26th January 2016

Judging the Geovation Water Challenge


We are delighted to introduce the Geovation Water Challenge judging panel. They will be inviting the teams whose ideas are judged to have the greatest potential impact, to participate in the Geovation Camp being held at Ordnance Survey, Southampton from Friday 4 to Sunday 6 March. They will be making their selection of ideas that have the best solution to the published problems that are innovative, make good use of design thinking and of course, make use geospatial and environmental open data.

Our judging panel is drawn from our challenge partners EA, Defra, Southern Water and United Utilities; our independent Geovation Challenge Judging panel Chair, Roland Harwood, co-founder of 100%Open; and Dr Alison Prendiville, our internationally recognized service design expert and former Course Director for the MDes Service Design Innovation at LCC/UAL

image of Roland Harwood

Roland Harwood (Chair) is co-founder of 100%Open, the open innovation agency that works with the likes of LEGO, Orange and Oxfam to co-innovate with their partners. Roland was formerly Director of Open Innovation at NESTA, the UK’s National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts. Graduating with a PhD in Physics from Edinburgh University, he has held senior innovation roles in the Utilities and Media industries and in addition has worked with 100’s of start-ups to raise venture capital and commercialise technology. In addition he has worked as a TV and film music producer for SonyBMG.  He will be joined by:

Alison PrendivilleDr Alison Prendivilles expertise is in Design and Service Design, in which she has an internationally recognised reputation as a researcher and academic leader. Formerly Course Director for the MDes Service Design Innovation at LCC/UAL, focusing on the role of design as a catalyst for multi-disciplinary team working, particularly within the areas of health care and societal challenges; her expertise lies in the field of service design, digital anthropology, creative economies and connected communities.  Her PhD (2001) investigated the specification of engineering hardware in the design of public transport systems and the design of the passenger service experience. She was a researcher on the EU Framework IV Programme MIMIC (Modality, Inter-modality and Interchange) investigating transport interchanges and the barriers to the seamless journey.  She has an MA from the RCA in Design management and an MSc in Digital Anthropology with distinction (UCL). She is an Associate of the Higher Education Academy and a Fellow of the RSA.



Alison Hoyle is the Head of Wholesale Policy and Strategy at Southern Water. She is responsible for long term strategy, investment planning and water quality, water resources and environmental regulatory compliance.  Alison also defines the innovation strategy and delivers the research and development programme, to ensure that the Company can meet its long term challenges for customers and the environment. Alison has nearly 20 years’ experience of the water sector, working in regulation, strategy, asset management, programme management, investment planning and assurance. Alison has a background in research science and holds a PhD in microbiology from the University of Kent.


Geoff Cooper-Smith is currently Innovation Strategy Manager at United Utilities with responsibilities that include ‘seeing into the future’ and developing collaboration with the Capital Delivery Partners. A process engineer by training, before joining United Utilities some seven years ago Geoff had worked for two other water companies, a major consultancy, a process contractor and through his own company (twice).  He has extensive experience in the development, evaluation, testing and introduction of new process technologies as well as project, programme and portfolio management.  His greatest work achievement to date is the granting of patents for two innovative wastewater treatment processes, which unfortunately he no longer owns.

Picture3Nick Haigh is Lead Analyst, Water & Flood Risk Management, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra). Nick heads the multi-disciplinary analysis & research team which supports policymakers in Defra’s Water and Flood Risk Management Directorate. He also leads on open data for the Directorate, working closely with Environment Agency colleagues. Nick is an economist by training and has prior experience in agricultural economics and urban regeneration, but has worked on water and flooding issues for around 15 years for the former Ministry of Agriculture, the Environment Agency and Defra. He has specialised mostly in the economics of flood management, but has also worked directly on water resources planning, water infrastructure and sustainable drainage issues.


Picture4Alex Wrottesley is the founding manager of Ordnance Survey’s new Geovation Hub, Britain’s pioneering location data lab. The Geovation Hub aims to deliver a new approach to stimulating growth in the geospatial industry by offering hands on support, education, workspace and development resource in a world-class location. With 18 years’ experience running media and technology businesses, Alex and his team help entrepreneurs and innovators create, build and grow new ventures that use spatial data and insight to deliver ground-breaking products and services.



Photo: Olivia Woodhouse 07906345674

Miranda Kavanagh, Executive Director of Evidence, Environment Agency, Miranda Kavanagh joined the Environment Agency in 2009, where she is one of five Executive Directors. She leads on knowledge, information and analysis to underpin the Agency’s roles of operator, regulator and adviser on flood risk and environmental protection, plus cross cutting areas such as climate change, open data and innovation. Miranda leads a team of specialists in natural and social science, data, mapping, modelling and information, monitoring and integrated assessment or synthesis of information and data, and economics. Before joining the Agency, Miranda held various senior roles in the public and private sectors, in the pharmaceutical, healthcare, and building materials industries, academia, the City and consultancy. A barrister by training, Miranda is married with a 19 year old son and a 21 year old daughter.