March 16, 2015—Last September, Ordnance Survey and Land Registry launched a GeoVation Challenge that asked how can we do housing in Britain better? Forty three ideas were submitted. Of which nine were selected to pitch for funding, and today Ordnance Survey and Land Registry reveal who was successful and the funding they will receive.
Geo-vey: Swindon-based Dave Barter and Richard Reynolds of Nautoguide Ltd have been awarded £29,000 to develop a free online portal – underpinned by OS and Land Registry data – that uses crowd-sourcing to generate ideas for improvements to local communities. Businesses and organisations wanting to gauge local opinion on planned or suggested infrastructure developments can also use the tool for a fee.
MyHome Energy Planner: The team from Carbon Co-op, National Energy Foundation, OpenEnergyMonitor and URBED has been awarded £25,000 to create an online tool that shows households their energy usage and ways of controlling and reducing future energy demand. The team will pilot the tool and work with local authorities and their existing network to raise market awareness.
Democratising Development: Andy Reeve and Joyjit Sarjar’s idea of using OS and Land Registry data to identify small-scale sites currently disused or unmanaged with the view to bringing these to the housing market has been awarded £24,000. The duo from Birmingham plan to use the WikiHouse principles of building small scale, easy to build houses on these sites, making the option of self-build more accessible.
Dave Barter, Geo-Vey, says: “The Geovation process has completely reinvigorated our approach to seeding and developing ideas through to business case. We began with a loose idea of something that seemed worthy and feasible, but the mantra of “problem, solution, execution” was soon firmly instilled in our brains by the GeoVation team. The funding will allow us to grow a service that will make a real difference in the community.”
Andy Reeve, Democratising Development, says: “Joy and I really wanted OS and Land Registry data to be central to our idea of identifying underused publicly owned land which could be suitable for micro scale development. We would then use an open design platform, WikiHouse, to allow people to literally build their own sustainable, well designed, liveable home. We hope to have a really positive impact on the housing market.”
Lynne Nicholson, Land Registry’s representative on the Judging Panel, says: “It is exciting to see people using datasets to create solutions that benefit the wider community. Ideas that help people save money, think more strategically or improve their local community are real winners in my view. We are proud to support these start-up companies with funding and business expertise along with Ordnance Survey, helping them to turn their ideas into commercial ventures.”
Viv Alexander, GeoVation Community and Event Manager, says “The nine finalists attending GeoVation Camp were supported by a dedicated team of helpers from both Ordnance Survey and Land Registry, along with service designers and others, in what was an exciting and packed weekend. The atmosphere was tense as teams refined their ideas, practiced their pitches and prepared for the visit of judges. The spirit was amazing as helpers and teams put together nine clearly defined ideas, which gave the judging panel a difficult decision to make. The three who were successful demonstrated an ability to be innovative, best addressed the Challenge’s identified problems and have well defined business models.”
A new GeoVation Challenge is being planned for a summer 2015 launch.