London-based Asset Mapping has developed an online platform which will enable people to better orchestrate their buildings and infrastructure. The platform plots data from disparate systems into a single intuitive map, where users can see their assets along with important contextual information, in real-time.
Asset Mapping, which is a finalist in the RBS Innovation Gateway Initiative, hopes to help RBS to identify new opportunities for energy saving by visualising the physical assets across their estate. The company claims that the scope for making savings is enormous, with studies already showing how public buildings may be able to cut their energy bills by almost a half by establishing better energy efficiency practices.
RBS has identified energy prices as a key concern, with prices doubling in recent years and set to rise further. While current technology may help them meet 25% of their resource efficiency targets, they are committed to making even further energy savings.
In order to tackle this next 75%, RBS has begun a huge drive to harness innovative new ideas. The Innovation Gateway Initiative will allow RBS to work with SMEs to showcase their work and develop new solutions for the bank.
Marcela Navarro, who is leading the initiative, feels the project has already been a success. “The quality and the range of ideas from companies like Asset Mapping has been phenomenal. With the Finalists in place we can now say that the Innovation Gateway is real, with people like Asset Mapping supporting it with ideas that could create real outcomes for RBS.”
Bill Clee, CEO of Asset Mapping, said: “This is a great opportunity and we are incredibly proud that RBS have recognised our hard work by selecting our platform. RBS are developing an ecosystem of innovative companies to solve some big world challenges that face not just large estates like RBS but cities generally. Our platform can play a huge role, bringing everything together and making it work efficiently.
“RBS have done some great work to get to this point. We believe Asset mapping can play a major role in helping them to meet the next 75%; we’re uniquely placed to help bring legacy buildings online and start making the kinds of changes that will lead to real energy savings. It’s got the makings of a great partnership.”
Having been named as a finalist, Asset Mapping is now just one step away from a partnership with RBS. On 10 November 2014 it will make a ‘Dragon’s Den’ style final pitch at RBS’s London headquarters, where a team of experts will assess their solution.
Navarro said: “The next step is about demonstration. For Asset Mapping, it’s about outputs - demonstrating that their talent and innovation will bring tangible value for RBS.”
If successful, the company will begin bringing online some of the bank’s extensive property portfolio. With an estate of almost 2,500 buildings across the country, RBS has both enormous challenges and enormous opportunities for making savings.
Bill Clee believes his company is up to the task: “Asset Mapping and this project were made for each other. We know the scale of the savings we can bring about, and with the new hardware becoming available, our platform can really thrive on a project like this. For the first time we have a practical way to make the Internet of Things a reality.
The Asset Mapping platform
The Asset Mapping team have been developing their platform since May 2012, when their experiences working on the Olympic Games led them to recognise the chronic inefficiency of current systems for managing the built environment.
The root of the problem lies with the conception and management of critical assets. From generators and air conditioning to security cameras, we depend on these assets for our productivity and safety and rightly invest billions of pounds on them.
However, once this money is spent, the assets are typically forgotten about. This neglect is astonishingly expensive and represents a huge invisible drain on businesses and the economy at large.
Currently, data about assets is inaccessible; locked away in spreadsheets, specialist computer software or on paper. In the absence of accurate real-time data, managers and engineers are forced to be reactive; unable to anticipate predictable problems, and with inadequate information to deal with them efficiently when they arise.
Asset Mapping has developed a solution to this problem. The central idea is simple: find out where things are and measure their health in real time.
To do this, Asset Mapping draws together disparate building data into a single platform. Its platform can draw together data from siloed sources including BIM, Autocad and other Computer aided design (CAD) drawings. It then allows users to view the data in an intuitive and contextualised form.
The data is mapped onto Google Maps, where it can be accessed in real time by operatives, giving an accurate and consistent representation of the built environment and the assets within.
This data allows managers to interact with the built environment in a wholly new way. They will have access to a depth and granularity of data beyond that currently possible, and can harmonise critical assets with the workforce which operates them, making the most of both assets and the skilled engineers needed to maintain them.
The platform is non-proprietary, and the company welcomes the involvement of third parties. Already it is looking into collaborations, including working with Intel to develop interoperability with their Moon Island stack. Asset Mapping is a longstanding member of the open standard consortium, HyperCat, which it intends to use to add plug-and-play functionality to the built environment.
The Internet of Things has been talked about for years. Asset Mapping CEO Bill Clee said: “With HyperCat and the new hardware from Intel, connecting to buildings can be like plugging a flash drive into a computer… For the first time we have a practical way to make the Internet of Things a reality.”
The company believes the RBS shortlisting represents a strong further endorsement of Asset Mapping’s vision and pragmatism, which has already attracted funding the Technology Strategies Board (now Innovate UK). Asset Mapping operates out of Level 39, Canary Wharf’s technology accelerator space. For more information see: www.assetmapping.com