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2016 Geovation Challenge – ‘How can we better manage water in Britain, sustainably?’


Competition offering cash prizes for the most innovative ideas that can be turned into a commercial success. The 2016 Geovation Challenge question is ‘How can we better manage water in Britain, sustainably?’

Funding body:                      Ordnance Survey
Maximum value:                  £ 20,000
Application deadline:          27/01/2016
Location:                               United Kingdom


The Geovation Challenge was initiated, funded and managed by Ordnance Survey. Its current collaborators include Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs, Environment Agency, OCG, Springwise and United Utilities.

Objectives of Fund

The GeoVation Challenge aims to encourage open collaboration in addressing communities’ needs where geography is a key enabler. Open innovation, data, tools and information can be combined to create new ventures which generate social and environmental value.

The current GeoVation Challenge is focused on tackling the global issues around water. The Geovation Challenge question is ‘How can we improve water use in Britain sustainably?

Value Notes

The Programme is divided into two parts:

  • Part one (phases one to three over a period of six months) provides a total of £10,000 in funding.
  • Part two (for those who successfully deliver a prototype at the end of this and move on to phase four which is another six months on the Programme) provides an additional £10,000 in funding.

Funding will be given during each of the phases to progress the idea to the next level.

Those who are successful at phase four will receive help in seeking extra funding so that they have more than one source of investment and can move toward product launch.

Match Funding Restrictions

Match funding is not a specified requirement.

 Who Can Apply

The Challenge is open to UK based organisations and residents over 18 years of age. This includes community groups, entrepreneurs, developers, innovators and local authorities.

Those who join the Programme will be expected to spend a minimum of 20 hours per week working on their project and attending core workshops at the Geovation Hub in London.


The following cannot enter the competition:

  • Members of the civil service.
  • Individuals involved in the administration of the GeoVation Awards Programme.

Eligible Expenditure

This year’s GeoVation Challenge is focused on tackling the global issues around water.

Ideas must help address the GeoVation Challenge question: ‘How can we better manage water in Britain, sustainably?’

The Geovation Water Challenge is focusing on five themes:

  • Too little water.
  • Too much water.
  • Poor water quality.
  • Ageing infrastructure.
  • Water use behaviour.

How To Apply


The deadine for submission is 27 January 2016.

Frequency: Biannual

Link to guidelines:

Useful Links


Geovation Challenge 2015: Water

Useful Contacts

Ordnance Survey
Urban Innovation Centre
1 Sekforde Street
Clerkenwell Green


If you are interested please contact the funding development team within RKEO.




Professor Adrian Newton in National Geographic

BU’s Professor Adrian Newton has featured in a National Geographic article ‘Apples of Eden: Saving the Wild Ancestor of Modern Apples’.

Reporter Josie Glausiusz explores the endangered wild fruit trees of Central Asia, drawing on Professor Newton’s expertise and experiences working to protect the fruit and nut forests in Kyrgyzstan.

In the article Professor Newton explains the genetic importance of the fruit there: “All of the apples that we’re eating today and cultivating originate from this area. So if we want to add genetic variation to our crops to cope with new pests or climate change, then the genetic resource is these forests. It’s true for apples, apricots, peaches, walnuts, pears. In terms of a wild genetic resource for cultivated fruit trees, there’s nothing like it on the planet.”

Read the full article, ‘Apples of Eden: Saving the Wild Ancestor of Modern Apples’, online here.

Find out about the Biodiversity, Environmental Change and Green Economy research theme

Staff and students have been extremely but successfully busy undertaking policy-relevant, interdisciplinary research science aimed at: increasing understanding of environmental change and its impacts on biodiversity, ecosystems services, the physical environment and human livelihoods, evaluating environmental management options and policy responses, developing sustainable solutions to enhance environmental conditions and human wellbeing.

Research into the green economy has included carbon storage and management, renewable energy, green tourism, sustainable design, leadership of sustainable development, and the linkages between the environment and the economy. 

Our research continues to be internationally recognized, as demonstrated in publications in leading journals like Science, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, ISME Journal (Nature’s Group), Proceedings of the Royal Society Series B, PLoS, Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society, Quaternary Science Reviews, and Journal of Human Evolution, amongst many others. We recently launched a globally unique Masters degree in the Green Economy, which is delivered by distance learning.  Fish Ecology was defined as a world leader by SCOPUS citation rankings in 2012.

PhD student numbers have increased by 200% since 2007 due to our success at attracting external funding for BU’s novel match-funded PhD programme, and increased success at winning externally funded PhD studentships.

Our contribution to the Festival of Learning was substantial – we organised 16 events and activities, all of them well attended and enjoyed by attendees. This included a series of events to commemorate the centenary of the death of Alfred Russel Wallace. As the co-discoverer of the theory of evolution with Charles Darwin, as well as founding the discipline of biogeography, Wallace has left a substantial scientific legacy. A wildlife walk was held culminating in a visit to the monument marking Wallace’s final resting place. One suspects that Wallace himself would have enjoyed the wildlife walk most of all, complete with encounters with snakes, beautiful butterflies and remarkable slaver ants – all elements of Dorset’s wonderful biodiversity.  Wallace 100 Celebration does not end here! A forthcoming event will take place on 12th of October in partnership with Thomas Hardye School (Dorchester).

The Poole & Purbeck Portal successfully launched in March this year, funded by Fusion. The portal is an on-line community to promote better understanding of our region’s unique natural and heritage assets.  Exciting opportunities, knowledge and expertise are shared on the Portal, creating a gateway for new collaborations across the region.  We invite you to join us by registering your interest on

Dr Genoveva Esteban

School of Applied Sciences


Sign up to the Biodiversity, Environmental Change and Green Economy research themes here:

Your Name (required)

Your Email (required)

Your School / Professional Service (required)

Staff or PGR student? (required)

Please select the themes that you are interested in (required)

Discourses of Inclusion and Exclusion Conference – new sustainability symposium theme

I am co-ordinating a symposium on Issues of Inclusivity in the Sustainable University at the DPR annual conference to be held at the University of Greenwich, 9-11 April, 2013. The link is here.

If DPR (Discourse, Power Resistance) is new to you, it is worth saying that DPR is an annual conference, now in its thirteenth year, with an established and increasing international reputation: in 2012 41 nations were represented at the conference. Perhaps the simplest way to tell you about the conference is to give you some links. The conference website is here. You can find a list of DPR publications here together with a link to the conference journal: Power and Education.

Please consider submitting an abstract.

Chris Shiel

European Innovation Partnerships Updated Website and FAQs

You may remember I recently  published a blog post on Partnering in Research and Innovation which laid out the EC’s plans for how to improve partnering across Europe for research in Horizon 2020. This was particularly relevant for BU as topics included are Active and Healthy Ageing. The EC has recently updated its European Innovation Partnerships website and has added a FAQ section. The website now has a separate section on each of the three EIPs:

  1. Active and Healthy Ageing;
  2. Raw Materials;
  3. Agricultural Productivity and Sustainability.

The EIP on Active and Healthy Ageing was the first Partnership to be set up, and there are several pilot calls currently open under different programmes for projects in support of its Strategic Implementation Plan (please see the “Funding” section of the EIP Active and Healthy Ageing part of the website).

The FAQs contain questions and answers on topics such as:

  • the role of the Strategic Implementation Plan for an EIP;
  • how funding will be provided for Strategic Implementation Plans;
  • the timing for possible new EIPs;
  • the role of the Steering Group and Action Groups for the Active and Healthy Ageing EIP; and
  • the role envisaged for EIPs in implementing Horizon

I would recommend taking 10 mins out of your day to check out oen of the EIP websites if the areas are relevant for you.

Can’t make forthcoming EU Environment events? Don’t worry, you can watch them on ESKTN TV!

The Environmental Sustainability Knowledge Transfer Network’s (KTN) live webstreaming service ESKTN TV is bringing 2 events to you in May to help with your EU activity. And the good news is you don’t have to leave your desk!

On the 11th, they will be in London at the 2012 CIP Eco-innovation funding call UK National Information Day where National Contact Point Ewa Bloch and Astrid Geiger, Deputy Head of Eco-innovation at the Executive Agency for Competitiveness & Innovation (EACI) will tell you everything you need to know about this important funding opportunity for collaborative eco-innovation projects.

On the 16th they will be webcasting from Dublin, where the KARIM IWA WCE 2012 Open Forum is taking place at the World Congress on Water, Climate and Energy. This event will showcase knowledge and emerging technologies for environmental solutions in water and agriculture from Lancaster University, University College Dublin and organizations from across North West Europe, including rapid fire pitches from SMEs with business and research project ideas.

Both events will be covered LIVE on ESKTN TV. You can see preview trailers for both events there now, and on our YouTube channel where you can also catch up on past ESKTN TV recordings.

4th World Business Ethics Forum – 16-18 December 2012, Hong Kong

The 4th World Business Ethics Forum (WBEF) will be held from 16 to 18 December 2012 by the School of Business of Hong Kong Baptist University (HKBU).  BU have received an invitation to submit papers for presentation at the Conference.

The theme for this 4th WBEF is Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Sustainability.  HKBU welcome research papers related to this broad theme.  Suggested topics include:

Dimensions and theories of CSR; CSR and risk management; CSR and business ethics; CSR and strategic management; CSR and corporate sustainability; CSR and corporate governance; CSR reporting and capital market; Corporate sustainability management; Legal issues of CSR; CSR in Asia; CSR in China; CSR education; CSR case studies; CSR in western perspectives; and other related issues.

They anticipate that over 150 scholars and professionals across the world will attend the Conference.  Selected papers from the Conference will be published in a special issue of Journal of Business Ethics.

The deadline for paper submission is 30th June 2012.  Please submit the full paper and enquiries to the Conference Secretariat at  Email submissions in Word format are strongly preferred.  Submission of full paper for review indicates that it or a similar version has not been previously published or is not simultaneously under review elsewhere.  Each submission should include FULL contact details, including the author(s)’ brief bio, institution affiliation, mailing address, telephone and fax number, e-mail address, topic area (up to three topics selected from the above).  Full paper should not be more than 40 pages in double-line spacing (all inclusive) and must follow the style guidelines of the Journal of Business Ethics (JBE).

For more details of the Conference, please visit the web site at  The Conference Committee will select full papers on a competitive basis, and author(s) will be notified by September 2012.

Santander Universities USA programmes 2012

For the second year, Santander Universities UK is pleased to be able to inform you of the details about 6 key summer programmes supported by Santander at Harvard, Brown, UCLA and the University of Pennsylvania, with the opportunity to participate being made available to all partner institutions within of our Santander Universities global network.

These initiatives are designed to attract a distinguished audience interested in issues such as global law, sustainability, leadership and research.

Students, alumni and academic staff from your university, as part of the Santander Universities network are eligible for these opportunities, and we believe, with an opportunity like this not to be missed, we would really like to see a strong contingent from UK students and staff benefiting from this support.



1) BROWN BIARI – Brown – Updated Flyer

Brow International Advanced Research Institutes – BIARI Program Dates:

9th – 23rd June 2012 Deadline for applications: 17th February 2012

The Brown International Advanced Research Institutes (BIARI) is directed to young faculty and professionals from around the world to address pressing global issues through innovative research and pedagogy. The program takes place from June 9th-23rd, 2012.

2) HARVARD IGLP Workshop – Harvard – US PROGRAMS

Harvard Law School – Institute for Global Law&Policy IGLP Workshop

Program Dates: May 30th – June 8th 2012 Deadline for applications: Feb 15th

The Harvard Law School offers the IGLP program: The Workshop is designed for doctoral and post-doctoral scholars and aims to promote innovative ideas and alternative approaches to issues of global law,economic policy and social justice in the aftermath of the economic crisis. The program dates are from May 30th to June 8th 2012.

3) UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA  Trendlab on Sustainability – UPenn – US PROGRAMS

THE WHARTON SCHOOL Trendlab on Sustainability Program Dates: April 9th – 13th 2012 Deadline for applications: March 1st The Pen Lauder CIBER Summer Institute Program

Dates: June 10th – 15th 2012 Deadline for applications: April 16th 2012

Through the Lauder Institute, the University of Pennsylvania offers two programs. One is a workshop and conference from faculty and researchers designed to bring together a group of scholars and policy makers with backgrounds in science, engineering, management, and the social sciences. The program dates are: April 9th-13th, 2012

The other program is the CIBER Summer Institute, which trains educators in curriculum and lesson planning oriented toward professional content and contexts, focusing on a learner-centred approach to business language instruction. This workshop takes place from June 10th-15th, 2012. 

CIBER Summer Institute – UPenn – US PROGRAMS


Negotiation Program for Administration in University Program Dates:

May 9th – 11th 2012 Deadline for applications: March 26th 2012

W50 Leadership Program for Women W50 Program – UCLA – US PROGRAMS

Program Dates: June 10th – 15th 2012

Deadline for applications: March 26th 2012

Reflections on a conference – challenging your own assumptions

In January I presented at the Eighth International Conference on Environmental, Cultural, Economic and Social Sustainability which took place in Vancouver. The conference focuses on the idea that sustainability is best understood in a holistic way. 

When you go to a conference it is too easy to get caught up in anxiety about delivering your own paper, at this conference I was determined to maximise my learning opportunities (and be relaxed about my paper) so crammed in as many sessions as I could.  I made a lot of contacts; I also learned so much which challenged my own thinking, even more so because the conference is multi –disciplinary and very inclusive. I attended sessions ranging from economic models for sustainability, campus initiatives, social and cultural implications, and perspectives from art, sociology, engineering and literature. 

It was great to have my assumptions challenged about US perspectives in relation to carbon and the environment (it is too easy to see the USA as a carbon guzzler). It was also interesting to see the ‘political’ arise in academic debate (Republican views v Democratic) with subsequent falling out!

Many USA and Canadian universities are aiming for zero carbon by 2050. Some are aiming for zero waste by 2020. They all want to grow by up to 30% so new buildings are being conceptualised which are carbon neutral from the outset. Canada may have pulled back from Kyoto but their universities are forging ahead with SD. There were some exciting presentations and lots of new things to think about. 

What struck me particularly, apart from ‘we need to up our game here’  was learning what sustainable development means from a Southern perspective and the impossible task confronted by developing countries who are trying to secure economic sustainability but struggling with climate change, and struggling with the pollution  left as a result of western activities and needs. In the Niger Delta it will take 25-30 years to clean up the pollution left by oil companies and cost 1bn (UNEP, 2011). Oil accounts for 80% of Nigeria’s revenue but the benefits are not being felt – the region is characterised by conflict. I did not know that they flare off their gas for starters. I had not realised the extent to which the wetland and coastal marine eco-system was being contaminated. I also had not realised that so many water projects have been abandoned in Nigeria, that individuals are often forced to drill their own bore holes (and fight for water). In Sub Saharan Africa 4000-6000 children die each day as a result of water born diseases. 

I came away from the conference fired up to take action but wanting to share a couple of points:

  • Don’t be so focused on your own perspective that you forget to really listen to others.
  • Don’t be so focused on getting your own paper over, to the extent that you reduce the opportunity to learn and develop networks
  • A multi-disciplinary focus really stimulates new thinking – while we are each working in our respective disciplines and research themes, it is important to seek opportunities to share with those who may seem different/more difficult to work with than those who have a similar world view- you might learn more from the challenge and develop new ideas.

Please contact me if you would like to hear more about the conference.

Chris Shiel, Associate Professor, Centre for Global Perspectives

Green Economy and sustainability workshop yesterday

GREEN ECONOMY AND SUSTAINABILITY – post presentation notes

FUSION – smarter way of working, many have already been working in this way. Research informs education; education (students) may be subjects of research and co-producers; both may inspire PP. PP can influence research, be subject of research and feeds back into education.

THEME – offers excitement and sharing which could enhance all aspects of the fusion triangle through collaboration across disciplines


ACT NOW to seize window of opportunity. The language for Rio+20 in 2012 reinforces the terms ‘Green economy’. Negotiations leading to Rio are underway with the argument being that the way to sustainable development is to put green growth at the heart of economic development strategies while at the same time reducing pollution and green house gasses, maintaining biodiversity and reducing inefficient use of natural resources. The time to get material out and seek to influence is now.

INTER-DISCIPLINARY research/perspectives are required to address SD and develop solutions. There are gaps in the literature in a number of areas. Perhaps a future session might articulate the current gaps?

THINK PIECES might be developed to get out externally but as a starting point this might be used internally to enable the group to learn about the diversity of perspectives within the group. Need a way to share these that is internal ‘Google docs’ might be useful. Need something to support collaborative working either asynchronous but preferably synchronous.

FUTURE EVENTS and collaborations

  • Forums – opportunities for collaboration and sharing
  • Importance of tangible outputs
  • Paper writing sessions – focused collaborative working where paper is drafted by end
  • Book – collection of chapters but with caveat about impact
  • Edited volume of papers

STICK IT COMMENTS ideas and areas of interest:

  • Use the database of GKE interest people, augment it with thought pieces and make it available
  • BU – cross school collaboration with community lead projects = impact at grass roots level e.g. DECC bid with energy saving; TT Dorchester.
  • Short policy papers supported by a new cornerstone text (e.g. Blueprint for a Green Economy or Our Common Future
  • Green health issues – how can this link?
  • Sustainable Tourism/ Eco tourism
  • Recognition of value of nature capital in leisure
  • Renewable energy
  • Green consumer profile
  • Green Lifestyle
  • Green supply chain
  • Resilience of Green Economy
  • Human Behaviour and cooperation (in terms of climate change scenarios
  • Motivational behaviour
  • Impacts of ‘Greentec’ (Social Environmental Economic)
  • Social justice
  • Leadership for SD
  • Systemic thinking/futures thinking – envisioning alternative lifestyles
  • Contradictions and challenges within greener economy and economic growth

Funding available for EU sustainable development indicators & audiovisual production and statistics

Eurostat has funding available for two topics:

Tenders submitted under ‘Publications and an audiovisual production on European Union sustainable development indicators‘ should  review the knowledge relating to this field in the EU by carrying out conceptual work and analyses and drawing up a draft manual as a citizens’ guide to assessing sustainable development. Funding is worth up to €200,000 over six months and the deadline is 28.07.11.

Tenders submitted under EU Statistics should focus on income and living conditions methodological studies and publications; statistics on high-tec industries, knowledge-based services and human resources in science and tehcnology; statistics on innovation; patent statistics, with a focus on patenting by SMEs; methodological development of statistics on crime and criminal justice. The overall budget for this call is €1.75 million over 36 months and the deadline is 28.07.11.

Networking Opportunities at BU conference

The 4th International Conference on Education for Sustainable Development and Global Citizenship (Global Vision, Local Action), is taking place on the 8th and 9th September at the Executive Business Centre . This conference will provide a great opportunity for staff development and an excellent platform for staff to network and engage with like-minded academics for potential research collaborations.