18. June 2018

Helsinki 2017 – Workshop on innovative services for extreme weather events in the project ANYWHERE

Innovative services in extreme weather events are the aim of the EU project ANYWHERE. At the end of last year, the second workshop of the project took place, to which numerous stakeholders followed the invitation of the consortium to Helsinki.

Extreme weather events pose great risks to people, their property and the public infrastructure. This is where the EU research project ANYWHERE comes in. Scientists are working together with industry to develop a weather early warning system. In September, more than 30 research and industry partners of the project met with other users in Helsinki for the second official project workshop. Other user organizations were logistics and supply chain management companies as well as providers of weather data and civil protection services.

The "Product Creation" workgroup of the Heinz Nixdorf Institute coordinates several case studies across Europe and develops methods of strategic planning with the goal of innovation. Together with the Finnish Ministry of the Interior, researchers are using the IT system to help with weather-related power outages. Falling trees in Scandinavia often lead to large-scale failures in the power grid, since the current flows mainly on outdoor lines. "Our system gives the service technicians advance information on where it could lead to weather-related failures. So the technicians plan their use before. As soon as the storm no longer poses a threat, the system sends the employees to the maintenance-requiring locations, "explains Philipp Scholle from the project team headed by Prof. Iris Gräßler.

Accompanying the presentation of the results of the case studies from Finland, Italy, Spain and Switzerland, the results were discussed at a project fair. The contribution of the scientists from Paderborn was an IT system that supports potential users in the planning, development and market development of novel services. "That creates opportunities for new markets. We also formulate support for companies that want to use our tools in the future. This also includes pointing out ethical and legal issues, such as data protection, and showing a realistic assessment of the market opportunities for possible products", says Dr.-Ing. Jens Pottebaum, who coordinates the case studies.

The "Product Creation" workgroup is developing novel approaches to strategic planning, which will allow potential users to plan with minimum future costs based on future scenarios and evaluate market opportunities. The results will be validated within the case studies. More than 30 cooperation partners from research and industry are working on ANYWHERE as part of the research and innovation program Horizon 2020. The EU is funding the entire project until the end of 2019 with around twelve million euros.

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