Ordnance Survey is opening a London-based Geospatial Innovation Hub with the aim of “energising innovation in the UK geospatial industry”.

Ordnance Survey (OS) says it is opening the hub to “attract new players, new visions, new thinking and new markets”. In the past five years, OS - through its GeoVation Challenges - has awarded almost £650,000 in funding 28 new ventures, and Britain's mapping agency believes its new hub will build on this.

The hub will enable OS and its partners to work collaboratively with fringe industries, new media, digital and emerging technologies. Image credit: Ordnance Survey

The exact location of the London hub will be confirmed later this month. OS says the hub will expose and expand industry opportunities for existing and new participants through the “innovative adoption and application of its UK geospatial assets”.

Cathrine Armour, former programme manager for Abu Dhabi's Global Environmental Data Initiative, joined OS last November to work alongside Peter ter Haar, OS' director of product and innovation, on delivering the hub.

Armour said: "One of the biggest challenges facing the geospatial industry and all those operating in it is innovation. As a major industry body there is a responsibility, and an opportunity, for Ordnance Survey to support the geospatial industry and take it forward with this Innovation Hub.”

She said: "The hub will enable OS and its partners to work collaboratively with fringe industries, new media, digital and emerging technologies. Our industry is evolving - how data is accessed and captured is changing. It is a competitive environment and organisations that remain static risk stagnating.”

The hub will be home to a multifunctional team of “entrepreneurial thinkers” drawn from OS' own ranks and the broader geospatial industry, as well as those new to the industry selected from the developer and new media areas.

OS has its own product development team at its headquarters in Southampton, but the Geospatial Innovation Hub is not only about product development, but a “creative focal point for partnering on open and closed innovation”, said OS.

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