LRF launches campaign to identify biggest threats to safety related to critical infrastructures

Date: 14 October 2016

Safety Grand challenges 620

The Lloyd’s Register Foundation campaign will ask ‘what are the safety grand challenges?’ 

The Lloyd’s Register Foundation aims to make a real difference in improving the safety of the critical infrastructure on which modern society relies. Today it launched a consultation to identify the grand challenges to safety at the Lloyd’s Register Foundation International Conference in London.

The consultation to identify the challenges will open today until January 2017, and asks industry, workers and consumers where is safety most compromised either from working with, or arising from poorly functioning infrastructure? Once it has identified these challenges it will ask ‘What can we do about them to make the world a safer place?’.

Dr Ruth Boumphrey, the Foundation’s Director of Research, said: “Every day billions of people around the world need energy, water, food, transport and other services that make-up society’s critical infrastructure. These infrastructures and their supply chains rely on people to build, operate and maintain them. Our safety is threatened when these infrastructures fail and the safety of those who operate and maintain these infrastructures can be threatened by the environments in which they work .”

Through this consultation the Lloyd’s Register Foundation aims to identify how the safety of critical infrastructures, and the people who build, operate and maintain this infrastructure, is threatened today and into the future.

The Challenge Prize Centre at Nesta, the innovation foundation, will lead the consultation exercise. Constance Agyeman, Senior Programme Manager in The Challenge Prize Centre, Nesta, said: “We are delighted to be working with the Lloyd’s Register Foundation on this unique project. We will be consulting with industry, with those who directly work with critical infrastructure and with the general public to understand these threats to safety.”

The Foundation is inviting input worldwide through the dedicated Safety Grand Challenges website www.safety.challenges.org. The findings of the consultation will be published by the Foundation in 2017 in a foresight review that will outline the key safety issues and suggest types of innovation and initiatives that could address these challenges. The Foundation will promote this work through a series of programmes under the Safety Grand Challenges campaign.

The campaign’s pilot programme will address the safety issues surrounding moving people from one ship to another: ‘ship-to-ship transfer’. Leading this work, the Royal College of Art (RCA) has challenged its postgraduate design students to find innovative interventions to a hazardous activity – one commonly performed around the globe every day. Professor Ashley Hall, Professor of Design Innovation at the RCA said ‘‘The Foundation’s Grand Challenge is a great platform to explore ways that design-led innovation can bring new thinking into saving lives at sea. Ship-to-ship transfers – where a pilot boards a larger vessel in order to guide it into and out of port – is a high-risk activity. Casualties and fatalities are common and often under-reported. Good design puts the user at the forefront of any activity; it combines physical and psychological insights to generate solutions using appropriate technology. Design is a highly tangible activity and we will be designing and building a series of prototypes that to be exhibited in early 2017.”

For more information and to take part in the consultation visit www.safety.challenges.org or email safetychallenges@nesta.org.uk.

Lloyd’s Register Foundation International Conference 2016 

The Lloyd’s Register Foundation International Conference 2016 is being held over two days in London on 13 and 14 October. The conference, titled Bringing safety to life, is the first to be held by the Foundation. It is a public event, gathering Foundation grant holders from around the world gathered to showcase the breadth, variety and impact of their work. Speakers include:

  • Prof Sir Andre Geim, Nobel Prize Winner and Regius Professor and Royal Society Research Professor at The University of Manchester
  • Lord David Willetts, Executive Chair of the Resolution Foundation, Chair of the British Science Association
  • Prof David Spiegelhalter, Winton Professor for the Public Understanding of Risk, Professor of Biostatistics and Fellow of Churchill College at Cambridge University
  • Dr Nancy Kete, former Managing Director of The Rockefeller Foundation leading global resilience work
  • Sir Mark Walport, Chief Scientific Adviser to HM Government and Head of the Government Office for Science