INSPIRE Knowledge Base


Northgate Information Solutions (UK) Ltd
Mission and Objectives: 
Northgate Information Solutions is a leading provider of innovative technology solutions to the public services and utilities markets. Our task is to enhance public value through the intelligent use of people and technology, and to share in the economic and social benefits that this brings. At Northgate we are sensitive to the internal requirements of our public sector customers, the process of public service delivery and the wider policy agenda surrounding public services. We develop solutions that take all three into account and understand the relationship between them. Across the UK, Northgate works with four out of five local authorities, half of all fire brigades and ambulance trusts, eight of the big ten water companies and every police force. Our systems are used: In the management of over 1.5 million local authority and housing association properties; To run national enforcement systems, including processing 5.5 million penalty notices every year; In the administration of more than £17 billion of revenues and benefits; By local authorities covering 2.5 million people to revolutionise how benefits are delivered through the use of rules-based technology; To support healthcare development through effective information management; To deliver innovative mobile working solutions designed to reduce bureaucracy, improve access to information and deliver more efficient services; In the handling of over 90% of 999 calls to the police; And in electoral administration systems covering over 18 million people.
Formal Mandate: 
The EU organises Research & Development in Framework Programmes that define research relevant to the needs of European industry to help compete internationally and take a leading place in certain sectors. A framework programme (FP) involves several calls for tenders where companies of any size are invited to propose projects in accordance to the FP objectives. Approximately every 2-3 years, the EU proposes a new Framework Programme with new research requirements and new rules. Northgate has been taking part in 2 projects since January 2006, LIAISON and REACT, which are part of the 6th Framework Package. REACT “Reaction to Emergency Alerts using voice and Clustering Technologies” Fire brigades, emergency medical services and police are confronted with an increasing number of natural disasters and incidents along with the trend towards bigger PSAPs (public-safety answering points) serving larger areas. This makes systems that assist operators and dispatcher in getting a fast overview on incidents increasingly important. REACT is a system that deals with situations where lots of people call for the same incident, using different emergency numbers. REACT manages this and other scenarios during the semantic data analysis of emergency calls. The system provides an immediate, good overview on an emergency using information arriving simultaneously via different channels. The system is to be used for: 1. Call clustering 2. Call prioritisation 3. Interoperability between different PSAPs and their computer aided dispatch systems The project develops semantic technologies for call clustering and prioritisation, based on sensors (weather, air pollution, etc.), time and location of emergency calls, as well as keywords identified during the emergency call taking. The interoperability is realised by using secure XML GIS-based data exchange between PSAPs. REACT is designed as an additional system layer to existing computer aided dispatch and call taking systems, while not intending to replace them. LIAISON “LocatIon bAsed servIceS for the enhancement of wOrking enviroNment" LIAISON is an FP6 project that aims to open the market for accurate Location Based Services (LBS) in commercial and public safety environments. LIAISON includes a number of research streams that aim at over-passing the current limits of LBS technologies and making the entire concept a real working platform for end users. Northgate is involved in the following three technology streams: 1. AGPS (Assisted GPS) will improve the accuracy of the GPS down to 7-9 metres and reduce the time to first fix down to less than 10 seconds. By comparison, today’s accuracy is about 30-40 metres and the time to first locate about 30 seconds in the best case. Today, if you consider a Police officer in the street moving from time to time out of satellite sight, you can lose his location for several hours, therefore compromising his safety and the ability to deploy him efficiently. 2. Indoor location allows locating, for example, firemen or Police officers inside a building using penetrating radio technologies. In the case of a large building on fire or a firearm incident, indoor location is a major advantage in planning and controlling an operation, but also to improve the staff’s safety. 3. Mobile GIS based solutions are required, together with appropriate visualisation tools, at the control room to display the location of officers, interact with them and plan the entire operation.
To keep abreast of developments with the INSPIRE directive and ensure that the products and services we offer to our public sector companies embrace the concepts and emerging standards that INSPIRE will bring. The two EU projects (REACT and LIAISION) are important programmes of work for both Northgate and its partners. We regularly communicate forthcoming standards and initatives through user forums, workshops, product briefing notes,etc.
1. Northgate's extensive customer base of UK Police, Fire, Ambulance, Central and Local Government organisations

Which role(s) do you foresee for the SDIC in INSPIRE development

  • be kept informed
  • yes