to instantly show all underground utility assets to any interested party, ‘Online Mart’ proposes to build a one-stop online shop – publishing, selling and distributing maps of underground assets – and meanwhile creating a national repository of underground assets. Through additional provision of a mobile application for field workers, any inaccuracies or omissions can be fed back into the mapping platform and passed onto the relevant utility companies.



The finalists will have the opportunity to learn about the essential components for innovation and work on transforming their ideas into prototype ventures. On the final day of camp they will pitch their ideas to the judging panel who will invite up to 3 teams to join the 12 month funded Geovation Programme.

Participants will also be able to vote for their favourite idea to receive the £1,000 Community Award prize.

You can read more about the ideas and continue to comment on them here

Feedback on previous Geovation Challenge Camps:

A once in a ‘project-lifetime’ experience, receiving in-depth scrutiny and expert guidance, being surrounded by innovation and design experts in an environment designed to bring out the best in your team and your idea. Absolutely brilliant.

Geovation is an excellent initiative and promoted a truly exceptional experience with real focus and a higher than usual dedication to achieving great results.  Well done to all involved, and I would highly recommend it to anyone looking to stretch themselves and achieve a better plan than they could have on their own.  A real testament to the power of teamwork!