Interactive Coventry Ltd, in collaboration with Coventry University and Malaysian industrial partners (Metrobinaya Sdn Bhd and Pentalight Technology Sdn Bhd), has received a prestigious funding award by Innovate (UK) and PlaTCOM Ventures (Malaysia), to
lead the development of an advanced urban flooding monitoring and forecasting platform.
Interactive Coventry was awarded funding in the competition: “Newton Fund: UK-Malaysia Urban Innovation Challenge 2017”, which is a bilateral framework providing facilitation and financial support for Malaysian and UK organisations through business-led collaborations.
The project titled “Flood Ultra-Cognitive Dendrite (FLUD)” is estimated to cost over £750,000, and builds upon state of the art research, and technologies in computational intelligence and machine learning, to develop an urban flooding monitoring and forecasting platform. FLUD aims to minimise the impact of flash floods through developing an economically sustainable technical approach to flood-alert systems in a way that considers citizen accessibility of its service regardless of age, race, literacy and social status.
The proposed approach will be tested in the context of two high risk areas in Malaysia, and the final product will be a benchmark framework, which can be utilised in smart city projects in Malaysia, the UK, and other countries facing extreme urban flooding phenomena.
IC and CU teams visited Malaysia to set the basis for a good collaboration among the consortium partners.
IC and CU teams provided advice to inform the development of the custom sensory equipment, and define the resolution of the sensory grid for the FLUD system. The partners made a close inspection of the area of deployment and discussed in detail the number of sensors that need to be installed in the UTM area as part of the real time FLUD system, and the data requirements for developing accurate forecasting models.
The Iskandar Regional Development Authority (IRDA) has introduced a development plan for the Kulai and Sedenak areas, both which are part of the Sedenak Digital Valley development. Known as the Kulai Sedenak Special Area Plan 2025, the plan will outline
development projects in the area until the year 2025.
The plan encompasses an area of about 19,982 hectares, which are currently used mainly for agriculture. The plan will be based on a smart city and sustainable development concept. The main economic activities will be in the high-tech industry research and innovation centre, information and communication technology, digital, aerospace and aviation, and logistics.
Kulai and Sedenak are areas with a lot of potential for development, where FLUD (or other applications based on the computational models developed for FLUD) can be also deployed. Johor will be turned into one of the leading digital hubs in the region, attracting high capital and technology investments, with the establishment of the Sedenak Digital Valley (SDV).
The consortium aims to exploit this opportunity and has attended a prestigious event in Malaysia focused on promoting the development of Sedenak Digital Valley, where they had the opportunity to meet and discuss with highly regarded people of the country.
IC has developed an online data analytics platform that supports real time monitoring and forecasting for Cyberjaya and UTM. Data is being captured by meteorological and drain monitor sensors on the ground, processed and uploaded on the cloud in real time. The processed data are used by the custom deep learning based computational models of IC and the results generated by the models are shown in the data analytics interface. Based on the results a warning is issued and can be sent to the relevant authorities and/or be integrated with FLUD’s mobile application.
In addition to FLUD’s deployment in Cyberjaya and UTM Skudai, our consortium pursues the deployment of FLUD in Seberang Perai area. Situated on the Malay Peninsula opposite Penang Island this area is home to almost one million people and is subject to
extreme urban flooding phenomena. Therefore, it is an excellent candidate for deploying FLUD. IC members travelled to Malaysia where they met with Metrobinaya and PLT and attended social events for Smart Penang 2030. The partners
met and discussed with Seberang Perai Municipal Council (MPSP) president Datuk Rozali Mohamud, engineers from Seberang Perai municipality and officials from the Malaysian department of natural disaster management.
Seberang Perai municipality is willing to contribute the necessary space in order to install and pilot test FLUD. Metrobinaya and IC teams, in collaboration with Seberang Perai municipality engineers, have surveyed several hot spots in the area. The following period, Metro, IC and Seberang Perai municipality will jointly decide on the most suitable hot spot area for FLUD deployment. The selected hot spot will be used in order for Metrobinaya and IC to install FLUD sensory equipment, collect data and model the test area. This will enable a fast pilot deployment and demonstration of the proposed solution.
IC and CU presented FLUD in the IEEE International Conference on Machine Learning and Applications (ICMLA 2019) in the published paper: “Deep Learning for Flood Forecasting and Monitoring in Urban Environments”. The paper was also co-authored by Metrobinaya. The paper described the core computational mechanisms used by FLUD. It was well received by the scientific community and the consortium received constructive feedback on the optimisation of the computational models of FLUD, and on how to enhance credibility of the system. Link to the paper: https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/document/8999292
Interactive Coventry has applied for Innovate UKs Newton Fund - Extensions for Impact funding award to provide and secure a time extension of 9 months and a budget uplift of £50k to accelerate the socio-economic impact of project FLUD in Malaysia.