The Data Lab, Highlands & Islands Enterprise, the Scottish Centre of Excellence in Satellite Applications (SoXSA) & the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) launched Scotland's Blue Growth Data Challenge - an open innovation competition which aims to harness creative thinking & data science from across the world to undertake analysis and design new data products for the benefit of Scotland's marine environment & economy.
The Highlands & Islands region of Scotland is a unique marine environment. With its extensive, diverse and beautiful coastline, the Highlands & Islands region has become a thriving hub for marine entrepreneurs, cutting-edge research and financial investment. In addition, with the rapid growth in the availability of data and the power of data technologies, there is an amazing new opportunity for innovation in the region.
Orkney is home to the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC). This is the world’s only accredited centre offering full scale, grid-connected test facilities for developers of wave and tidal energy devices. This year, EMEC are making their datasets openly available for anyone to explore for the first time ever!
Scotland's Blue Growth Data Challenge will reward ingenuity and excellence in applying data science to EMEC's open data with satellite data for the benefit of Scotland's marine environment & economy.
Anyone can take part. If you are studying, working with or researching data or the marine environment and you believe that you can creatively work with open data to create a useful output, please get involved and take part in the Blue Growth Data Challenge!
What is 'Blue Growth'?
The Marine Economy spans multiple interdependent industries related to the oceans, seas and coasts. The inshore marine area in the UK is becoming more accessible and better understood through a number of technological advances allowing its economic potential to be realised. The Highlands & Islands region of Scotland is uniquely placed to enable rapid expansion with its distinct biological and physical environment. This has already been recognised with an estimated economic contribution of up to £1.8 billion into the UK economy annually.
There are huge opportunities to maximise the value of these unique assets through understanding the various data sets available, strengthening not only the future economy of the Highlands & Islands but generating major value to Scotland and the UK, Wave and tidal power are of particular interest along with other areas such as tourism and transportation.
What is a 'Data Challenge'?
A data challenge is a competition that uses open data to generate new ideas for 'data products.'
The Blue Growth Data Challenge will take the form of an open release of EMEC and Satellite data, allowing teams and individuals to work on the problem over the summer and submit their idea. If we get some great ideas we will run a challenge event. This is a three-day event in October that will bring the teams together to further develop their ideas for 'data products.'
A data product could be a range of things. It could be a one-off piece of analysis that derives useful insight. It could be interactive visualisation. It could be a short research paper. It could be a new process or service. It could be anything that uses the open data for the benefit of Scotland's marine environment & economy. It does not need to be a commercial idea.
Follow the links to the relevant sections of the Challenge Guidance:
The Blue Growth Data Challenge seeks to generate a range of exciting ways to use open marine and satellite data to benefit Scotland's marine environment & economy.
The Blue Growth Data Challenge is about inciting people to create new or innovative solutions to a problem without predetermining what those solutions will look like. Instead, a challenge will focus on what success against the problem will look like, allowing innovators to develop solutions that will achieve desired outcomes.
We need you to help to design new 'data products' using newly opened EMEC data and open satellite data to benefit Scotland's marine environment & economy.
By entering the Challenge, you join innovators from Scotland and further afield who are working towards the same goal - improving the marine economy and safeguarding the environment of the Highlands & Islands Region.
It is also a great opportunity to learn about using marine and satellite data as well as exploring the unique coastal environment of the Highlands & Islands region of Scotland.
What will happen and when?
3. WHAT WE'RE OFFERING
Why should you get involved?
Satellite Data Training, TIC, Strathclyde University - 12th September
For Scottish-based students & researchers we can offer a free one-day training session with the Scottish Centre of Excellence in Satellite Applications (SoXSA) in Edinburgh. This will help you understand how to use and analyse Sentinel 1 data.
The Challenge Event - 22nd-24th September
Once application forms have been submitted, five teams will be selected to further develop their idea with expert support at a three-day event at the An-Lochran campus in Inverness.
Support will be provided for travel to this event for students/ researchers based in Scotland.
What you can win...
Your team will be crowned the 'Winners of Scotland's Blue Growth Data Challenge' and will receive a package of support to help further develop your idea.
The winning team will be invited to Orkney for a three-night stay. They will visit EMEC and their various sites and this will include an opportunity to meet with the EMEC team to further explore their idea. Meetings will also be arranged with other local agencies as appropriate*.
Other prizes include free tickets to DataFest 2019 and an opportunity to collaborate with SoXSA and develop your idea to full commercialisation. SoXSA will also help unlock funding from the European Space Agency.
*This trip would be for up to a maximum of five people from the winning team for a maximum of three nights. Reasonable costs for travel from within Scotland will be provided.
4. THE DATA
New datasets have been opened by EMEC for the Blue Growth Data Challenge
What is the data?
European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) Data
EMEC have over 30TB of in-situ data that has been generated through data collection programs monitoring the environmental conditions at the test sites. Most of this data has not been analysed.
The data provided describes physical environmental conditions on EMEC sites around Orkney Isles. These include in-situ observations and numerical modelling results covering the year 2015. The data shows:
Observed wave conditions at EMEC’s Billi Croo wave test site;
Meteorological observations in two locations adjacent to wave and tidal test sites, collected using MetPak weather stations;
Data from short tidal current observational campaign using TRDI Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler; and,
Numerical modelling results for four locations around Orkney Isles, showing simulated time series of tidal water level and currents.
It is recommended you read an overview of metocean data and its usage in marine renewables industry. An overview of metocean data and its usage in marine renewables industry is described in: “Guidelines for the use of metocean data through the life cycle of a marine renewable energy development”, that could be downloaded through this link.
EMEC has collected data from 4 Datawell Wave rider buoys, ADCP’s from Teledyne Marine, weather data using Gill Instruments, including a hydrodynamic model using MIKE 21. Below are links to manufacture’s websites.
Access the European Space Agency’s Education and Training web page here. Where you can access a huge amount of information including the basics of what Earth observation is, to how to actually use the data for particular applications.
The toolbox ESA provides to process their data is called SNAP (Sentinel Application Platform). The online tutorials for SNAPcan be found here.
There are other Sentinel satellite missions that provide open data that could provide really useful insight into the challenge. In particular, there are missions that map sea-surface height and ocean topography which may be of use.
How can I access it?
The data is hosted on the U-SMART platform. You will need to create an account to access the data.
We are looking for a range of interesting ideas for data products that meet the needs of a range of possible users:
WAVE & TIDAL POWER
You could look at:
Measuring wave height - especially in-shore
Enhanced weather data
Interpreting satellite imagery where the land meets the sea
Improve measurement accuracy
Support the development of a global tidal database
Measuring wave height in tidal environments is particularly challenging as buoys don’t work, radar isn’t accurate enough and current profilers are expensive. Data may have the potential to fill this gap. Better wave height information could improve the design of floating tidal turbines.
You could look at:
Tracking vessels (including small vessels)
You could look at:
Predicting conditions for watersports
Identifying sheltered areas for safety
You could look at:
Monitoring or predicting algal blooms
You could look at:
Monitoring coastal erosion
Predicting coastal surges & flooding
You could look at:
Identifying plastic pollution
Predicting the movement of plastic pollution
What is a 'Data Product'?
A 'Data Product' is the term we are using to a range of possible outputs for the Blue Growth Data Challenge:
Piece of Analysis
New Service, App or Anything!
6. HOW CAN WE WIN?
When selecting the Finalists for the challenge event, teams will be assessed and selected on the basis of their potential against the judging criteria.
When the winner of the challenge event is selected, Finalists will have to demonstrate how they meet the judging Criteria.
There are three equally-weighted judging Criteria and the information provided below aims to help entrants understand the judges’ expectations.
Criterion 1 - Insight and Impact
The teams should demonstrate a real understanding of a problem or challenge wants to solve and the needs of those involved with the marine economy in the Highlands & Island region of Scotland.
The team should be able to demonstrate how their idea could deliver improvements to currently available practice.
Criterion 2 - Innovation
The idea should be a new or innovative of using the data to support the needs of those involved with the marine economy in the Highlands & Island region of Scotland.
The teams should be able to demonstrate how the idea represents something different from what is already created or available. Your ideas should be something that is new, but also practically useful.
Criterion 3 - Use of Data
The teams should be able to demonstrate how they have or will use the EMEC and/or satellite data to create their 'data product.' Assessors will be looking for the quality, accuracy and suitability of approach of any data analysis.
Selection Process for the Challenge Event
Application forms will be assessed against our judging criteria by a panel from The Data Lab, Highlands & Islands Enterprise, the Scottish Centre of Excellence in Satellite Applications (SoXSA) & the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC). The top five applications will be selected to attend the challenge event from 22-24th October 2018.
At the challenge event, the submission will be assessed and our independent judging panel will select the winner.
7. HOW CAN WE ENTER?
Who can enter?
Anyone can take part in the Blue Growth Data Challenge.
We encourage anyone studying data analytics, data science or marine science in Scotland to take part.
Competitors can be individuals or compete as a team. Teams can include up to a maximum of five participants.
The first step is to register as a participant. This allows you to register for the Webinar on the 20th July and to receive updates about the challenge.
Privacy Notice: Personal information (such as an email address) provided in the registration form will be processed by the University of Edinburgh in its capacity as The Data Lab. The personal information will be used to keep the Applicant(s) informed of progress with the Blue Growth Data Challenge. The personal information will not be processed for any other purpose.Information will be retained for five years.
Once you have registered you can start working on your ideas for a data product using EMEC data, satellite data or other relevant datasets. When you're ready, complete the application form.
To enter, you will submit an application form by 23:59 BST on 28th September 2018.
The Finalists will be announced on 28th September 2018.
Privacy Notice: Personal information (such as an email address) provided in the application form will be processed by the University of Edinburgh in its capacity as The Data Lab. The personal information will be used to keep the Applicant(s) informed of progress with the Blue Growth Data Challenge. The personal information will not be processed for any other purpose. The Application will be shared for reviewing purposes, but all personal information will be removed by The Data Lab prior to sharing. Information will be retained for five years.
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