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Cloud to enable people to discuss environmental changes

UK: The UK-based Technology Strategy Board awarded the Open Platform project to a consortium led by the UK Met Office. Other members of the consortium include IBM, Imperial College Business School and Grantham Institute for Climate Change at Imperial College London. This 15 month contract is part of the Digital Economy Collaborative R&D programme.
Under this contract, researchers will create a Web-based cloud computing platform. It seeks to create an online marketplace to exchange knowledge, data and modelling techniques between the government, disaster risk reduction and insurance sectors and is aimed at supporting the development of new solutions for managing risk and adapting to environmental change.
According to Sam Nixon, Director of the Open Platform project, the Board provided GBP 2.6 million to match the same amount from the consortium partners to cover 15 months of work. He said that over the next five months the project team will work on clarifying the sustainable business case and reviewing the technology, and it hopes to have a beta version of the platform running in 12 months. Early adopters will then begin to use it with a view to the final system going live in October 2012.
Phil Evans, government services director at the Met Office, said: “The aim is that Open Platform will provide access to a broad range of data including environmental, social, technical and financial data, enabling standardisation. This means that the data can then be more easily combined, modelled and applied to support the understanding of risks, impacts and interrelationships affecting insurance, societies and governments.”
Professor David Gann, Head of Innovation and Entrepreneurship and Director of the Digital Economy Lab at Imperial College London, said: “The Open Platform will enable new business models to provide better use of data, improve business performance and open avenues to manage environmental impact. Imperial College Business School is pleased to contribute our expertise in innovation and entrepreneurship to this project. The results of our research will also inform new projects in the Digital Economy Lab.”
Kathleen Sullivan, Insurance Industry Executive, IBM UK and Ireland said: “The modern information environment is unlike any before. Although many organisations are now beginning to derive commercial revenue streams from climate and weather related data and services, no-one has yet created a market in this domain. The Open Platform aims to unlock the hidden treasure of data that already exists within organisations and translate it into information which can generate value to adjacent industries. The Open Platform consortium members are working together to create potential growth in this area.”
Source: Imperial College & Met Office