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How can we help British businesses improve environmental performance? – Geovation Challenge

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What is GeoVation?

The GeoVation Challenge is run by the Ordnance Survey and aims to fund innovative ideas that use Ordnance Survey Products and Services to solve real problems in the UK. Each year there are new topic areas for the ideas to address and this year the topic area was:

 ‘How can we help British businesses improve environmental performance?’

Landmap’s ideas

Brainstorming ideas for this topic area brought out many options in terms of potential ideas to submit. The successful ideas that were submitted by the Landmap team and accepted by GeoVation Challenge were:

  • Britain’s Got Energy – Idea based on finding appropriate renewable energy schemes for businesses and to make them aware of how the schemes can benefit them.
  • The Green Contest – Idea based on visualizing Environmental Performance indicators to make businesses aware of their effect on the Environment and aims to motivate the reduction of these indicators through competition between businesses. 

The process

So with these two ideas two teams from Landmap took part in the GeoVation Camp which was organised to develop the ideas and then pitch the ideas to Judges (i.e. like Dragons Den). The camp took place in Southampton on the 21 – 23 June 2013, in the Ordnance Survey Headquarters which is a new modern building that was very impressive (see below, 'Courtesy of Ordnance Survey').


The first night

The Friday night consisted of meeting, greeting and getting to know other teams members, the helpers and the OS GeoVation Staff involved in the event over drinks and nibbles.

Day 1 – The hard work begins

Then on the Saturday the serious work started where the teams had to go through the Innovation Toolkit process. This innovation toolkit process basically develops ideas using the equation:

Innovation = Problem X Solution X Execution.

So following this equation by identifying the problem that the idea is solving, by providing the solution to this problem via the creation of prototypes and by creating a plan to execute the solution led to the development of the idea.

Day 2 – The pitch

At the end of the weekend a 2 minute pitch, with 20 seconds for each slide, was produced and then presented to the judges with a 3 minute timed Q&A session. This was a very intense process and the pitch was a very nerve wrecking experience, but was achieved in a confident way, the pitch videos are shown at the end of this news item. After each team presented their pitches and answered the judge’s questions, the judges went away to decide the teams fate. On the positive side though we were too preoccupied to think about the decision being made as during the decision process everyone apart from the judges took part in a paper airplane making contest which I believe I came 3rd.  After this a group photo was taken of all teams, helpers, OS staff and judges (see below, 'Courtesy of Ordnance Survey').


The result

So the results are in and without the dramatic long wait and music normally given on TV shows like X Factor or on award shows, the teams who would go on with funding were announced. Unfortunately this time neither of our ideas got funding but it was a very close contest and the teams who got the funding deserved it, so well done to them. The winning teams were:

An amazing experience

Overall, the whole process was an exciting, intense and amazing experience where new contacts, friends and knowledge were gained. Everyone involved in the GeoVation Challenge were friendly and helpful which aided in making the camp successful. At this point I would like to give a big thank you to all those helpers who helped us out with our ideas especially Kaushik Sudra who helped the Britain’s Got Energy team with prototype and presentation design along with good advice on the whole idea development. There are quite a lot of other helpers who also assisted us and deserve a big thank you. I would recommend to anyone to join in with this process, either by entering your own idea or by becoming a helper for the GeoVation Camp.

Britain's Got Energy Pitch

The Green Contest Pitch

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