Ordnance Survey needed to better understand the potential uses of our data by new customers, and how our data should be provided to maximise these opportunities. We also needed to understand what additional geospatial data could be captured that could be valuable to users today or in the future. We then needed to use this understanding to invest time and resources effectively into innovative start-up businesses across the UK that are using geospatial data to build solutions to the nation’s challenges.
In 2009 Ordnance Survey created Geovation to support the launch and growth of innovative technology start-ups that were using geospatial data to create sustainable businesses aiming to tackle environmental,social, technological, economic and political challenges.
We provide start-ups with access to geospatial and property data, along with expert advice,through accelerator programmes, workshops and a variety of open events and meet-ups. The accelerator programme offers businesses a 12-month residency at the Geovation Hub, 6 months of commercial and technical support and up to £20,000 funding.
In 2015, Ordnance Survey opened the Geovation Hub in London to provide a co-working space at which employees, partners and start-ups can share knowledge, advice and support. As of early 2020, Geovation has offices in London and Edinburgh, and has partnerships with innovation hubs in Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff and Manchester.
Geovation is enabling Ordnance Survey to broaden its community and expose it to fresh thinking and ideas. It provides Ordnance Survey with a wealth of insight into the needs of start-ups, including a view on the products and services which can meet their needs and the potential barriers to the adoption of OS data. Geovation also gives Ordnance Survey a direct line to friendly start-ups to test ideas and proofs of concepts, which has provided Ordnance Survey with excellent insight into the design and usability of its offerings to the market.
Geovation has enabled Ordnance Survey to grow its partner network with partners operating in existing markets, which has ensured OS data is used more widely across new market segments and in new technology.
So far, with more than 480 new jobs created, 117 start-ups supported and £77 million invested in helping the start-ups deliver their visions,through Geovation, Ordnance Survey is having a positive effect on the British economy and has raised the value and importance of geospatial data.
To find out more, visit the Geovation website