NEC05921 Market assessment for data from a national soil moisture monitoring network

Lead Research Organisation: NERC Centre for Ecology and Hydrology
Department Name: Rees

Abstract

The Centre for Ecology and Hydrology (CEH) is establishing the first UK soil moisture network, COsmic-ray Soil Moisture Observing System UK (COSMOS-UK). The network delivers exciting new data showing how soil moisture varies across the country with soil type, climate and vegetation using a sensor based on the interaction of cosmic-rays with soil moisture. COSMOS-UK stations measure other environmental variables including temperature, pressure, and wind speed. The large-scale, integrated measure of soil moisture provided by the COSMOS network is unique to all current methods of measuring soil moisture (i.e., point measures), which will enable a step change in fundamental science, particularly, meteorological predictability associated with soil moisture, better models of greenhouse gas emissions from soils and improve our understanding of ecosystem services.

CEH wishes to undertake a market assessment to determine market interest in the provision of soil moisture information products across a range of sectors. The market assessment will answer the following questions:
1) Which industrial sectors have an interest in soil moisture data, what is their need (e.g. spatial and temporal resolution, and service requirement) and for what applications?
2) What is the Value Proposition for such data?

CEH will provide an external consultant proficient in undertaking market assessments with background information on COSMOS and the work undertaken to date. The consultant will undertake secondary research on potential opportunities in the remote sensing sector using the information provided by CEH. The market assessment will involve consultation with market experts to understand the market drivers, applications, value proposition and key potential customers / users. The consultant will also facilitate an Industry Consultation Workshop, organised by CEH, which will explore these questions in greater depth.

The key outputs of the project are:
1) Market assessment report (Month 3)
2) Industry Consultation Workshop and report (Month 4)
3) Recommendations for further action and next steps (Month 4)

The market assessment will provide us with a broad indication of the possible markets available that might benefit from the development of the COSMOS technology, and provide a landscape of evidence. The information will be used to define a potential follow-on project by identifying two or three opportunities that will need a more detailed look and engagement with industry. Evidence gathered through this more detailed approach will be used to define the objectives for the follow-on funding, and allow engagement with end-users throughout the life of the follow-on funding.

Planned Impact

Publically accessible real-time data has the potential to empower all kinds of applied environmental research and services, for example: more accurate meteorological models; better water resource information and future outlooks; improved UK resilience to natural hazards, e.g. by earlier flood warnings; it could improve water use efficiency in crop production and give better crop yield forecasts. It is assumed that more accurate estimates of real-time soil moisture could benefit the Met Office, water utility companies, the Environment Agency through enabling better flood forecasting and a wide variety of agribusinesses. The market assessment will provide a broad indication of the possible markets available that might benefit from the development of the COSMOS technology. The information will be used to define a follow-on project by identifying two or three opportunities that will need a more detailed look and engagement with industry through further market assessment and/or the co-development of products and services.

Publications

10 25 50
 
Description The Market Assessment was very useful informing the project team and CEH of the broad interest that does exist for the kind of data that COSMOS-UK is generating. Discussions with a range of stakeholders resulted from a workshop that was held at the end of the market assessment.
First Year Of Impact 2015
Sector Agriculture, Food and Drink,Environment,Culture, Heritage, Museums and Collections
Impact Types Economic

 
Description Project Web Page 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Participants in your research and patient groups
Results and Impact A dynamic website was developed to highlight the cutting edge developments in the area of the childhood diarrhoea, molecular biology and gut microbiome. A twitter feed was also routinely populated with relevant stories.

A large following of people across the world have been following the twitter feed.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2010,2011
URL http://www.envirochild.org.uk/
 
Description Twitter 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact I raised awareness of both my own research and relevant science globally across my peer group.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014,2015,2016
URL https://twitter.com/OxonAndrew