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HMLR and Ordnance Survey team up to support PropTech with land data.

POSTED BY   Will Darbyshire
July 20, 2017

HM Land Registry (HMLR) and Ordnance Survey (OS) have announced a pilot partnership that will see them encourage and support innovation and PropTech businesses.

ordnance survey

The partnership will work out of London’s Geovation Hub with a mission to ‘expand the use of location and land and property data in the UK’s innovation community.’

Such efforts are welcome news to the PropTech community. Many a budding startup has struggled with the outdated OS systems and access to data has often been difficult.

Better access to land data is a gift in the form of opportunity; in the world of PropTech, land data is essential to innovation. To have these two organisations explicitly working to aid PropTech growth shows a much needed, forward looking, shift in institutional attitudes towards data.

Upon announcing the pilot scheme, Business Minister, Lord Prior, said:

“Location-based data has a crucial role in future technology development and innovation from driverless cars to the Internet of Things.

“The UK has a growing number of new entrants driving innovation in the housing sector. With HM Land Registry joining the Geovation Hub for the pilot scheme, the partnership offers great opportunities to further encourage and invest in the property-based technology (PropTech) start-ups of the future.

“It also provides a platform to promote the use of data from both Ordnance Survey and HM Land Registry to deliver the Government’s housebuilding agenda as part of our Industrial Strategy.”

The press release goes on to say:

“Participants in the new pilot programme will receive up to £20,000 in grant funding and a range of resources and services that will help them develop their businesses.

“Geovation provides the support that participants need, including access to experienced software developers, geospatial expertise from OS and property expertise from HMLR. Business mentors are also available to assist with business proposals and investor relationships.”

Nigel Clifford, CEO of Ordnance Survey, says:

“Through Geovation we’re developing new models to encourage innovators, entrepreneurs and companies that are building the next wave of ground-breaking GeoTech businesses. We’re looking forward to collaborating with HMLR to develop the same for PropTech.”

Graham Farrant, Chief Executive and Chief Land Registrar of HM Land Registry, says:

”This is an exciting partnership. Through combining our geospatial and property expertise, HMLR and OS will be supporting and encouraging disruptive forces in the PropTech and GeoTech markets. We expect to see benefits of this investment across the legal, financial and property sectors, stimulating growth for the wider economy and bringing more opportunities to the UK.”

This really is an exciting partnership; I sincerely hope that the pilot scheme is well received, properly supported and given the time and freedom that it needs to grow.

It is also important that the companies and individuals who partake in the programme are given the freedom and trust that is required for great innovation and advancement. OS and HMLR have demonstrated great self-awareness in opening up for collaboration, I just hope they don’t prove to be precious and protective over what can and can’t be done with their data.

Read the press release in full, here.

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