Posts from February 2020

THINKlab handover the MOBILISE digital platform to Sri Lanka’s Disaster Management Centre and National Building Research Organisation

28 February 2020

The MOBILISE team visited Sri Lanka’s Disaster Management Centre (DMC) and National Building Research Organisation (NBRO) to ensure the smooth handover of the new MOBILISE digital platform for strengthening their disaster risk reduction activities.

This visit to Sri Lanka allowed the MOBILISE team to work with the technical and operational teams within both DMC and NBRO to integrate the MOBILISE platform within their existing technical infrastructure and to demonstrate how the MOBILISE platform can be used to upload exposure data and hazard information to establisha deeper understanding of the local risks and implement risk governance strategies.

The donated MOBILISE platform runs on a high-performance computer and uses a state-of-the-art digital touch table to allow multi-agency teams to work together to explore local risks and implement disaster risk reduction strategies, as well as use as an interactive knowledge base for responding to disasters. The research work and donation of the platform have been possible due to the funding received from the UKRI (EPSRC) and Global Challenges Research Fund in UK.

The platform which supports disaster risk reduction strategies and response will eventually help DMC to reduce the impact of natural disasters (such as flooding and landslides) and is the result of two years of research and development work by the THINKlab at the University of Salford and its partners in Sri Lanka, Malaysia and Pakistan.

The Principal investigator of the MOBILISE project and the Director of the THINKlab, Professor Terrence Fernando, met with Ms. Anoja Seneviratne, Director for Mitigation Research and Development, Brigadier Athula Ariyarathna, Director of the Emergency Operation Centre from DMC and Dr. Asiri Karunawardene, Director General of NBRO along with several other Directors to demonstrate the MOBILISE platform and provide initial training for the staff.  

Professor Terrence Fernando said: “This is the first step towards bringing digital innovation to the current disaster risk reduction (DRR) and disaster response practices in Sri Lanka. We hope to work closely with the DMC and NBRO team to further enhance the functionality of the MOBILISE platform to ensure the platform is fit for purpose for their DRR and disaster response activities. My hope is that the MOBILISE platform becomes the national platform for DRR and disaster response activities in Sri Lanka and other countries in the region.”

Initiated  in May 2017, the MOBILISE project is due to be completed in December 2020.  However, new funding received from GCRF has now allowed the team to continue this work for another three years.

THINKlab showcase work as part of Greater Manchester Digital Blueprint launch event

14 February 2020

THINKlab were asked to exhibit at the launching of the Greater Manchester Digital Blueprint, a citywide initiative organised by the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) which aims to help the city region’s residents lead healthier and happier lives.

The event set out a refreshed digital strategy blueprint for Greater Manchester for the next three years and included key speakers Andy Burnham, Mayor of Greater Manchester, Elise Wilson, Councillor and Leader of Stockport Council, Lou Cordwell, OBE and CEO of Magnetic North and Sarah Todd, Chief Executive of Trafford Council.

THINKlab showcased their recently launched MOBILISE digital platform and the work they have undertaken with the Environment Agency, namely two resilience based digital platforms which enable multi-agency collaborative working and which are aligned to the Blueprint’s five digital priorities. The digital platforms were presented on high performance equipment which allowed the team to fully engage with delegates and demonstrate how the design of the platforms build city resilience and sustainability with their partners and stakeholders.  

Director of THINKlab, Professor Terrence Fernando, said: “We’re delighted to be involved with this key event for Greater Manchester. Creating sustainable cities requires a stronger collaboration between a range of public and private sector organisations to ensure cities are safer, healthier, and are intelligent and prosperous places for citizens to experience an enhanced quality of life. We have developed a range of novel technology platforms that will allow public and private organisations in a city to utilise the power of their data intelligence to make collective evidence-based decisions to address the challenges faced by cities.

THINKlab have an experienced R&D team who can develop customised technology platforms for bringing city information into a discussion space through advanced visualisation and interaction technologies. The team have further extended the toolset available within these platforms to improve disaster resilience and help tackle the climate change challenges in different parts of the world.”