Guidance for applicants: Ideas that could have won the H.O. prize for Innovation in Meteorology

The prize will recognize practical ideas that will enable a clearly innovative contribution of meteorology to society, and that are not already being developed elsewhere.

As guidance for applicants here are some examples of potential prize winning ideas, as well as some examples of ideas that fall outside the scope of the prize.

From these examples no right can be derived. 

Additionally at the EMS Annual Meeting 2012 in Lodz, Poland the Vice Chairman Richard Anthes gave a presentation which provides additional information and examples.

Examples of the type of ideas that could have won the prize

1. Improvement of systems that predict road conditions under different meteorological circumstances

A description of a system that will be developed, or is in an initial stage of development, which significantly improves systems where thermal mapping in various weather conditions is combined with a sky view.

2. Improvement of systems for on board ship routing systems

An idea that uses ensemble prediction in a new way so that the prediction of distinct values of wind and waves for on board ship routing systems is significantly improved.

3. An instrument to measure snowfall nearly instantaneously

To measure the rate of snowfall nearly instantaneously is important for the landing of airplanes. Recently a “hotplate snow gauge” was developed to measure this.

4. Ideas for better weather apps

A new application in mobile phones / tabloid computers that supports users and led to improvements in economic / health / or safety conditions.

5. Adaptation to climatic change

Using uncertainty in climate projections in a cost-effective adaptation technique that produces a winning outcome under a wide range of climate changes.

6. Climate prediction project (
Climate predictions are based on ensemble predictions. The idea is to develop a very large ensemble by using the unexploited resources of personal computers. Volunteers are offered the possibility of downloading a climate model on their PC which would run when the machine is idle. When the run is done the results are collected.
This idea is aimed at producing the largest climate experiment in term of the size of the ensemble, and also contribute towards the public awareness about climate change.

Examples of the type of ideas that would be unlikely to win the H.O. prize

Some great ideas of the past - Suomi’s ideas for satellite observations, or Lorenz’ ideas on atmospheric predictability which led to chaos theory, or L.F. Richardson’s idea on numerical weather prediction - were all ideas that changed meteorology.  But these ideas needed a long time before they were actually proven and implemented. And they were more “theoretical ideas;” they needed many others to implement them.

Further, efforts of large teams in which the original idea cannot be clearly associated with an individual or a small group of individuals (maximum 3) will not be considered. 

Finally, research proposals that are usually funded by sponsors of scientific research are not part of the scope of the Harry Otten Prize. Examples of such proposals are those to improve weather or climate models; apply models to study atmospheric phenomena such as severe storms, hurricanes, sea breezes, heavy precipitation events, climate change etc.; or proposals aimed at increasing theoretical understanding of meteorological phenomena or processes.