Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Awarding Innovation in 2013

Congratulations AGI Award 2013 Winners!
Last week’s blog (a review of the AGI Cymru event) has been slightly delayed, largely due to me being too busy working on events to write about them. However the final event of the year took place last Thursday, the AGI awards! Today’s entry will be a quick overview of the awards and what they mean to the community. AGI Cymru will get its turn on Thursday with a full round up of the event.

Anyway the awards... First up, why do we do them? Well apart from being a nice cheerful note to end the year on the awards serve a very real purpose. The AGI exists to further the reach and impact of GI in the UK (for the betterment of wider society and the economy). As well as increasing awareness of GI this also means promoting innovation and excellence within the community and just as importantly, shouting about it when it occurs! As well as providing recognition for the achievements of the winners the awards also showcase their ideas to others in the industry.

The awards followed a slightly different format this year (apparently, I wasn't
Iain's Winning Presentation
here last year) with presentations from the winners of each showcase’s best paper award. Combined with the winners from GeoCommunity this meant that attendees were treated to the best of the conference content from the year in one go. Unfortunately due to some rather inclement weather combined with our Scottish
members’ prolific success at the awards we were short a couple of speakers. Luckily Iain Langlands our best paper winner from GeoCommunity arrived just in time to present his Future Cities Demonstrator paper, albeit after a slightly hairy flight down from Glasgow.

Following on from this was the ceremony itself. The awards are presented for innovation and best practice in a variety of categories and we had some very strong submissions this year as can be seen by the joint winners in one category (too good to choose between). The categories are:
Central Government - States of Guernsey (Sponsored by: Compass Informatics)
Local Public Services - Warwickshire County Council and Central & SW Wales Shared ICT Services (Sponsored by: Ordnance Survey)
Private Sector – Island GIS (Sponsored by GIStandards)
Charitable Status – Canal and River Trust (Sponsored by Scisys)
Business Case and ROI – Thomson Ecology (Sponsored by ConsultingWhere)
Student of the Year - Andy Bell Queen’s University Belfast (Sponsored by 1Spatial)

This year we also had a new award, the INSPIRE for SMEs award. This award is being run as part of the EU funded smeSpire programme. This programme has been created to help SMEs operating in GI take
Our latest award being presented
advantage of the challenges organisations are facing from INSPIRE implementation. This award was won by Linknode.

Post Awards Drinks at RGS
We also ran a number of best paper awards but I am aware that another list might be pushing it a bit, the details of the winners can be found here. There are some really excellent papers on there and most of them can be found under the relevant events page on the website (and will be available in a much more intuitive way on the new website next year).

Finally I just wanted to say congratulations to all the award winners and thank you to all the sponsors who made the awards possible. We might be shaking things up with the awards next year as we've had a few ideas about how we can better engage with an encourage innovation both within and beyond our membership. Watch this space, January is going to be a storm of exciting announcements!

P.S. Congratulations to Abigail and Angharad
our Volunteers of the Year.

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