Public Release: 

Nottingham gains Oracle Spatial Centre of Excellence

University of Nottingham

The University of Nottingham's Centre for Geospatial Science (CGS) has signed an Agreement designating CGS as an Oracle Spatial Centre of Excellence -- the only one of its kind in Europe and one of just three worldwide.

Location-based information technology in vehicle and pedestrian navigation systems is now used daily by millions worldwide. It enhances mobile phone services and is used in applications as diverse as crime detection, responding to emergency services and playing location-based games. The variety of potential applications is vast, and Nottingham's researchers are resolving significant technical challenges across many areas.

This new relationship with Oracle, the world leader in integrated information management, will enable CGS to benefit from access to the company's very latest solutions ensuring that the Centre uses technologies which are at the forefront of current geospatial data management.

CGS is a postgraduate research centre, established in 2005 under the directorship of Professor Mike Jackson, whose experiences spans digital mapping and modelling software, as CEO of Laser-Scan Holdings plc; location-based services (LBS) on 3G location platforms (with Hutchinson 3G - '3') and satellite systems and services as Director of Space at QinetiQ.

The Centre undertakes research into spatial data infrastructures (SDI), geospatial intelligence, geospatial interoperability and location-based services (LBS).

The multidisciplinary research centre is itself global in scope -- with staff from nine countries and five continents. It has experienced strong growth since its launch and has built an international reputation for its research excellence. Research is undertaken on both long-term fundamental challenges and shorter term applications-oriented issues.

A key programme at CGS is the development of an open standards based persistent interoperability test-bed and, under the Agreement, Oracle software will provide the primary database platform.

Both Oracle and CGS are members of the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGS). Professor Mike Jackson sits on its Board of Directors. The Agreement provides for access to the full range of Oracle Spatial, Oracle Database and Oracle Fusion Middleware products, training and technical support.

David Callaghan, Senior Vice President Technology and Country Leader, Oracle UK, Ireland and Israel; Steve Hagan, Vice President, Oracle Server Technology; Nick Turner, Public Sector, Oracle UK and Ireland; and Mike Turnill, Server Technologies, Oracle Corporation UK Ltd joined Professors Alan Dodson (University of Nottingham Pro Vice-Chancellor), Mike Jackson, Steve Benford (Head of the School of Computer Science and Information Technology), Terry Moore (Director of the Institute of Engineering Surveying and Space Geodesy -- IESSG), and Derek McCauley (Director of Horizon) to sign this Agreement at the University.

CGS Director Professor Mike Jackson said "Our relationship with Oracle is an important development for CGS. Oracle is the world's largest business software company. They are innovators in spatial database technology. For CGS to be one of only three global Oracle Spatial Centres of Excellence is a pleasing endorsement of how far we have progressed in the four years since we launched.

"We see the signing of this Agreement as the basis of a valuable relationship which will help underpin our research programmes and increase the relevance of our research to Government and industry alike."

Steve Hagan, Vice President, Oracle Server Technologies, stated that "Oracle has pursued a unique vision to bring the power and resiliency of enterprise information technology to the geospatial community and to bring spatial analysis to every business and research application in a seamless manner.

"We do this through a consistent commitment to standards and in collaboration with experts and thought leaders in the market. It is in this spirit that we are proud to enter into this relationship with the Centre for Geospatial Science (CGS) at The University of Nottingham."

Mr Hagan praised the Centre's work. "To the credit of The University of Nottingham, they are carrying out state-of-the art geospatial research and are benefiting from the leading commercial capabilities in Oracle Spatial technologies. Nottingham's researchers also understand the value of focusing both on research and how this applies to society.

"For Nottingham and Oracle there are significant bilateral benefits: CGS gets access to Oracle's technology to help research and academic programmes whilst Oracle benefits from the insights of CGS expertise through their projects exploiting using our products' latest capabilities."

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Notes to editors: The University of Nottingham is ranked in the UK's Top 10 and the World's Top 100 universities by the Shanghai Jiao Tong (SJTU) and Times Higher (THE) World University Rankings.

More than 90 per cent of research at The University of Nottingham is of international quality, according to RAE 2008, with almost 60 per cent of all research defined as 'world-leading' or 'internationally excellent'. Research Fortnight analysis of RAE 2008 ranks the University 7th in the UK by research power. In 27 subject areas, the University features in the UK Top Ten, with 14 of those in the Top Five.

The University provides innovative and top quality teaching, undertakes world-changing research, and attracts talented staff and students from 150 nations. Described by The Times as Britain's "only truly global university", it has invested continuously in award-winning campuses in the United Kingdom, China and Malaysia. Twice since 2003 its research and teaching academics have won Nobel Prizes. The University has won the Queen's Award for Enterprise in both 2006 (International Trade) and 2007 (Innovation -- School of Pharmacy), and was named 'Entrepreneurial University of the Year' at the Times Higher Education Awards 2008.

Nottingham was designated as a Science City in 2005 in recognition of its rich scientific heritage, industrial base and role as a leading research centre. Nottingham has since embarked on a wide range of business, property, knowledge transfer and educational initiatives (www.science-city.co.uk) in order to build on its growing reputation as an international centre of scientific excellence. The University of Nottingham is a partner in Nottingham: the Science City.

More information is available from Professor Mike Jackson at CGS on +44 (0)115 846 8130, mike.jackson@nottingham.ac.uk or Simon Butt, Media Relations Manager on +44 (0)115 951 5793, simon.butt@nottingham.ac.uk

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