Cambridge, UK – 12th March 2019: On the 30th anniversary of the World Wide Web, a Cambridge “Space Agency” is launching a partnership with scientists from THE Port humanitarian hackathon at CERN to develop a virtual Manhattan Project for climate change. Dubbed “climate.space”, the project will unite climate change researchers across the world to address mankind’s most pressing problem – climate change.
climate.space will employ a radically new user interface to complex information using technology developed by Cambridge-based “Concept Space Agency” and gluoNNet, a non-for-profit association spinout of THE Port hackathon at CERN. Like the web, an information “space” provides an intuitive way to get to information quickly while promoting collaboration between users.
Stefan Haselwimmer, co-founder of climate.space, said: “With a new scientific publication produced every few seconds, it can be a challenge for researchers to stay up-to-date with their own research field, let alone other people’s research. climate.space will offer a virtual overview of knowledge, allowing researchers to view the progress of all climate change technology at a glance.”
climate.space will apply gluoNNet’s collaborative expertise to climate change technologies, an area requiring urgent and effective international collaboration. Since its creation in the 1950s, CERN has pioneered a unique model of international collaboration in particle physics, with over 13,000 visiting scientists – representing over 600 universities and 100 nationalities across the world – making huge scientific advances. In this spirit, THE Port aims to extend the collaborative approach to humanitarian problem-solving with an international hackathon that tackles humanitarian, development and human rights issues set by international organisations like the United Nations, the International Committee and Federation of the Red Cross as well as innovative NGOs like Terre des Hommes and Humanity & Inclusion (formerly Handicap International).
Daniel Dobos, former CERN physicist and co-founder of gluoNNet and THE Port, said: “In my 15 years working at CERN, I have been impressed with how purpose-driven international collaboration can change the world. I am confident this same spirit can accelerate global actions on climate change. Collaboration-fostering tools like climate.space are essential to breaking down silos and empowering global, cross-organisational and cross-sector collaboration.”
GluoNNet’s collaboration engine in particular will empower researchers to create collaborations in hours rather than months, providing hidden insights into potentially beneficial collaborations that are often difficult to identify.
Sir David King, UK’s Former Chief Scientific Adviser and Special Representative for Climate Challenge, said: “The threats to humanity from climate change are now recognised to be more severe than predicted twenty years ago. If we are to avoid catastrophic climate change, we must collaborate internationally at an unprecedented speed and scale. A Cambridge Centre for Climate Repair and initiatives like climate.space are crucial to bringing together global partners to tackle humanity’s greatest challenge with renewed urgency.”
Professor Douglas Crawford-Brown, Retired Director of Cambridge Centre for Climate Change Mitigation Research, also said: “Climate policy is a classic example of a collective action problem. Solutions must be coordinated over many sectors of the economy. The weaknesses of one solution must be overcome by the strengths of another. Researchers must learn from each other so ideas move forward rapidly. climate.space helps me make all of these much needed social connections.”
Stefan Haselwimmer was inspired to create climate.space following a visit to CERN in 2018. “I was struck by how international collaboration is crucial to everything CERN has achieved so far,” he said. “I came away thinking we need a ‘CERN for climate change’. climate.space is our attempt to put that into practice.”
climate.space will be genuinely inclusive, transforming the accessibility of cutting-edge research to the public and private sector and to the general public. This will maximise opportunities for early-stage prototypes, pilot projects and commercial deployments and ensure every person has access to the latest research. Members of the public will be given unprecedented opportunities to get involved, whether as “citizens scientists”, project advocates, or beta-testers.
Contact: Stefan Haselwimmer, 07719 437803 firstname.lastname@example.org