Research highlight

BGS wins impact award

The GeoAnalytics and modelling (GAM) directorate have won Team of the Year at the PraxisUnico Impact Awards 2017!

02/06/2017 By BGS Press
Team of year award
Katherine Royse, science director GeoAnalytics and modelling directorate, receiving the Team of the Year award from Nick Starkey, Deputy Director (Strategy & Impact), Science & Research at BEIS.

The GeoAnalytics and modelling (GAM) directorate have won Team of the Year at the PraxisUnico Impact Awards 2017! This award is aimed at recognising knowledge exchange and commercialisation professionals. The award was received by the science director, Katherine Royse, and was given as a result of her directorate’s consistent excellence in adding value to the vast datasets held by BGS in addition to building relationships and overcoming challenges.

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The GeoAnalytics and modelling team.

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The directorate’s work

The GAM directorate have developed numerous data models and products, all of which focus on societally relevant themes such as ground instability, radon, flooding, and mining hazards. They deliver substantial economic and health benefits to information-economy businesses, the insurance sector, government, and the public.

Building better partnerships with the user community was a key part of the success of the team. By understanding the community’s needs, the GAM directorate have been able to develop usable and understandable bespoke products and services. These include but are not limited to power networks, engineering consultancies, transport providers and the insurance sector, all of whom have contributed to the development of a number of key products and services to date including:

  • temporal geo-services including the ability to forecast possible impacts of climate change events, including increased landslide susceptibility during storm events
  • geo-information products such as BGS Civils that provide data models for civil/ground engineering applications. Ground movement-related damage to subsurface assets costs £300 to £500 million a year in the UK, and BGS Civils is helping to reduce this cost
  • other geo-information products include the coastal vulnerability index (CVI). This provides information on the vulnerability of the whole coastline and not just small sections, and was produced on request after the 2013–14 winter storms
  • data products such as groundwater flooding susceptibility are helping to safeguard properties across the UK. One property in Oxford worth an estimated £46 million has been able to make support cost savings of up to £1.2 million in reduced insurance claims per flood event

Message from the science director

When asked about the award, Katherine said:

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We are very honoured to have won this year’s Team of the Year award. The directorate have made significant impact in developing BGS data assets so that they provide both public good and commercial services. This award recognises the hard work and dedication of BGS staff to support UK innovation agenda, thereby encouraging economic growth and improving societal health and wellbeing.

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Katherine Royse thanks her directorate.

Development of the directorate

The GAM directorate was set up in 2014 to add value to BGS’s data assets. To increase the impact of the data assets, it was realised that it had to build better partnerships and co-design solutions with the user community. The process has included converting major digital data products into innovative platforms that engage user communities and enable new services, products and tools to be co-designed. New delivery mechanisms have also been developed that enable easy uptake of BGS data into users’ GIS systems.

The directorate has led a significant cultural change, where it is now the norm to work with private, public and third sectors to develop new and novel user–led data services. There has been a significant growth in new data services and products resulting in:

  • an increase in data-licence income by £1 million, up to £3.1 million
  • an increase in commissioned research of £800 000
  • the free OpenGeoscience service that has been completely overhauled and released with new free data products designed with today’s user requirements in mind
Impact Award
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The PraxisUnico Team of the Year Award for 2017.

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