« A new UK start-up company is about to revolutionize the way in which civil engineering and construction companies choose where to build, by telling them what’s under the ground before they start digging. The information could potentially save companies millions of pounds by avoiding ancient burial grounds and other archaeologically important sites.
When any big construction project starts, or a major road or rail line is cut through the British countryside, there needs to be an archaeological investigation to ensure that historic sites are not destroyed. This can cost a company substantial amounts of money and add long delays in construction time.
Democrata, a data-analytics company based at the Harwell Campus in Oxfordshire, has been given access to the world leading high performance computing and big data analysis capabilities of the Science and Technology Facilities Council’s (STFC) Hartree Centre at Sci-Tech Daresbury in Cheshire, to develop a way to predict the risk of such delays. The company won access to the Centre as part of a competition run in conjunction with the Open Data Institute, which enabled them to access to some of the UK’s best big data analysts and facilities.
Lee Hannis, Business Development Manager for the Hartree Centre, says, « We have the facilities, the skills and the people that enable the project to work. The Democrata team recognised the business opportunities of using open data to create something commercially viable. The Hartree Centre has provided the people who can deliver the data analytics and visualisation to accelerate that process, to the point where Democrata now has something tangible to demonstrate to its customers. » »
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By Marion O’sullivan