Innovation underpins our success and is at the heart of our business
Investing strongly in research and development enables us to create innovative solutions for our clients and sustain our reputation for industry leading software, technology and methodology development. We incorporate cutting edge technical knowledge into all of our projects through collaboration with industry, academia and government.
This commitment to innovation and technical excellence has enabled us to deliver a diverse range of industry leading projects over the last decade, including the development of our own in-house software, GISmapp, AssetCoast, FRISM and JFes to name a few.
Creating products such as the European Tidal Database, JBA’s Comprehensive and Global Flood Map, and ForeCoast® Marine, has opened up new markets and these tools have subsequently become very successful elements of our business.
As well as delivering R&D for clients, we also fund a significant internal programme of business innovation. This programme includes a wide range of projects, from developing bespoke techniques and tools to improve the efficiency of flood mapping and modelling, to delivering larger-scale strategic projects to develop innovative new products such as ForeCoast® Marine.
All our staff are encouraged to apply for R&D funding to support the development of ideas to enhance project delivery and meet clients’ needs. The latest technical developments and best practice are promoted within JBA through regular workshops, information channels and multidisciplinary technical working groups.
Collaborative Innovation and Knowledge Exchange
Working with leading research organisations and end users has enabled us to combine cutting edge research with industry expertise to develop innovative new products and services. We have strong links with a number of world renowned research organisations and academic institutions in the UK, Europe and worldwide.
KTP and IDCORE
Our Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) with Lancaster University and our partnership with the University of Edinburgh’s Industrial Doctorial Centre for Offshore Renewable Energy (IDCORE) programme are both examples of successful academic collaboration.
The KTP is funded by Innovate UK and provides financial support for a postdoctoral researcher, Ross Towe, to lead a project developing improved models for extremes of localised and widespread flooding. This will ultimately lead to better estimates of flood risk in cities, over large scales and for important infrastructure networks such as railways and roads. The focus of the work is on risks caused by a combination of river and surface water floods – where high rates of overland flow, typically associated with intense rain storms, can be particularly damaging in built up areas. Some of the UK’s worst floods in recent years have been of this type.
The project builds on strong existing research links between Lancaster University and ourselves and will be supported by academics from the Department of Mathematics and Statistics, led by Professor Jonathan Tawn, and the senior management team at JBA. The partnership will also contribute to the work of the JBA Trust through scientific publications and advancing knowledge in this important area of research.
The Statistics group in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics is an internationally recognised centre of research excellence. For over twenty years the Group has been at the forefront of the UK research effort in statistics, establishing a strong track record of theoretical innovation arising from real-world challenge.
The IDCORE programme is a four-year Engineering Doctorate (EngD) course in marine renewable energy, comprising of intensive training at the University of Edinburgh followed by a three-year industrial placement.
As a sponsor company, we will host two IDCORE students in the Marine and Coast Risk Management team over the next three years. During this industrial placement, the research engineers, Ben Hudson and Edward Kay, are working on the further development, testing and application of our sophisticated metocean planning and forecasting tool ForeCoast® Marine.
The overall aim of the IDCORE projects is to develop bespoke versions of the software for two high profile offshore renewable energy clients; benefiting the students by giving them the opportunity to develop their skills in the industry and by working closely with experts in their fields.
Ben Hudson is tasked with applying ForeCoast® Marine to the European Marine Energy Centre’s (EMEC) wave and tidal test facility in Orkney, and Edward Kay is applying the tool to offshore wind operations in UK and European Waters. We are the project lead and development is being conducted in collaboration with the IDCORE Universities, the Met Office, EMEC and a major offshore wind developer.