Environment Systems recognises the value of research and development for commercial application. The Company is an active participant in a number of prestigious national and international research projects and runs its own internal research programmes. Environment Systems actively supports a number of academic institutions with collaborative projects contributing towards their Research Excellence Framework submissions. It also sponsors MSc, MPhil and PhD placements and serves on several scientific advisory panels.
COBWEB (Citizen Observatory WEB)
COBWEB brings together expertise from 13 partners and 5 countries including 5 universities. The project runs for four years and is funded under the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme for research (FP 7).
The main context for the project is the Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS) and the UNESCO World Network of Biosphere Reserves (WNBR). Concentrating on Biosphere Reserves in Wales, Germany and Greece, the main aim is to create a testbed environment which will enable citizens living within Biosphere Reserves to collect environmental data using mobile devices.
Information of use for policy formation and delivery will be generated by quality controlling the ‘crowdsourced’ data and aggregating with Spatial Data Infrastructure (SDI) type reference data from authoritative sources. In the process the project aims to build up shared expertise in these new and developing technologies and understand how crowdsourcing/citizen science techniques combined with SDI-like initiatives can deliver both societal and commercial benefits.
Environment Systems is specifically focused on the environmental applications, user engagement, data quality and testing, and knowledge/research exploitation. The company is hosting the Welsh demonstration server, which will house all parts of the COBWEB research infrastructure within a ‘private cloud.’
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Ecopotential will use earth observation data to model the current state, and future policy impacts, on ecosystems and ecosystem services within protected areas such as National Parks and Natura 2000 sites, throughout Europe and beyond. The project will undertake capacity building for policy-makers, scientists and concerned citizens to increase the accessibility and uptake of earth-observation products and ecosystem modelling tools for environmental monitoring. The Ecopotential project is funded through Horizon 2020; the consortium comprises 46 European and international partners, spanning research institutes, universities, public sector organisations, international bodies and SMEs.
This project is an opportunity for Environment Systems to apply its expertise in satellite data analysis, ecosystem service modelling and citizen science on a global stage.
Environment Systems has an extensive academic programme and sponsors a number of post graduate MSc, MPhil and PhD placements at top UK universities. It also runs its own intern programme, all as part of its ongoing commitment to higher education and research.
There are benefits for all concerned, not least the students and interns themselves who are involved in real projects involving original research and leading edge technology. For the company this programme delivers on two fronts contributing both to commercial edge and social responsibility.
Environments Systems staff act as advisors to the Geography Department at Aberystwyth University and sit on the Science Advisory Board for the National Phenomics Centre (IBERS) and the Employers’ Advisory Panel at Leicester University.