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Nominated to be a Flood and Coast 2019 ‘Digital Dragon’: there’s an honour

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Myra Hunt
Myra Hunt - 'Digital Dragon'

I’m looking forward to being with dragons - no sadly nothing to do with Game of Thrones - but instead, taking part in the inaugural Flood and Coast 2019 ‘Digital Dragons', ‘Pitch to Prototype’ digital competition. Something of an honour and a privilege I have to say.

Along with Catherine Wright (@MoretonBack1) and 2 other highly experienced colleagues, I’ll be on the judging panel of the ‘Dragon’s Den’ type ‘Pitch to Prototype’ competition on 20 June 2019.

Innovative ideas

The closing date for entries to the ‘Pitch to Prototype’ competition has now passed.

While we are waiting to see the entries that have been put forward, we are excitedly hoping that one of them may bring with it huge future benefits to the flood and coast world, in some guise.

We hope that the competition will potentially provide a springboard opportunity for a digital technological organisation, to work alongside the Environment Agency.

An opportunity that will hopefully translate an idea (around education, preparedness, incident management or data analytics) into a prototype digital product or service.

Deciding factors

So what will I potentially be looking for in my role as one of the 4 ‘Digital Dragons’ from an ‘innovative’ or ‘ground breaking’ idea pitch?

A few thoughts spring to mind. Potentially an idea which focuses on:

  • user need – the idea has to highlight a solution to a user need – a problem or frustration that service users and members of the public have at the moment
  • agile development – ideally the idea should be pitched to reflect agile development methodologies. A process that will provide for quick, flexible testing, development and change of the product/ service as required
  • scaleability – an idea that can show what its’ eventual long-term impact will be as a fully-fledged product or service – be that on a regional, national and potentially an international level
  • affordability – a realistic/ well costed/ scoped idea. One that can prove credible cost/ benefit analysis
  • knowledge – an idea that suggests an in-depth understanding of the current flood and coast industry and operational environment, or a niche element of it

We will have to quickly determine whether the ideas are good ones – whether or not they will be feasible in the real world, and what impact they will potentially have from a ground-breaking, innovative perspective

We are all collectively looking forward to the challenge. Playing a fundamental role in what could be the beginning of a very exciting and large-scale development project, is really inspiring.

Digital Dragon imageThe big challenge

I think that the most challenging part of my role, standing on the stage amongst the hopeful pitchers, will be when I potentially have to say that I won’t be ‘in’ on an idea. To put a negative dampener on someone’s idea. An idea that they truly believe can add benefit and value to the flood and coast industry.

Clearly being on stage with the other 3 esteemed 'Digital Dragons' with backgrounds in flood, environment and business, will lessen the feeling of burden on me. But a burden and a weight around all of us to get the decision right, it will be. Thankfully though the audience at the event will have the deciding vote as to which pitch wins the coveted prize, which to some extent makes me feel better.

We are all collectively looking forward to the challenge. Playing a fundamental role in what could be the beginning of a very exciting and large-scale development project, is really inspiring.

Help us make the right decision

If you want to help us make the right decision and choose the right pitch to win the prize of working with the Environment Agency, then make sure you come to the 'Pitch to Prototype' session on Thursday 20 June at 1:45pm at the Flood and Coast 2019 event, Telford International Centre.

Look forward to seeing you there.

Visit Flood and Coast 2019 for further event information


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