Shoothill’s ‘world-first’ innovation has been nominated for another national award, having already scooped a top title and plaudits from government ministers.

FloodAlerts, is a unique product that plots real-time flooding data from Environment Agency monitoring stations on interactive maps and actively warns users when they, their premises or the routes they need to travel could be at risk.

Now the product has been shortlisted in the prestigious UK IT Industry Awards in the Innovation and Entrepreneurship category. This follows FloodAlerts winning the Innovation in Enterprise category of The Guardian and Virgin Media Business’s 2012 Innovation Nation awards, in June.

Launched originally as the world’s first Facebook flood warning app, the service is now available free on the internet, as well as providing a custom risk management solution to areas of industry which require infrastructure safety monitoring.

Shoothill Managing Director, Rod Plummer, said: “We’ve been blown away by the reception that FloodAlerts has received. We were able to launch it just at the right time, in April, in a year that has seen some of the worst and most widespread flooding in living memory and hundreds of thousands of users have turned to FloodAlerts to keep themselves and their properties safe.”

“Knowing that the product is of such value to so many people is rewarding in itself, but to know that our industry and people who recognise the value of real innovation think so much of it is extremely pleasing. What is also exciting is that FloodAlerts still has an extensive roadmap to follow in its ongoing development and the knowledge that there are hundreds, if not thousands, of use cases for protecting not only individuals and their homes but key infrastructure around the UK. It’s also a product that can be extended for use around the globe, so we’d love to see it become part of UK technology’s ongoing export success story.”

The FloodAlerts technology has been licensed by the Environment Agency in a deal which is at the forefront of demonstrating the power of collaboration between government bodies and the private sector to put extensive public data sets to work for the benefit of the community.

The service is built on Microsoft cloud computing technology, with information overlaid on a Microsoft Bing Map, allowing it to scale almost instantly to meet demand when flood situations occur. The flexibility of the service was demonstrated in July as a fresh bout of flooding hit many parts of the UK. FloodAlerts was featured on the front page of the BBC News website, leading to hundreds of thousands of unique visitors, with the cloud technology constantly scaling to keep the critical service available to all who needed it.

The UK IT Industry Awards are run by BCS (the Chartered Institute for IT) and Computing magazine. Chief Executive of BCS, David Clarke MBE, said: “Congratulations to the finalists; they can be proud of their achievements in reaching this stage of our prestigious awards. Through the awards we aim to demonstrate not only the innovation and professionalism of those working in IT but also the importance of IT in delivering business and social benefit.”

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