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In brief … 27 February 2015

27/02/15

Bedford installs AMRs for energy conservation

Bedford Borough Council has installed a series of automatic meter readers (AMRs) from IMServ across its estate as part of its carbon management programme. It has put 271 AMRs for electricity and 170 for gas in place, and according to Samantha Guy, its corporate carbon and energy manager, this has contributed to a significant reduction in consumption.

Electricity pylonsAn AMR automatically collects consumption, diagnostic and status data from energy metering devices and transfers it to a central database.

Guy said: "This information is fed into a software package for interpretation and analysis, allowing us to not only monitor, but also target energy reductions and carbon savings. We also pass on AMR readings to our suppliers to ensure bills are based on actual, rather than estimated consumption. Prior to the installation of AMRs, manual readings were required which were often inaccurate and cost the council in both time and money."

ENISA publishes EU cloud security framework

The EU Agency for Network for Information Security (ENISA) has produced a security framework for the procurement and use of cloud services by governments. It said this addresses the need for a common security framework and builds on the conclusions of its two previous studies on the subject.

The framework is structured into four phases, nine security activities and 14 steps for EU members to define and implement a secure government cloud. It focuses on a number of activities, including risk profiling, architectural models, security controls, monitoring and audit.

ENISA said that the adoption of government clouds is still at a very early stage, with security and privacy issues being the main barriers. There is also a need for pilots and prototypes.

 

OS to open Geospatial Innovation Hub

Ordnance Survey has announced plans for an innovation hub for the geospatial industry. It will be based in London and comprise "entrepreneurial thinkers" from OS and the industry, working on the development of new products and services.

Catherine Armour of the product and innovation team at OS said: "We want to connect with individuals and SMEs who have identified opportunity, envisioned the solutions and are seeking technical, geospatial expertise, guidance and support."

 

Innovate backs patient monitoring platform

Isansys Lifecare has been awarded £1 million by Innovate and NHS England through the Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI) to implement a digital platform aimed at improving patient safety.

Named the Patient Status Engine, it has already been through two SBRI phase one contracts to show its monitoring capabilities. It will go through a second phase for the development of extra functions.

Keith Errey, chief executive officer of Isansys, said the new platform could provide high intensity monitoring for high dependency patients, replacing observations that could be several hours apart.

 

Denise McDonagh calls for more bravery in government IT

Outgoing Home Office chief technology officer Denise McDonagh has called on the public sector to show more bravery in its development of IT services.

In a swan song blog, she said the UK is now leading the world in government IT reform as the result of "the determination of an outspoken few". But it needs a bolder approach, especially in acknowledging problems and setbacks, from a wider community to make further progress.

"For each of us to be brave enough to work out loud on what we are doing, and to ask for input from the widest possible audience," she said. "Brave enough to share out trials and tribulations, as they are happening.

"Brave enough to openly admit what went well and what went wrong. Brave enough to ask people to contribute radical thinking and then to take their ideas seriously."

She encouraged all chief technology officers to ensure all of their teams, not just the elite, can be heard. "The more of us who share our experiences for others to build on, the better off we will all be," she said.

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