The Institute for Environmental Analytics (IEA), the new University-led initiative aiming to close the gap between science and industry, has announced three new partners ahead of its official launch today.
BMT Group, ERM and Agrimetrics will formally join the major new initiative to build a stronger environmental big data analytics market.
It comes as the IEA was officially launched today by Defra Minister Rory Stewart in London – at an event hosted by Vice-Chancellor Sir David Bell, IEA CEO Colin McKinnon, and partners including Sainsbury’s, Microsoft and Telespazio Vega.
The IEA, based on Whiteknights campus, aims to bridge the gap between world-leading scientific expertise and industry – working across five main sectors – agri-food; insurance; the built environment and infrastructure; logistics and transport; and utilities.
It will enable and clients will be able to tap into cutting-edge scientific research to help develop new products and services and improve their business operations – using pre-commercial research and development and proof-of-concept demonstrations. The IEA will also deliver training courses to tackle skills gaps in environmental analytics.
The Institute is funded by the HEFCE Catalyst Fund and the IEA’s partners.
Vice-Chancellor Sir David said: “We are living through the biggest climate and environmental upheaval for generations. Big data enables us to make sense of this on a global scale – to assess, track, predict and respond to how our world is changing. The IEA is already playing a critical role in translating data sets and analysis into commercially viable products to improve our society and lives. We are proud to be the lead-partner.”
IEA Chief Executive Officer Colin McKinnon said:
“We are proud to see the reality of the IEA taking shape, with early project wins and most of the team in place – just last week we delivered our first training course on utilising the free data being generated by the new EU Copernicus satellite programme which was sold out; we are in advanced discussions with further partners; we have finished our first demonstrator for the insurance sector and we are working on two more, with seven or eight others in the pipeline.
“With the collaboration of our Partners, the IEA is looking forward to creating value and growth for the UK from the environmental data analytics. Businesses of all sizes need to be making commercial use of environmental data, or risk falling behind their competitors, and we can provide the expertise to support them.”
“Our partnerships are vital in allowing us to access the widest range of expertise. We cannot develop and deliver commercial solutions without working with others and we rely on IEA partners, with our own team of experts, to bring in new ideas and capabilities.”
The IEA’s 13 founding partners are the University of Reading, Airbus Defence & Space, Deimos Space UK, Lighthill Risk Network, The Met Office, Microsoft UK & Microsoft Research, National Centre for Earth Observation, University of Oxford, Sainsbury’s, Satellite Applications Catapult, Science & Technologies Facilities Council, University of Surrey and Telespazio Vega.The IEA also works closely with the UK Space Agency and hosts the Climate Data from Space Stakeholder Group (CDSSG) and UK Space Sector Skills Manager.