THE outlook is sunny for Wearside’s booming software industry.
Met Office chief executive John Hirst was in Sunderland for the launch of a pioneering new partnership between the organisation and Sunderland Software City which will see North East software firms given access to never-before-released weather data.
The Integrated Transport and Weather Information Pilot will make data available to companies developing new software applications and technology.
It marks the first time Met Office meteorological data has been released for commercial development.
A number of other organisations, including Nexus, the Port of Tyne and Sunderland City Council, have also made data available for businesses to develop technology systems for the transport and logistics industry.
The event, at Sunderland Software Centre, was attended by potential buyers from some of the UK’s biggest transport and logistics companies, including Stagecoach Buses, the RAC and First TransPennine Express.
Software City chief executive David Dunn said the project was “a nationally important project and a truly unique opportunity for Software SMEs in the North East to enter new markets and sell innovative solutions that are in demand from large, international organisations.”
The potential of bad weather to cause travel chaos has been highlighted by the recent floods in the south of England, but the Met Office’s Vicky Pope explained there were far wider implications.
“Cold weather has implications for electric vehicles, for instance,” she said. You not only have to heat the vehicle’s cabin, which uses power, but the cold also affects battery recharging.
“We have never provided this kind of information before but they are doing some clever stuff.”