GeoVation Challenge.

A few months ago, the brains behind GeoVation – who run innovation challenges for Ordnance Survey, popped into the Catalyst Centre to have a chat and tell us a bit more about what they do. Since then, they’ve had a hugely successful challenge day, with the 4 winning companies recently announced. 

GeoVation invites entrepreneurs from all over the UK to a weekend workshop at their headquarters to get together and share thoughts, ideas and innovations that can benefit from the vast amounts of information that Ordnance Survey hold. The most recent challenge asked people to come along with innovative ideas to help British businesses improve their environmental performance. 10 teams were invited to the weekend workshop, and were helped with their ideas by service designers and geography students. The four finalists will be awarded a share of £100,000 in innovation funding to help them develop their ideas. 

The four companies awarded a place in the scheme were:

Geocraft – An idea that will enable schools and local businesses to work together to encourage learning about sustainability through Minecraft. Using Ordnance Survey data, it will stimulate children to think about environmental challenges and ideas to solve these, which can be fed back to local businesses to implement. 

Element Green Recycling – This idea aims to help businesses reduce costs by not only encouraging them to separate waste, but by giving them the tools necessary to do so. Through public participation, they then aim to use the Ordnance Survey maps to provide relevant information on how, when and where the public can recycle the waste which they have separated. Thirty per cent of recycled co-mingled waste is sent to landfills due to contamination. Using mapping to show the location of businesses, local waste carrier services and reprocessing companies, this idea will help businesses to improve their recycling and separation of waste materials. 

Streetkleen Bio Project – This idea is to provide a practical, innovative solution based around the anaerobic digestion of dog waste to create usable energy (methane). Dog fouling is a major issue for many of our towns and cities. Using the Streetkleen app, incidents of dog fouling can be photographed and reported. It can then be collected and taken to an anaerobic digester, where it will create methane to provide energy. 

Carbon Prophet – They will use the funding to create a soil carbon map of the UK using Ordnance Survey data, and a trading portal for carbon offsetting schemes. Soil testing and the use of Ordnance Survey data will enable farmers to see the carbon levels in their soil and encourage them to release the value of this, mitigating the effects of greenhouse gases by increasing the levels of carbon in their soils. Carbon Prophet also won the Community Award of £1,000. 

We wish all four companies the best of luck, and look forward to hearing about how they get on through the GeoVation blog