GeoVation Alumni – why it’s got serious heritage
A round table on Open Innovation Challenges
Today’s Guest blog is from Quentin Johns. Quentin has been a Judge for Ordnance Survey’s Geovation Challenges and is the Head of Business Development the Impact Hub Westminster. Quentin has a degree in Social Anthropology from Sussex University. Quentin chaired a round table panel discussion compiled by Ordnance Survey’s GeoVation team and the Impact Hub Westminster, hosted after the GeoVation Alumni event.
The future is bright, the future is CARBON!
Todays guest blog is by Richard Page, of Carbon Prophet, one of our winners from our Challenge in May 2013: ‘How do we help British business improve environmental performance’ – supported by the Environment Agency. Carbon Prophet were awarded £29,000 and also won the Community Award of £1,000.
AR Carbon received the final tranche of its GeoVation grant funding. As we are seven months into our project ‘Carbon Prophet’ and looking to launch ourselves into the open market, it seems the ideal time to see how things are progressing.
Our project is all about encouraging farmers to rebuild the natural fertility of their soils. One of the most obvious ways of achieving this is to encourage the use of compost as a source of nutrients and as a way of improving soil structure. Obviously we don’t want to use peat-based composts, so we need to find significant supplies of an alternative and that means using green waste compost. Unfortunately, this is not as straightforward as you might think; most green waste compost needs significant work to improve it before it is suitable for use on commercial farms. So, in order to ensure sufficient supplies of a quality product, we have opened negotiations with a number of local authorities to work with them to improve the product that they produce and we aim to have high quality green waste compost available for the start of spring 2015.
OS Innovation Newsletter – Spring edition
By now you should have received our spring edition of OS innovation newsletter, with of exciting news for the GeoVation and developer community – including Funding for winners of the GeoVation Challenge, OS Developer Challenge and Ordnance Survey’s partnership with IC Tomorrow.
OS OpenSpace update on the internet bug ‘Heartbleed’
In response to the announcement of the internet bug ‘Heartbleed’ in the OpenSSL cryptographic software used by many businesses, we have changed our SSL certificates in OS OpenSpace to protect our customers’ personal data. We recommend that you change your password in the OS OpenSpace ‘My Account’ page. If you have been using the same password on other accounts, you may also wish to update those. Update your OS OpenSpace password here.
IC tomorrow – Technology Strategy Board Network – digital innovation contest
Ordnance Survey are delighted to be working in partnership with IC tomorrow. Based in London’s Tech City, they are a Technology Strategy Board programme that stimulates innovation and economic growth in the digital sector by breaking down barriers and opening doors for a new generation of entrepreneurs.
The programme serves as a hub for digital innovation, connecting start-ups and SMEs with leading commercial partners and investors across the UK, through funded contests, events, strategic matchmaking and mentoring opportunities.
IC tomorrow runs a range of funded contests across the digital and creative sectors. These contests are run in collaboration with leading partners who help to set relevant contest challenges that will encourage innovation in new digital applications or services. Ordnance Survey is one of those partners. Contest applicants can benefit from the funding that is awarded to successful companies to develop their proposed solutions and grow their businesses; gain from exposure to a range of leading content providers and rights holders; test their proposed application or service with those partner companies and organisations; promote their prototype solution via the IC tomorrow programme and retain their full intellectual property. (more…)
Ordnance Survey Developer Challenge attracts dozens of innovative ideas!
Since launching Ordnance Survey’s maiden Developer Challenge at the tail-end of 2013, we’ve been busy promoting the competition to all of you budding developers out there! We’re delighted to announce that in total, we received 38 ideas, with the competition now closed for entries. A further stage of the selection process will now take before we announce the winners next month.
GeoVation Challenge winners’ reactions to winning at camp
Last weekend saw our GeoVation Camp finalists make their final pitches How to encourage active lifestyles in Britain. We had three successful finalists from the GeoVation Challenge, winning a share of £100,000 in innovation funding to develop their ideas. A £1,000 community prize fund, voted by the camp participants was also awarded. They are:
Merry Christmas and Happy Innovating New Year from the GeoVation Team
We thought it would be a fitting end to the year to give you a quick lowdown on what we have all been doing since our last team blog but firstly, we would like to take this opportunity to wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from GeoVation and Ordnance Survey. Thank you for all your support in 2013. We look forward to running some new challenges and events in the New Year, as well as supporting our existing challenge winners.
Well this has been an eventful few months for the GeoVation team. October saw the arrival of a new member joining on secondment, me ‘Jonathan Field’ you may have seen a few of my blogs and the many tweets being sent out. I joined the GeoVation team from our Design team where I worked as a Graphic Designer and my work included producing literature and stands for the GeoVation team.
In the last year I developed a keen interest in Geospatial Information (GI), having spent 6 months in our Pre and Post Sales Support (PPSS) team learning about a variety of GI software and how our products can and are used by our customers.
Since joining the team I have hit the ground running, researching the problem Pow Wow outputs, not only for the current challenge but for the BITC Southampton hub; attending the Malvern Festival of Innovation where we launched our new challenge; helping at several of the OS OpenData masterclasses, travelling from Southampton to as far afield as Edinburgh; managing our social media streams such as Facebook, Twitter and the Blog; and baking the odd cake or two for the team. In my spare time I have for the last three years been renovating my house from top to bottom and have an end in sight finally…I won’t know what to do with myself once I have finished. (more…)
Building healthy communities with Southampton Hub
Last Thursday Ordnance Survey hosted Business in the Community’s (BITC) Southampton Hub network. The Southampton Hub, launched at Ordnance Survey in October 2012, encourages local businesses to support local communities through partnerships and collaboration.
The event included a tour around Ordnance Survey’s new headquarters and a review of the work and initiatives undertaken by the Hub since its launch just one year ago. The session was introduced by Mike Brophy, Development Director, London, South and South East and Mike Toy, Community Impact Manager, for BITC, respectively, and chaired by Jayne Carrington Managing Director, Right Management Workplace Wellness and BITC Southampton Hub Chair.
Elaine Owen, Schools Sector Manager, introduced the work of Ordnance Survey and Danny Hyam introduced the myriad ways in which Ordnance Survey products and services can be used to mitigate place related problems. The afternoon and evening programme included some inspiring presentations on partnerships between businesses and local schools through BITC’s Business Class programme. This included Wates’ work with Woodland Community College and Cobham’s work with St Aldhelm. Rosy Jones, Enterprise and Employability Manager at Southampton Solent University gave a brief background to the University’s vision for social justice and how engaging students with business can enhance their employability prospects.
So you’re a GeoVation winner, now what?
If you’re thinking of entering the latest GeoVation Challenge to encourage active lifestyles, the guest blog post below from Richard Page, one of the winners of the Environment GeoVation Challenge, may help answer your questions about what happens if you’re lucky enough to be a GeoVation winner.
Winning the GeoVation Challenge is a fantastic feeling. I should know, as I was one of the winners of the Environment Challenge earlier this year. To be honest when this was announced at the end of GeoVation Camp, I thought that’s it, I’ve won, now give me the money! The truth is that what goes on after the announcement of your success is as important, and in some respects more important, than what went on before, only nobody tells you that; well, until now that is.
So what happens after the announcement at GeoVation Camp has been made?
You know you’re a winner and that you are going to get some money, but how much, when and what do you have to do access it? The answer is that this is just the start of your journey. There is a venture plan to write, and more, before you receive your funding. That can take around 12 weeks in all and you really need this time to get yourself organised.
Challenging Britain to get active in the open!
Our physical and mental well-being is greatly influenced by our lifestyle; from our first steps to our last! So, following the success of previous challenges, this time we are calling for innovative ideas that will encourage people to lead active lifestyles in the open; whatever their age.
As with previous GeoVation Challenges we are looking for great ideas which address the problems using geography, technology and good design. Ordnance Survey will be offering a slice of £100,000 to help develop ventures that make best use of our data, including OS OpenData and OS OpenSpace, together with other open data to solve problems.
An All-Party Commission on Physical Activity which launched recently states on their website “The human body was designed to move. But in a very short period of time, we have become dangerously inactive as a population. We are witnessing a physical inactivity epidemic”.
The estimated direct cost of physical inactivity to the NHS across the UK is £1.06 billion. (Start Active, Stay Active)
GeoVation Challenge launching at Innovation Festival.
We’re really excited to be attending this years’ Malvern Festival of Innovation, even more so because we’ll be announcing the launch of our new GeoVation Challenge there!
The Festival is a smorgasbord of science, technology, social enterprise and entrepreneurship; innovation by name and innovative by nature.
‘Today we need to innovate more than ever: the way we do business, the way we use resources; the way we live. We need new ideas to stay competitive, new technologies to improve lives, and new insights to lead the way. Join us to discover what’s coming next, to learn how others are innovating, and to showcase your own research and development.
Win Innovation Funding – New Challenge Launched in 8 Days
We are in the process of putting the finishing touches to our next exciting Innovation Challenge. We have been working hard over the last few months holding ‘Problem Pow Wows’ with key members of the community, public and commercial bodies to develop new GeoVation Challenges to address specific community needs.
All our challenges are aimed at encouraging and supporting the development of innovative applications, products and services that use geographical information to create social, educational, economic and environmental benefit. It aims to provide seed financial funding to a number of ideas, which show the most potential to be developed into sustainable ventures. (more…)