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CGI to provide insurance sector with weather information service

CGI develops a proof of concept for a system that would use huge volumes of data from weather forecasting supercomputers to help insurance companies plan ahead

CGI has been commissioned to develop a proof of concept for a service that will provide insurance firms with information about future windstorms.

The European Commission-led project will use data on previous storms to help predict future events and to help insurance companies plan appropriate products and services.

As part of the European Union Copernicus programme – which will use data from satellites, land, sea and air to help predict future weather – the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) awarded CGI the contract to develop a forecast system. The service will then provide information to support the insurance sector, as insurers can lose huge sums as a result of unexpected windstorms.

Based in Reading in the UK, ECMWF – an inter-governmental organisation supported by 34 countries – uses supercomputers to predict future weather.

CGI will work with national meteorological agencies, universities, and companies from the space and insurance sectors to develop the Wind Storm Information Service (WISC) proof of concept.

The platform will glean data on windstorms going back more than 100 years ago. From this information, the system will produce forecasts of potential future losses from severe windstorms.  

The information generated by WISC will also support planning other sectors such as energy, transport, civil engineering and government.

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“A key objective of the Copernicus Climate Change Service is to combine observations of the climate system with the latest science. This is to develop authoritative information about the past, current and future states of the climate and its impacts,” said Jean-Noël Thépaut, head of the Copernicus Climate Change Service at ECMWF.  

CGI currently supplies space systems and works on the major European navigation, communication and earth observation programmes such as Galileo, Skynet 5, Iris Precursor and Copernicus. Its systems produce weather satellite images and data for more than 3 billion people across Europe, Asia-Pacific and Africa.

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