Instant Weather – an invitation for open innovation

Instant Weather is a collaborative project involving Transport Systems Catapult (TSC), Connected Digital Economy Catapult (CDEC), Sunderland Software City (SCC) and the Met Office.

Access to very localised weather for very narrow timeframes, which has not previously been available, will help the transport industry address business problems such as disruptions, routing, extreme weather events, impacts on infrastructure. It should also help enable better communications of disruption to stakeholders.

The six-month pilot project, focused on the North-East of England, will develop and commercialise new technological applications that combine unique localised, ‘instant’ (0 – 3 hour time window) weather information from the Met Office with locally generated transport, environmental and logistical information.

Ultimately, this should provide new business opportunities from the solutions that could be developed.

The aim for the Instant Weather project is to:

  • facilitate the development and commercialisation of new technology applications for weather and transport data to address transport industry business problems;
  • utilise newly released datasets from the Met Office and other sources providing an exciting opportunity to innovate with new information;
  • support the wider Intelligent Mobility agenda.

The pilot project is based in the city of Sunderland, and wider Tyne & Wear region, and will combine localised weather information from the Met Office in a 0 to 3 hour time window with locally generated transport, environmental and logistical information.

Using an integrated transport & logistics use case, it will explore the range of applications and services that could benefit or be developed.

The benefits of the project and attendance at the Innovation Challenge

Before we start on the project we need to be clear exactly what the challenges are and what are the most important issues facing transport users, logistic companies, local authorities and transport providers with regards to current weather and hazard data forecasts.

Also, we’re looking to reduce the timeframe (reduced advance notice) of forecast information to see if that might increase intelligent mobility for users of that information.

The project will enable transport organisations (end-users) to experience first-hand the technology available for helping business functions; be a cost-effective means to develop prototypes and be an opportunity for networking and joint innovation with software developers using new, never before released, datasets from the Met Office and other sources.

Open-innovation – we want to know the challenges being faced by the transport sector

We want to identify the key challenges and issues facing businesses and organisations across the transport industry and related sectors. We’re keen to engage and collaborate with transport operators, transport related organisations and software related small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

Armed with the needs of the industry, we’ll then aim to disseminate this information to the software developers so they can start to consider potential solutions and demonstrations for our Innovation Challenge in February (see below).

We would like to talk to transport industry contacts from transport operators and providers to logistics companies and local authorities to identify some of the challenges and big issues your business or organisation faces with respect to current weather and hazard data forecasts.

We’ll initially arrange for brief telephone interviews and also send invitations for our Innovation Challenge event on Friday 28 February.

This will also offer first-hand demonstrations and discussions of possible technological solutions for organisations likely to benefit.

To take part please e-mail Tess Murray.

Innovation Challenge in Sunderland on 28 February 2014

The Innovation Challenge will be held on Friday, 28th February 2014 at Sunderland Software Centre, easily accessible from Sunderland rail station.

The format for the day will be highly participative, and will include:

  • Group and individual networking opportunities with representatives from software companies, the Met Office and both the Transport Systems and Connected Digital Economy Catapult;
  • A forum to share business challenges that, if addressed, could help improve the profitability and customer user experience of your business;
  • Demonstration space to explore existing services and products that have already been developed by the software companies attending;
  • An opportunity to network with other transport and software companies as well as the projects partners.

We consider that transport logistic companies, infrastructure companies, public sector organisations and operators will benefit from the Innovation Challenge.

The key players that are likely to derive most could be:

  • Transport Managers and business operators and logistic managers – to explore and share their business challenges;
  • Transport Buyers – to speak to potential suppliers and solution providers;
  • Anyone else – attendance is not restricted.

Outcomes from attendance at Innovation Challenge

Following the event, a small number of applications/ideas will be shortlisted. The software companies will then have an opportunity to develop prototypes, and provide opportunities for continued collaboration.

To find out more…

For more background, please see Transport Systems Catapult’s Instant Weather project page, as well as Sunderland Software City’s website.

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