Institute for Environmental Analytics officially launches

Institute for Environmental Analytics officially launches

The Institute for Environmental Analytics (lEA), a new organisation bridging the gap between scientific research and industry, in which Oxford is a key partner, has been officially launched by DEFRA Minister Rory Stewart. He joined Sir David Bell KCB, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Reading to meet the CEO of the IF.A, Colin McKinnon, and partners including Sainsbury's, Microsoft and Telespazio Vega, at London's Digital Catapult on Tuesday, January 20.

The lEA is a major initiative, funded by HEFCE Catalyst Fund and the lEA partners, to support the development of the environmental big data analytics market. It will act as an intermediary between world-leading scientific expertise and industry, undertaking pre-commercial R&D and the development of proof-of-concept demonstrators. Partners and clients will be able to tap into cutting-edge scientific research to help develop new products and services and improve their business operations.

It will work across five main sectors:

  • Agri-food
  • •Insurance
  • Built environment and infrastructure •
  • Logistics and transport •
  • Utilities

The lEA will also deliver training courses to tackle skills gaps in environmental analytics.

Colin McKinnon explained "We are proud to see the reality of the lEA taking shape, with early project wins and most of the team in place - just last week we delivered our first training course on utilising the free data being generated by the new EU Copernicus satellite programme which was sold out; we are in advanced discussions with further partners; we have finished our first demonstrator for the insurance sector and we are working on two more, with seven or eight others in the pipeline.

"With the collaboration of our Partners, the lEA is looking forward to creating value and growth for the UK from the environmental data analytics.

"Businesses of all sizes need to be making commercial use of environmental data, or risk falling behind their competitors, and we can provide the expertise to support them."

Three new partners were announced at the event - BMT Group, ERM and Agrimetrics -who join the 13 founding Partners, University of Reading, University of Oxford, Airbus Defence & Space, Deimos Space UK, Lighthill Risk Network, The Met Office, Microsoft UK & Microsoft Research, National Centre for Earth Observation, Sainsbury's, Satellite Applications Catapult, Science & Technologies Facilities Council, University of Surrey and Telespazio Vega.

Pictures from the IEA launch event 

[ Photos from the IEA launch event, courtesy of Julie Stevens ]