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Pioneering environmental data sharing platform wins major Australian award

A pioneering environmental data portal delivered by New South Wales Government and Informed Solutions has won a prestigious state and local government award in the 2018 iTnews Benchmark Awards.

The Sharing and Enabling Environmental Data (SEED) portal is a public-facing portal that brings together over 112 scientific datasets on land, air and water from nine state agencies and bodies in a single place.

Led by the NSW Government in response to community requests for reliable and readily available information about the environment, SEED was launched in December 2016. At the time, the then New South Wales Minister for the Environment, Mark Speakman, said: “The future vision for SEED is for the portal to become one of the most accessible and richest sources of quality data on the NSW environment.”

The team behind the portal were praised for realising this vision, as they picked up this latest award. Hailed as a shining example of what can be achieved by government when they commit to open data and multi-agency collaboration, the portal won three prestigious iAwards last year and continues to win praise as the whole-of-government service grows from strength to strength. 

With ever more datasets and user communities coming on board, the portal is helping lead a NSW open data revolution which is delivering better outcomes for citizens through greater and easier access to information, insights and innovative tools.

 

"It was a challenging and complex innovation project but the results are clear and speak for themselves"

"This is a really exciting award for us,” said NSW Department of Planning and Environment's Krissie Auld. “It's a very good example of what can happen when government agencies work together on a whole-of-government portal - along with public and private agencies and our partners - but also what happens when you co-design with community, industry and government all in the same room together, and it's certainly inspired our team to take SEED forward to its vision.”

Informed Solutions CEO Elizabeth Vega added that she was very proud of the positive impact the portal was having.

“This is a fantastic achievement for all the NSW government agencies that collaborated on this project to break down old barriers and preconceptions, as well as for our Australian team who worked hard to deliver the solution in ambitious timescales,” she said. “It was a challenging and complex innovation project but the results are clear and speak for themselves.  We’re delighted that SEED continues to go from strength to strength.

“Of course, it’s also highly satisfying to see the portal being scaled up and the number of users and data sets growing all the time.  Everyone from community groups to Aboriginal land councils and farmers are using it to gain better insights, engage in constructive debate and make informed decisions by understanding more about the environment.  It’s a wonderful and inspiring example of Australian innovation that’s now getting global recognition with countries like the UK looking at replicating it.”

The iTnews Benchmark awards celebrate the leading and most successful technology projects across the Australian business community and within government.

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