SkillsPlanner formally launched: Seme4’s £1.3m collaboration with government and industry to address skills shortages

Seme4’s collaboration between central government, local councils, universities, contractors, suppliers, industry bodies, training providers and Ethos (a network of social entrepreneurs who find innovative and sustainable solutions to complex problems), SkillsPlanner, has been formally launched.

Stage 1 of the project will last 2 years and will focus on the skills gap in the construction industry in London and South-East England and includes large-scale projects such as HS2, the Thames Tideway Tunnel and Crossrail.

Seme4 is providing the software infrastructure for the project, which will allow current and future employment needs to be shared widely. This will enable better planning and delivery of training and skills provision and reduce costs for both government and industry.

£827k of the £1.3m was secured by successfully bidding for funding from Innovate UK‘s Collaborative Research and Development Programme, which provides investment for innovative and collaborative research and development projects that increase the resilience, quality of life or economic performance of urban areas.

Slides from the presentation given by Seme4 founding partner and founder of the Open Data Institute Professor Sir Nigel Shadbolt at the launch event can be found here.

A video of SkillsPlanner partners and customers discussing the project can be found here.

The Web Science Observatory – The Challenges of Analytics over Distributed Linked Data Infrastructures

A paper by Wendy Hall, Thanassis Tiropanis, Ramine Tinati, Xin Wang, Markus Luczak-Rösch and Elena Simperl on Web Observatories. The opportunities for Big Data analytics are discussed, as well as the challenges, including the balance between fewer machines and data sets giving high performance on the one hand and a large number of distributed, diverse data sets potentially giving lower performance on the other hand.

http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/361437/1/ERCIM-69_p29-30.pdf

RailGB: Using Open Accessibility Data to Help People with Disabilities

A paper by Yunjia Li, E.A. Draffan, Hugh Glaser, Ian Millard, Russell Newman, Mike
Wald, Gary Wills and Magnus White, describing RailGB, a new linked-data driven mobile web application which provides searches for underground train stations in London which are easily accessible (for disabled people or those carrying heavy loads).

Unlike most applications which use static web sites, RailGB reacts dynamically to users’ needs whilst travelling.

http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/345829/1/iswc2012sc.pdf

Open data and charities

A report by Wendy Hall, Nigel Shadbolt, Thanassis Tiropanis, Kieron O’Hara and Tim Davies, describing the ways in which the charitable sector can utilise Open Data to improve intelligence gathering, the targeting of services, knowledge sharing and collaboration with other organisations. The report also discusses technical and organisational challenges in the use of Open Data and makes recommendations for its implementation in the charitable sector.

http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/341346/1/Open_Data_and_Charities.pdf