The CivTech® WildCard Cyber Security Challenge is live! Details here. Deadline for submissions 9am, Monday 5th September.
UPDATE: there's now a second bite on the CivTech® WildCard Cyber Security Challenge, offering a POTENTIAL EIGHTH PLACE on the CivTech® Accelerator. This second bite focuses on two specific priorities identified by the Scottish Government - go here for details. Deadline for this also 9am, Monday 5th September.
These are Challenges that need solving...
The Challenges you find have been set by public sector organisations and are the ones that you can apply to solve within the CivTech® pilot. You'll find summaries here, and for each one a link to more information, background and details. You can find out how to apply in the Application and Selection section. You can apply for just one Challenge, or as many Challenges as you want.
How can we help improve air quality in urban areas?Challenge 1:
Improving air quality in urban areas is a global challenge. It's hugely important both in terms of the environment and health. While a large part of the improvement will naturally rest on reducing transport emissions, complex dispersion in built-up areas can trap pollutants and cause disproportionate air quality problems in specific areas, and this problem often occurs in areas with large numbers of pedestrians and businesses. The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) would like to be able to communicate this complex dispersion behaviour to decision makers, so that emissions can be set more appropriately to meet human health standards. Compelling animated visualisations of model output combined with robust quantitative assessment can influence decision makers in powerful ways, and help drive actions and change.
Most of the commonly used air modelling software solutions do not handle complex dispersion well and do not lend themselves to compelling visualisations. More advanced modelling techniques such as Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) are available, but these require considerable specialist effort and significant adaptation to obtain useful results. This means their effectiveness is limited and they have not been widely adopted. The Challenge is therefore is to create a fast, efficient and easy-to-use CFD-type solution, tailored-made to model complex dispersion in urban areas.
There is a demonstrable demand for solutions that can combine complex modelling, embedded expertise in CFD and ease of use. In the marine environment software packages have been developed that tailor the general CFD approach to the most common problems encountered, and several organisations have developed successful businesses in this area. While a successful solution to this Challenge would result in an MVP focused on air quality, the right solution could have additional potential in the aquaculture, architecture and renewable energy fields.
How can we make our flood forecasting information better used by a wider audience?Challenge 2:
This Challenge is driven by the desire to improve and extend the communication, access, and use of flood forecasts.
Flood forecasting is essential in all phases of the emergency management of a flood event. The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) leads on forecasting and warning in Scotland, and in collaboration with the Met Office produces a daily Flood Guidance Statement that provides a five-day outlook on the likelihood of flooding, and real-time flood forecasts during flood events. SEPA also produces information on a daily basis. The current focus is on the responder community including the police, fire services, ambulance services, hospitals and local authorities. But it's now recognised that they could have far greater impact and much wider use if the reach was extended beyond this appreciative but limited audience and made publicly available in an appropriate format and through easily accessible channels.
There’s kudos and cash in flooding safety solutions with a rare public sector appetite for funding, and resources available to do this. There‘s potential for multiple licensing elsewhere as solution could be attractive to other providers of flooding information across multiple territories.
Challenge 3: How can we get health and social care data and analysis to the widest possible audience?
The Information Services Division of National Services Scotland [NSS] is well known and well respected for producing national statistical publications. It has been harnessing increasingly sophisticated tools and techniques to develop powerful analytical tools designed to make national data of greater use at local levels. There is huge potential for this kind of work in the health and care sectors, and professionals in these areas have much to gain from what ISD produces. But the reality is that their time is in short supply, and currently the data is presented and accessed in a way that's not optimal: ‘a one size fits all' way requiring professionals to be familiar with the layout of the ISD website to find what they need prevents take-up and best use. Furthermore, different tools all have different logins and in many cases exclude certain professional groups because the tools were designed and built for specific sectors.
We have objectives focused on using data and intelligence to improve population health, integration of services, personal outcomes and quality service delivery. We need a better way of organising and offering our data, and better ways to access tools and products that will address the needs of individual clinicians in a bespoke, well-tailored way. And this needs to be done while respecting constraints regarding information security and governance.
If we can get more use from professionals working in health and social care, we will achieve significant impacts which will be to the benefit of the services and budgets involved, the population at large, and the individual citizen. This means there's potential to develop a new way of tailoring access to data and analytical tools that could be used across multiple public - and potentially private sector - organisations.
Challenge 4: How can we make our data publications more accessible and appealing?
Information Services Division (ISD) as part of NHS National Services Scotland (NSS) is well known for producing national statistical publications; increasingly it is harnessing more sophisticated tools and techniques to develop powerful analytical tools that are designed to make national data of greater use at local levels and to a wider spectrum of users.
Customers and end users of our data and information are currently presented with fixed PDF files or basic Excel tables which are not engaging and/or are difficult to understand or customise.
ISD are responsible for the collection, analysis and presentation of multiple official statistical reports and publications on the NHS in Scotland including the workforce and number of staff who work or provide services to the NHS.
For this challenge, ISD are looking for innovative and new ways of presenting and visualising the data collected and analysed for the Workforce publications and to explore ideas and different approaches for this. The end solution will provide this new visualisation which can then be used in multiple publications or websites. Further opportunities to use this data include predictive analytics and supporting data searching using geospatial or metadata.
Challenge 5: How can we promote the tourist destinations along the A9?
The Scottish Government’s Infrastructure and Capital Investment Plan dated 6th December 2011 includes a £3bn commitment to complete the dualling of the A9 Trunk Road between Perth and Inverness by 2025. The A9 forms a strategic link between Central Scotland and the Highlands and the 177km route between Perth and Inverness includes 127km which requires dualling.
The A9 Dualling provides a potential catalyst for tourism growth through the innovative use of technology for marketing and interpretation of products and services that it will traverse. The critical challenge is developing appropriate technology to provide an interface and marketing channels for drivers and passengers. The technology system created should directly promote the tourism destinations along the route and in the less visited rural heartlands of Scotland generating expenditure and employment.
Challenge 6: How can we use technology to design smart roads?
The A9 Dualling programme includes a Smart Corridor Initiative, where the upgrade will act as a catalyst to improve digital connectivity in the corridor. At present 3G and 4G coverage is patchy with some areas having no coverage. It is intended 3G coverage will be provided throughout the corridor to aid construction, while 4G will be in place by completion. A primary aim is for TS to ensure sufficient communications coverage in the corridor to support its current projected needs for information sharing, such as traffic information updates during incidents and bad weather and to allow drivers to make mobile phone calls if stuck on the A9.
However, TS wish to identify the wider opportunities the Smart Corridor connectivity could offer, for example:
To gather data through the use of cameras and other technology provided by Smart Corridor for use in wider applications
The use of sensor data to monitor physical condition of road and plan maintenance
Monitoring effectiveness of environmental mitigation
Other opportunities from data collection which connectivity can facilitate
The opportunities need not be directly related to the road itself, but could be wide ranging in nature and of benefit to other stakeholders and the public.