Project On-line Deliverables: D12.0

Exploitation and Dissemination Plan

    Programme name: ESPRIT
    Domain: HPCN
    Project acronym: HITERM
    Contract number: 22723
    Project title: High-Performance Computing and Networking
    for Technological and Environmental Risk Management
    Project Deliverable: D12.0
    Related Work Package:   WP 12
    Type of Deliverable: Technical Report
    Dissemination level: project internal
    Document Author: Kurt Fedra, ESS
    Edited by: Kurt Fedra, ESS
    Document Version: 1.2
    First Availability: 1998 10 10
    Last Modification: 2000 04 28




EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

HITERM is designed for two major user groups:

  • private industry (primarily the chemical industry, but also the transportation sector, power generation, heavy industry, etc.)

  • public administrations responsible for emergency management and civil protection including fire brigades, the national competent authorities under Seveso II (96/82/EC).

As a commercial product, HITERM represents a bundle of several software components that can be licensed, together with consultancy services that can be offered in support of, or by using, the software. This includes performing contract studies with the system, but also the compilation of the necessary data and technical support for end users, including the possibility to provide computational (high-performance computing) services to end users.

The range of exploitation options therefor includes:

  • licensing of the software components to end users or value-added distributors;
  • providing consultancy services on the basis of the software;
  • providing consultancy and user support for end users;
  • offering computing services for the high-performance components;
  • exploitation of the development components and experience gained in related products and projects.

The report also summarizes, and documents, in two Appendices, marketing material prepared for the exploitation of the project results, following the PROSOMA project format.





Table of Contents





HITERM Exploitation Plan

The HITERM exploitation plan constitutes a Deliverable of the project; while it provides an overview of the main concepts, plans, and strategies envisioned by the project consortium for the exploitation of the project results, it will not disclose any detailed financial information or confidential business information of the partners.

Parts of the exploitation plan, and in particular the business plan, therefor, will be expressed in qualitative or at best semi-quantitative terms.

The markets and target user groups

HITERM is designed as a flexible system that is fully data driven. It can, therefor, be adapted to any language and regulatory framework with reasonably small effort.

The target market of HITERM is global. However, for practical reasons the market introduction will have to follow a more gradual approach:

  • introduction in the case study countries Italy, Portugal, Switzerland through the respective partners and using the case study Demonstrator installations as reference systems;

  • the second step will concentrate on the other EU countries;

  • in a third step, the candidate countries will be targeted;

  • and subsequent steps can then attempt expansion into the CIS and other eastern and central European states, and ultimately world wide.

The target user groups for the HITERM project results can be grouped into two main types:

  • private industry (primarily the chemical industry, but also the transportation sector, power generation, heavy industry, etc.): any industrial sector that is either subject to the Seveso II Directive, or involves major technological risks (chemical emergencies, explosion, fires, structural failure etc.) that may require specific emergence preparedness and management tools;

  • public administrations responsible for emergency management and civil protection including fire brigades, the national competent authorities under Seveso II (96/82/EC) in the EU, and comparable institutions in other countries. Please note that while the HITERM project and demonstrator concentrate of chemical emergencies as defined in the Executive Summary version of the Requirements and Constraints Report, the derived product can again address the entire range of technological and environmental emergencies where the basic methodology is applicable.

The size of this market is considerable: concentrating again on the chemical industry only, in the US alone, about 250,000 chemical industrial plants are subject to the latest regulations on emergency planning and management. The European common market is of a comparable size. Globally, this would encompass for the chemical industry alone, a market size of 500,000 to 1,000,000 chemical plants and enterprises that are potential users of an emergency management system like HITERM.

The number of public institutions is in the same order of magnitude if not larger. While national and regional bodies concerned with emergency management are in the order of thousands, the local level, and in particular fire fighters command centers, are again in the hundreds of thousands world wide.

Therefor, the potential market for a system like HITERM is of a considerable size.

Competitor Analysis

For the analysis of competing products, a survey of existing software systems for emergency planning and management, as well as a series of ongoing EU sponsored R&D projects was undertaken. The current status of systems identified is summarized in Table 1; see also Moskowitz et al, (1995) and Bouchart et al, (1995) for recent compilations of risk related computer codes.

SYSTEM reference or URL
ARTEMIS http://apollo.cordis.lu/cordis/GLOBALsearch.html,
cfdu@orfeas.chemeng.ntua.gr
CAMEO, ALOHA http://www.nsc.org/ehc/cameo.html
CHARADE fmarcoz@media.lt.alenia.it
CHARM http://www.radian.com   Complex Hazardous Air Release Model (CHARM)
DEDICS http://apollo.cordis.lu/cordis/GLOBALsearch.html
EIS http://www.eisintl.com   Emergency Information System
EIS/GEM Essential Technologies, Inc. http://www.essentech.com   Global Emergency Management: message management, task flow tracking, integrated situation reports, electronic damage assessment and recovery capabilities, and interoperability with the Federal Emergency Management Agency's (FEMA) National Emergency Management Information System (NEMIS).
NBC WARNING! Environmental Support Solutions, Inc. http://www.ess-home.com   plotting and reporting software, predict the impact of nuclear, biological and/or chemical (NBC) agents, mapping capabilities. NATO's Allied Technical Publication (ATP)45(a) compliant.
GEMS http://www.fema.gov
GRIBS http://www.ess.co.at/docs/basel.html   City-level data base abd GIS for risk catasters and communication, limited modeling capability (PHAST integration).
Developed by ESS
HERMES http://skyler.arc.ab.ca/pami_info/Projects/ACEproj-HERMES.html
HGSYSTEM http://www.users.virtual-chester.com/hgsystem/   HGSYSTEM is a suite of programs for assessing dispersion of vapor from gas, liquid or 2 phase releases including multi-component mixtures. HGSYSTEM was first assembled to model the release of Hydrogen Fluoride (HF) and ideal gases (Version 1.0) and then extended to include multicomponent mixtures (version 3.0). Developed by Shell Research Ltd.
NO graphical user interface
ENVISYS http://www.et.westwind.be/envisys.htm
IEMIS http://www.ndc.noaa.gov/seg/hazard/resource/emergenc.html
MEPAS Multimedia Environmental Pollutant Assessment System //http://mepas.pnl.gov:2080/
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory; not emergency oriented.
MIDAS http://www.plg-ec.com/riskman.htm
SAFER http://www.safersystem.com< &NBSP; MAIN PRODUCTS: REALTIME: SITE-SPECIFIC EMERGENCY RESPONSE SYSTEM USED FOR CHEMICAL ACCIDENTS (TOXIC VAPOR CLOUD IMPACT).
TRACE: Chemical Risk Management (exposures to toxic chemicals, thermal radiation from fires and blast overpressure from explosions. SAFEPLAN: process hazard analysis (PHA).
for a description of their products, see: http://www.safersystem.com/products.html
SAFETI http://www.dnv.com/technica Fault-and Event tree models, consequence models including PHAST. No GIS or expert systems capabilities.
collaborative contacts with DNV exist
SIGEMI Designed for Fire Fighters, Italian market only (available at all Pronvincial level Fire brigades), developed by TEMARS, funded by the Italian Ministry of the Interior. Chemical data base, simple screening models, accident data base. No GIS, expert system, dynamic analysis
collaboration with TEMARS for product integration under discussion
SINGER SINGER: Information System for the Management of Relevant Emergencies; Italian Petroleum and Mining Industry Association (ASSOMIERARIA); developed by IBM and ENI-Agip. Communication oriented, Internet access, data bases, no GIS or analytical capabilities.
contact with ASSOMINERARIA established
XENVIS http://www.ess.co.at/XENVIS/

Detailed information on ongoing research and development projects funded under the Fourth Framework Programme by the European Union can be found on the CORDIS server, http://apollo.cordis.lu, and on the respective home pages of the various programmes such as ESPRIT, TELEMATICS.

In summary ...

While the analysis of competing products is necessarily incomplete and cursory, the following basic feature relevant for the positioning of the HITERM results seem to emerge:
  • most products are based on relatively old models, and concentrate on vapor cloud dispersion;
  • integration with data bases, GIS, or on-line monitoring is the exception
  • no expert system (other than simple decision tables) seems to be available
  • no explicit treatment of uncertainty or stochastic modeling could be identified in emergency management applications
  • graphical user interfaces are generally poor or absent
  • the high degree of integration characteristic for HITERM seems unique
  • no systems that use high-performance computing other than for pure research purposes could be identified.

The lack of the above features, at least in terms of their integration into a single product, therefor clearly defines the competitive advantage for HITERM.

Product packaging: software and services

As a commercial product, the results of the HITERM project represent

  • a bundle of several software components that can be licensed together or individually (the framework system RiskWare and its component screening models; the parallel high-performance computing models; the wireless communication tools);

  • together with consultancy services that can be offered in support of, or by using, the software.

This includes performing contract studies with the system, but also the compilation of the necessary data and technical support for end users, including the possibility to provide computational (high-performance computing) services to end users.

As one possible form of packaging, ESS is planning to integrate the results of the project with its RiskWare software system. Other software developers (primarily GMD and LNEC for the parallel models and wireless communication tools) will receive license fees from any copy of there software bundled with RiskWare for a third party client; and the consultant partners in Portugal, Italy, and Switzerland will act as both distributors, but also as consultants providing local user support and technical services, with or for the RiskWare software.

Finally, as an optional extension of the consultancy in support of end users, the optional HPCN components of RiskWare can be offered by the project partners, or qualified future distribution and support partners, as a computational service. This would allow end-users to minimize their investment, training, and long-term maintenance efforts by outsourcing these components to an external service provider.

While this option is conceptually very attractive, and technically and commercially sound, there may be issues of confidentiality that may make it difficult to implement both in the industrial and public administration environment.

Please note that the bundling within the RiskWare framework is only one possibility: other partners, or ESS, may choose to bundle any or all of the software components in other frameworks and products, with reciprocal licensing arrangements.

The GMD, for example, will continue to exploit the HITERM developments in future projects, an provide continuing support and consultancy on a case to case basis. Research oriented but externally funded projects will try to build on the HITERM components such as the parallel models, sensitivity analysis, and parallel implementation techniques together with the the remote client-server execution of models on powerful hardware, triggered by a web-request.

Commercially oriented exploitation and continuing support for end users is foreseen under a number of constructs, currently under discussion, that will involve spin-off companies that can license and then commercially exploit, GMD developed products.

Technical constraints: data, costs, infrastructure

As was already discussed in the Requirements and Constraints Analysis report a technically demanding system like HITERM faces a number of constraints that are important to consider in any exploitation planning.

Data

For the practical application of the HITERM system, the availability of data may be a constraint. This includes:

  • geographical and orographic background data, climate data;
  • risk related (chemical plants, population, intervention forces);
  • administrative and organizational: rules and procedures for intervention;
  • hazardous chemicals data.
Since the compilation of some of these data may be expensive, HITERM as a product has to:
  • operate with a minimum of data
  • facilitate incremental building of its data bases
  • include data compilation as a bundled service.

Costs

Cost considerations are a major constraints both for public authorities, as well as for industrial enterprises, in particular small and medium sized enterprises.

HITERM as a product must therefor:

  • offer a low-cost entry level configuration
  • be easily upgrade-able if and when more performance is required.

Infrastructure

Constraints on the availability of HPCN infrastructure (massive parallel computers, cluster with fast LAN connections, fast external network connections) are to be expected in most potential applications. This is both related to costs, but also to institutional constraints that simply do not make the introduction of "exotic" technology easy. In addition, HITERM as a product will have to address the general dominance of Microsoft-based PC equipment as the computing platform of choice in the overwhelming majority of potential client sites.

Therefor, the following issues must be addressed:

  • simple entry-level configurations
  • flexible upgrade options through cluster solutions
  • porting to Windows NT as the basic (client) platform or further development of Java clients.

Marketing strategy

The marketing strategy for HITERM/RiskWare is based on a phased approach (see the description of the market above).

The inital phase will concentrate on the direct exploitation of the project and the Demonstrator cases in Italy, Portugal and Switzerland. It will focus on the national partners in these three countries and their existing professional contacts and clients.

Since the national partners already operate successfully in this market, no further market studies seem necessary. The primary mechanism for marketing will be:

  • exploitation of existing business contacts of the partners;
  • presentations of the Demonstrator at exhibitions, conferences, and technology fares;
  • mailings to potential users with individual follow up;
  • as accompanying measures, publications of articles, features, and editorials describing the system in appropriate technical journals;
  • continuing use of the Internet as an advertising medium.

In a second phase, the marketing will require to identify strategic partners in various countries. Due to the very important (and comparatively time consuming) consultancy component, and the need for customization to national regulatory frameworks, institutional structures, language, etc., building up a network of local support partners is essential.

Business plan options

In principle, there are several options for a business strategy for HITERM; they include:

  • concentration on a small number of high-profit projects;
  • building a support and distribution network capable of support a high-volume but relatively low-cost market;
  • licensing to national or regional distribution partners or value-added resellers with a minimum direct involvement.
  • seek strategic partnerships with established players in the market.

These strategies are of course not mutually exclusive but can be combined and mixed with a geographical discretization, and evolve depending on market response and first experiences.

For the last point, strategic partnerships with developers of similar systems, several initiatives have been started:

  • initial contacts with DNV (developers of the SAFETI system and related products including models like PHAST)
  • discussion with TEMARS (developer of SIGEMI in Italy) with the goal of integrating the Chemical data base, accident data base, and simple screening models from SIGEMI in RiskWare/SIGEMI for the Italian market.
  • first contacts with ASSOMINERARIA (coordinator of the SINGER project) to explore possibilities for integration, since SINGER and RiskWare/HITERM have complementary capabilities.

Exploitation and IPR issues

The exploitation of the HITERM results is regulated by the terms and conditions of the Consortium Agreement signed by the HITERM partners at the beginning of the project.

The relevant conditions of the Consortium Agreement are as follows:

    Ownership

    Foreground shall be owned by the Contractor(s) generating it.y

    Access Rights

    Access Rights granted for Foreground or Background shall be subject, where appropriate, to suitable arrangements determined by the Contractor to ensure their use only for the purpose for which they are granted and may be subject to appropriate undertakings as to confidentiality.

    Access Rights for Background shall be conditional upon the Contractor being free to grant such rights.

    Access Rights shall not, unless expressly agreed, confer any right to sub-license.

    Proprietary information which is to be treated confidentially shall be duly marked.

    Access rights for exploitation

    Each Contractor shall be entitled to exploit all the Foreground, including to procure the manufacture of products by third parties for exploitation by the Contractor at its risk and account and shall grant each other Access Rights for exploitation of Foreground on a royalty-free basis.

    Any Contractor not normally undertaking commercial activities or unable itself to commercialise its Foreground may grant above Access Rights on, instead of royalty-free conditions, fair and reasonable financial or similar conditions which have regard to the Contractor's contribution to the Project and the commercialization potential of the Foreground. Any Contractor applying this paragraph shall not use the Foreground in commercial activities.

    Each Contractor shall grant Access Rights for its Background necessary for the exploitation of Foreground to the other Contractors in this Contract subject to major business interests, provided they do not result in abusive restrictions to the exploitation of Foreground, under favorable conditions.

Exploitation proceeds in two parallel but related tracks:

  • commercial exploitation by the industrial (developer) partners;
  • in-house and academic exploitation (Petrogal, GMD, LNEC, FCCN).

The commercial partners (ASIT, SYRECO, ESS) are directly exploiting HITERM by marketing RiskWare and related services. RiskWare is a proprietary system owned and distributed by ESS;

The data sets for the three Demonstrators are owned by the respective case study partners.

ASIT and SYRECO can distribute RiskWare as value-added resellers in their own respective projects. Continuing free licenses are granted to ASIT and SYRECO for marketing purposes.

Software developed by GMD (parallel models) and LNEC (GPS/GSM integration) constitutes optional components of RiskWare, and can be licensed from GMD and LNEC respectively. A proposed exploitation strategy and licensing agreement for the GMD is available as APPENDIX 3 to this report.

References

Bouchart,D.C., Ambrose, R.B.Jr., Barnwell, T.O.Jr., and Disney, D.W. (1995)
Environmental Modeling Software at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Center for Exposure Modeling. In: G.E.G. Beroggi and W.A. Wallace [Eds.] Computer Supported Risk Management. Kluwer Academic Publishers. Dordrecht. The Netherlands. pp. 321-360.
Fedra, K. and Winkelbauer, L. (1999)
A hybrid expert system, GIS and simulation modeling for environmental and technological risk management. In: Environmental Decision Support Systems and Artificial Intelligence, Technical Report WS-99-07, pp 1-7, AAAI Press, Menlo Park, CA.
Fedra, K. (1997)
Integrated Risk Assessment and Management: Overview and State-of-the-Art. p3-18. In: Ale, B.J.M, Janssen, M.P.M., and Pruppers, M.J.M [eds] Risk 97 Book of Papers. Proceeding of the International Conference Mapping Environmental Risks and Risk Comparison, Amsterdam, 21-24 October 1997. RIVM, Bilthoven.
Moskowitz. P.D., Pardi, R.R., DePhillips, M.P. Meinhold, A.F. and Irla B. (1995)
Computer Models Used to Support Cleanup Decision Making at Hazardous and Radioactive Waste Sites. In: G.E.G. Beroggi and W.A. Wallace [Eds.] Computer Supported Risk Management. Kluwer Academic Publishers. Dordrecht. The Netherlands. pp. 275-319.
Gerharz, I. ; Mieth, P. ; Unger, S. (2000)
A software system for environmental risk management - the HITERM approach, Systems Analysis Modelling Simulation, (to be published)
Mieth, P.; Unger, S.; Gerharz, I. (1999)
A model based tool for environmental risk management after accidental atmospheric release of toxic substances, In: MODSIM 99 - International Congress on Modelling and Simulation (Proceedings), Vol. 3, Oxley, L.; Scrimgeour, F.; Jakeman, A. (eds.), 562-572
Mieth, P.; Unger, S.; Gerharz, I.; Jugel, M. L. (1999)
HITERM: ein Arbeitsplatz für das Störfall-Management, Der GMD-Spiegel, Nr. 1/2, 45-47
Unger, S. ; Gerharz, I. ; Mieth, P. ; Wottrich, S. (1998)
HITERM - High-Performance Computing for Technological Risk Management, Transactions of the Society for Computer Simulation, Vol. 15, 3, 109-114
Zani, F. (1998)
HITERM High Performance Technological and environmental Risk Management: strumenti informatici on-line di supporto alla pianificazione e gestione delle emergenze industriali. VGR 98 Conference, Pisa (I) 6-8 October





APPENDIX 1: Selected Marketing Materials

As discussed above, HITERM and the derived product RiskWare is not suited for any mass-marketing approaches, but requires a very selective and well targeted approach to clearly identified potential users.

To support initial contacts other than through the passive approach of the Internet project and the RiskWare product web pages and publications in the scientific and professional literature to raise awareness for the product, specific marketing material was prepared in the form of a simple project folder (currently available in:

  • English
  • German
  • Italian
with a Spanish version in preparation.

The folders offer six panels on a double-sided A4 page that describe the system, basic functionality, data requirements, and implementation and hardware details. The back panel provides space for the distributors contact details.


Folder text, English version

RiskWare is a model based decision support system for technological and environmental risk analysis.

RiskWare provides an integrated framework for easy access to advanced tools of technological and environmental risk assessment, ranging from strategic planning to training and real time emergency management. RiskWare's flexible framework and set of components can be configured to meet the information needs of a wide range of risk assessment and management tasks.

RiskWare combines:

  • Integrated object data base management for hazardous chemicals (MSDS) and risk objects such as chemical plants, fuel depots, gas stations, airports, harbor installations, but also hospitals, fire engine depots, etc., linked to

  • A geographic information system (GIS)

  • A suite of simulation and assessment models for strategic analysis and planning tasks, and fast emergency simulation linked to

  • Embedded expert systems functionality for assessment tasks.

  • A real-time emergency management expert system for operational guidance, that can provide the framework for the analytical components and data bases, including

  • Assessment, reporting and documentation functions as well as

  • External communication control such as the automatic sending of fax or e-mail messages with dynamically generated content.

SYSTEM MODULES

RiskWare is designed as a modular system; it can integrate a range of information resources:

  • Geographic background data including administrative divisions, land use and land cover, population data, transportation networks, water bodies, orography (DEMs), satellite imagery and aerial photography, that are managed with the embedded GIS;

  • Observation time-series data, including the linkage to on-line monitoring stations, and the statistical analysis of these time series data;

  • Risk Objects for a range of different types of hazardous installations or infra structural elements relevant for risk assessment and management tasks; an embedded rule-based expert system simplifies the task of estimating unknown properties and data;

  • A range of emergency simulation models, including the fully integrated spill and pool evaporation model, fire (trench, pool, BLEVE), diagnostic wind field model, providing input for a dynamic multi-puff model, dynamic 3D Eulerian atmospheric dispersion model, explosion simulation (TNT and fuel-air charge blast model) Linkage to external models that require supercomputer performance can be accomplished through a generic model communication interface based on TCP/IP and http.

USER INTERFACE

The main SYSTEM components are integrated with an interactive and graphical user interface designed for users with little or no computer experience, and for use under emergency conditions.

RiskWare supports both X11 (CDE) clients on workstations or PC with X11 emulation (required screen resolution: 1280*1024, 256 simultaneous colors) or (possibly remote, low-bandwidth) clients with Java enabled web browser software.

HARDWARE REQUIREMENTS

RiskWare is currently supported for UNIX servers (SUN Sparc/Solaris, IBM RS6000/AIX, HP Risc/HP-UX, Intel Pentium/Linux), as well as Windows NT. Java client support is platform independent and requires only a Java enabled browser or applet viewer.

For a RiskWare server, a minimum of 128 MB RAM and 128 MB swap space is recommended. For a typical installation, about 2 GB disk space is required; disk space requirements depend on the amount of geographical data (in particular satellite images) and monitoring data.

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