Super-charging innovation with JBA Labs 
Susannah Brown | Innovation specialist

What is JBA Labs?

JBA Labs is a step-change in the way we approach innovation. Launched in 2022, our accelerator programme is going from strength to strength. With a dedicated team of specialists, JBA Labs is supporting innovators across the business – from scoping out ideas right through to commercialisation. Helping deliver projects at any scale, from creating more efficient processes to developing game-changing innovations.  

Here at JBA innovation is part of our culture. We’re accelerating the pace, efficiency and scale at which we innovate, placing it at the front and centre of everything we do – for our clients, for our business and for our people.  

Innovation ideas since launch
Live projects
Projects involving Artificial Intelligence

Here are just some of the incredible innovations that have been supported by JBA Labs since it was launched. 

Machine learning for Flood Forecasting

This innovation project supported by JBA Labs compares the performance of existing conceptual mathematical models used for flood forecasting, which represent how water is stored and released based on catchment characteristics, with machine learning (LSTM) models. Machine learning models use a data centric approach to build an understanding of how input data such as rainfall, evaporation, temperature, and catchment characteristics relate to flow observed in rivers. Our aim is to offer a practical solution for catchments which are currently difficult to model using current approaches.​ 

Heritage and Wellbeing

We're developing a framework for the collaborative delivery of heritage and wellbeing projects based around landscape settings. This reflects the growing value placed on heritage benefits to wellbeing among heritage organisations who have recently published their stance on the importance of heritage and wellbeing.

Carbon Project Tool

Our project team are developing a tool to calculate carbon savings and provide a quantified, project-specific evidence log to help track JBA’s progress to Net Zero.​ The outputs from the tool will help to initiate discussions around carbon savings and motivate positive interventions. 

Water Vole Survey Methodology

Our project team trialled latrine monitoring rafts for identifying the presence or likely absence of water voles in large landscape projects across England. With the support of JBA Labs, this new approach is due for publication in 2024 and will provide an alternative survey methodology approved by Natural England that removes health and safety risk associated with surveyors working in deep water. 

Non-stationarity analysis

Rainfall frequency statistics are an important ingredient for the design of drainage systems, flood protection and the assessment of surface water flood risk and dam safety. The current UK rainfall frequency method assumes that there is no trend in extreme rainfall over the period of the observed record. With support from JBA Labs, we are applying innovative methods to investigate and mathematically model such trends across the UK.

JBA Prepared

We're developing an innovative emergency planning, training and exercising platform for our clients with support from JBA Labs – bringing together new and existing services and software into one place. The platform will provide regular CPD opportunities to responding staff, enabling teams to build their own exercises, explore scenario content from a bespoke ‘exercise library’ and work with us to deliver training exercises using our exercise management system. 

JSat - JBA's Spectral Analysis Tool

JSat transforms water companies’ monitoring of ground water assets, dramatically reducing the risk of pollution incidents while saving costs, resources and carbon emissions from alternative method monitoring. The system uses a series of proprietary innovations to detect changes in land use through a machine learning-enabled analysis of satellite images, allowing users to proactively manage emerging pollution risks.

JBA's Global Flood Maps

JBA’s Global Flood Maps provide high quality, flood hazard data at every location, worldwide and are an important source of information to support vulnerable communities in building resilience to climate change. With support from JBA Labs, we were appointed to the Development Data Partnership providing entities engaged in international development work – such as World Bank, Asian Development Bank and Inter American Development Bank - with enhanced access to JBA’s Global Flood Maps at 30m resolution for every country around the globe.

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Want to know more?

Contact Zoe Smith to find out more about innovation at JBA.

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