GeoVation and the rise of User Innovation

I am really pleased to see another project with which I have an association flourish and end on a great note.  Innovation, new processes for designing around the user and new business have all been created through the model that emerged during the project. 

The Ideas In Transit project (collaboration between my old employer, Ordnance Survey, the University of the West of England, University of Loughborough and iTo World and sponsored by the Department for Transport, EPSRC and Technology Strategy Board), approaches the end of its 5 year programme to unlock the potential of innovations derived from transport users themselves.

Over the past month I have managed to catch-up with old colleagues at the project I once project managed for OS; Chris Parker (OS) and Tracy Ross (Loughborough) who are both shocked at the speed at which 5 years travelled, delighted at the support from the sponsors and forward looking in anticipating continued efforts to embed the innovation techniques from the project in their own businesses.

The project combined…

-“observatory” techniques adopted by the Universities provided raw ingredients and a solid guide toward a rich source of innovations

-“GeoVation”;  a proactive innovation award scheme based on competition and radically providing funding to the most promising “up-front”, and

-“Bringing it home” where the partners have taken the observed requirements and built innovation programmes, open data initiatives, visualisations and applications that all support the development of transport innovations that will enable us all “to do more with less!”

– Great visual tools that help us understand our changing market.  Remember this

? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hwlqUremx4Y&feature=plcp

…and, thus far has led to 10 new services from Small to Medium sized Enterprises in Great Britain encourging our population toward a more sustainable way of living, travelling and eating.

Now the plan is to mark the end of this funded period by celebrating all the good things that continue beyond the project.  And as usual this will not be a static show-and-tell event.  The GeoVation event now planned for the 24th September will open your eyes to what has become possible with this greater understanding of location data, the people who use it and Innovation itself.

I plan to attend, so join us via http://www.geovation.org.uk/geovation-collaboration-user-innovation-transport/.

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