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Ordnance Survey Seeks Innovative Ideas to Help British Business Improve Environmental Performance

Matt Ball on March 12, 2013 - in Environment, Projects

Budding innovators and entrepreneurs are being asked to contribute ideas that could help businesses improve their environmental performance, with the opportunity to win a slice of a £100,000 development prize fund. The GeoVation Challenge, run by mapping agency Ordnance Survey, is seeking ideas on how the use of geographic data can help British business improve environmental performance.

Dr Chris Parker, from Ordnance Survey, says: “There are huge and exciting opportunities for geography to be harnessed in a variety of ways, which could help us all improve sustainability in Great Britain. This latest challenge is specifically looking at how geography and geospatial data can be used to improve the environmental performance of businesses.

“Across the thousands of businesses in Great Britain the level of focus put into improving environmental performance varies considerably. There are companies who are extremely ‘green’ and are reaping the benefits of improving their environmental performance, whilst there are a significant number of businesses that could do more. I am hopeful that this challenge will generate a range of innovative and scalable ideas, which can be implemented at both local and national levels.”

The challenge is following the successful format of previous challenges, and is looking for innovative ideas to either help businesses remove environmental barriers or suggest new ways on how businesses can become greener. Possible areas of focus could be:

  • How can we help business see the value in their waste?
  • How can communities and businesses work together, irrespective of geography and social demographic?
  • How do we make environmental performance a more attractive proposition for investment and innovation?

Chris adds: “Over the last three years we have seen what a difference GeoVation has made in addressing a range of real world issues, including transport, food and neighbourhoods. The exciting part is waiting for the ideas to come flooding in, whether its refining an existing innovation or something brand new.”

Today, there are a large number of public sector organisations who are harnessing the power of Ordnance Survey data to improve their performance, whilst also delivering their own environmental successes and efficiency savings. Examples, include using mapping data to improve community waste management, effective public transport routing, car sharing schemes and planning for greener towns and cities.

As well as Ordnance Survey, the challenge is being supported by the Environment Agency, who aim to encourage sustainable economic growth and responsible environmental practices.

Ant Parsons, Business Innovation Manager, from the Environment Agency says: “We are delighted to support this GeoVation challenge as it is all about helping businesses to do the right thing. Achieving both economic growth and protection of the natural environment is not always easy and we are keen to help explore new ways for businesses to do this.”

The challenge is looking for great ideas that address the identified problems using geography, technology and design. Ordnance Survey will be offering a slice of £100,000 in development funding for best use of our data, including OS OpenData and OS OpenSpace, together with other open data.

The challenge runs from 6 March to 1 May and the best ideas will be invited to a weekend GeoVation Camp from 21 – 23 June 2013, where the ideas will be developed into prototype ventures.  Following the GeoVation camp successful ideas will be selected to receive a share of £100,000 funding, subject to completing and submitting their venture plans. Winners will be confirmed by 17 July 2013.

To enter the GeoVation Challenge, visit http://www.geovation.org.uk/, and the latest news is also available through Twitter at @GeoVation.

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