Jonathan McCue, principal scientist of Atkins Water, is the project manager of a research team that involves HR Wallingford, Halcrow and independent consultants. He said: ‘This is a challenging research contract that aims to identify possible areas of improvement data management into the future. This will need to reflect changing users’ needs and changing technological advances within the flood and coastal defence industry.’

The Atkins-led team will assist the Environment Agency and DEFRA on future management related issues concerning data and information within the flood and coastal management. The Defra/Environment Agency’s Representative, Dr Suresh Surendran points out that, ‘this research is based on reviewing the whole ‘cycle’ of collection, acquisition, dissemination and use of data and information for decision-making and is needed to enable the development of a strategic approach to Flood and Coastal Defence. It will support policy and process development, implementation and operations, taking full account of existing data collection programmes and archives. It will also enable DEFRA/Environment Agency to introduce or recommend ‘quick win’ actions within current data management practices.’

This cross-cutting project will involve users, researchers, external providers, data managers and those who are involved in wider policy issues on data access both in the UK and in Europe.