Cismet: “We ensure that CLARITY has relevance beyond the demonstration cases”
“Cismet Inc.” is an open source software company in Tholey, southern Germany, specialized in providing user-tailored, highly integrated and interactive solutions for distributed geo-spatial applications. With a strong research profile, the company aims at transforming the latest ICT research results into solutions which are usable by real world end users. Cismet develops sustainable software systems and information integration strategies for large scale geospatial data infrastructures. They use the geospatial integration platform as a tool to build sustainable information systems for industry and public bodies. There are seven people working for CLARITY. As accomplished computer scientists with substantial IT- and research project experience cismet’s team knows how to design and implement information systems. This includes database- and sustainable software development as well as programming methods.
Thorsten Hell is cismet’s owner and CEO, responsible for research and development. “I am working in the area of enterprise application integration since 1998 with focus on design and implementation of distributed architectures.”
Pascal Dihé works as a senior researcher and developer and is responsible for many research activities in the company. “My focus is on design and implementation of distributed architectures and distributed geospatial systems integration, currently as one of the main architects of the CLARITY project.”
The other two CLARITY-members are Thorsten Herter and Jean Michel Ruiz, are specialized in user centric software design and development in the context of geospatial information systems. They have been involved in various other EU projects in the context of ICT, Environment & Security, such as “SUDPLAN” (Sustainable Urban Development Planner for Climate). “We have collaboratively developed a software system, to illustrate, investigate the effects of climate change until 2100. SUDPLAN provides climate change projections on Air Quality, Precipitation and Hydrology variables. The system is designed to be used to infuse the effects of climate change in urban planning processes and is very similar to challenges we face in CLARITY”, Thorsten Herter says. Jean Michel Ruiz adds: “In the CRISMA project (Modelling crisis management for improved action and preparedness) we have laid some of the groundwork regarding decision support methods and the creation of a general scenario concept as a basis for simulation driven planning.”
“THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE IN THE PROJECT IS CREATING
SUCCESSFUL BUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES FOR AN UNKNOWN MARKET”
WHAT IS YOUR ROLE IN THE CLARITY PROJECT?
“Cismet has been the lead partner during creation of the project proposal. In the CLARITY-project we are main responsible for the detailed specifications of the CLARITY CSIS Architecture. Also, we develop the core scenario management and decision support technologies, the management of open data and requirements engineering”, Thorsten Hell explains. “Our biggest challenge in the CLARITY-project is in creating successful business opportunities for a yet largely unknown market. Cismet has initiated the CLARITY project as we aim to create marketable climate change adaptation solutions. In the short-term, CLARITY can help us to generate smaller business opportunities directly related to CLARITY solutions. In the long-term we contribute to the creation and shaping of an emerging market to be ready when it has developed a real business potential. For the marketplace we act as a technology provider and integrator of software solutions in the context of tools for climate change adaptation strategies. We don’t offer off-the-shelf products, but solutions tailored to specific customer requirements.
HOW DO YOU WORK WITH DATA?
Pascal Dihé: “In CLARITY a large variety of environmental datasets is used, in particular for the implementation of the CSIS and the four demonstration cases. These include already existing datasets originating from climate and earth monitoring systems or from numerical model simulations with the purpose of providing a scientific baseline or for serving as input for further model applications and tools. Some other datasets will be produced within the project. Harmonization of these datasets in CLARITY is crucial to ensure that the project has relevance beyond the demonstration cases.”
HAVE YOU DONE SIMILAR PROJECTS SO FAR? DID YOU KNOW YOUR CLARITY PARTNERS BEFORE?
Thorsten Hell: “Our clients are for example the City of Wuppertal, the German Federal State Agency for the Environment, Nature Protection and Geology Mecklenburg-Vorpommern or the Federal Environment Agency Austria. We have done projects for them that we can now integrate into the CLARITY project. There is one project I can remember, which was called CRISMA, EU-funded as well, for what we co-developed a simulation-based decision support system (Integrated Crisis Management System – ICMS), to model crisis management, improved action and preparedness. The ICMS facilitates the simulation of realistic crisis scenarios, possible response actions, and the impacts of crisis depending on both the external factors driving the crisis development and the various actions of the crisis management team. Parts of the ICMS can be re-used in CLARITY CSIS, e.g. for scenario management and multi criteria decision analysis.”
Pascal Dihé: “Within CLARITY we met ATOS, PLINIVS and AIT. PLINIVS is a high-profile scientific partner with whom we collaborate in creating user centered but scientifically sound planning software to increase preparedness regarding the effects of climate driven events. In addition, PLINIVS is often the interface to the actual end users as they are close to many potential users of CLARITY and are able to translate the actual requirements to the required level of abstraction quickly. Together we develop the scenario management and decision support and parts of the CSIS.”
HOW CAN CITIES ACT MORE SUSTAINABLY IN THE FUTURE?
“Cities should be committed to long-term sustainability by the government, which would make the system work better. In addition, planning instruments should be provided or financed by public authorities at state or European level. This can help pioneers and encourage the development of scientific and technological solutions based on real integration for the final consumer”, Pascal Dihé says. “To better prepare for the impending effects of climate change, the financing of e.g. concrete adaptation measures as any other infrastructural measure needs to be given a proper priority. In the medium- and long-term communities need to seek for adaptation strategies that will pay off. CLARITY will provide these tools to better identify these adaptation strategies as planning options.”