31 Aug 2015

Startup profile: Flood Network

By Jessica

In the run up to BGV Demo Day on 16th September we’re profiling the 10 startups on our summer accelerator programme. In the first of this series Ben Ward and Tom Nickson introduce Flood Network. 

What’s the big problem you’re trying to solve?

People being hurt by floods. Damaging floods happen due to dense population, over full waterways and changing weather patterns. We want to help planners reduce the risk of future floods by improving flood modelling, and help mitigate the effects of floods by providing targeted and timely warnings for emergency responders.

What’s your experience with that problem? 

Oxford was flooded badly in 2013, meaning we couldn’t get into work. Ben was on the edge of his seat watching the water creep up to his recently bought house. We want to apply our specialities to help solve this problem by bringing wireless sensor networks and data science to bear.

What’s your solution?

We can improve the quantity and quality of data about water levels using our state-of-the-art wireless sensors. These allow an order of magnitude – more sensors to be placed – for the same cost, and remove many restrictions on location due to solar power and wireless data.

With our data science expertise, we can provide estimates of levels in rivers without sensors and predict future flood events. We can also target locations for new sensors which minimise uncertainty in the country wide network.

How will this impact the lives of millions?

We can use our data to predict floods more accurately than is currently done, and improve water models to fix the problems in planning. In the UK alone this will improve many lives, however other countries stand to gain even more.

How can people help? 

We want to talk to councils, developers, hydrologists and civil engineers to expand our sensor networks into the most interesting places. We’d also love to hear from people who would be able to host one of our community sensors in the Oxford area.

email:  hello@flood.network
twitter:  @flood_network
LinkedIn: flood-network


photo credit: Tejvan Pettinger licensed CC BY 2.0