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Thoughtworks to help Natural History Museum build a data ecosystem with Amazon Web Services

Thoughtworks to help Natural History Museum build a Data Ecosystem with Amazon Web Services

Thoughtworks (NASDAQ: TWKS), a global technology consultancy that integrates strategy, design and engineering to drive digital innovation, is working with Amazon Web Services (AWS) to build a new data platform for the Natural History Museum. This Data Ecosystem will help accelerate the biodiversity monitoring already carried out by the Museum, starting with its ‘Urban Nature Project’, which will transform the Museum's five-acre site into a biologically diverse green space in the heart of London.


Richard Hinton, CIO, Natural History Museum said: "The home to more than 80 million  specimens - and with more than five million visitors annually - the Natural History Museum is also a centre of research specializing in taxonomy, identification and conservation. The ‘Urban Nature Project’ gives us the opportunity, through data, to advance research, to support education and help people to reassess humanity's impact on UK biodiversity. We are delighted to work with AWS and Thoughtworks on the delivery of this ambitious project."


The ‘Urban Nature Project' initiative will develop new scientific tools and provide people across the UK with the skills urgently needed to monitor, understand and protect urban nature. Understanding how wildlife is responding to change requires large volumes of data and the gardens will become a hub for urban nature identification and field survey skills. As part of the project, the Natural History Museum will be piloting a range of technologies for monitoring change in urban environments, including eDNA and acoustic monitoring.


The Natural History Museum's new Data Ecosystem represents a multi-year collaboration with AWS to transform and accelerate scientific research. The Data Ecosystem will be built using AWS technologies and, through AWS Cloud, the Museum can capture, store, combine and compare data in a secure, resilient and scalable way.


As part of the project, Thoughtworks was selected by the Natural History Museum to develop the new biodiversity and environmental monitoring Data Ecosystem that will capture, share and interpret urban nature data for different audiences. Thoughtworks will be building the core of this Data Ecosystem and building intelligent products as part of the ecosystem. Specific tasks Thoughtworks will deliver include:


  • An easy to onboard Data Ecosystem platform using AWS technologies, which will act as a single store for all the Natural History Museum's UK biodiversity data and allow better data discoverability.
  • Providing a domain context and structure on how biological observations are stored and processed from various sources such as physical samples, visual observations and audio devices.
  • Enhancing data analysis equivalencing observations coming from different sources.


Through the ‘Urban Nature Project’, Museum staff will work with organizations across the UK to inspire the next generation, to create new opportunities for young people in cities and to help everyone learn about humanity's impact on the natural world. An expanded schools’ program at the Museum will allow students to explore the gardens with a focus on building a connection with nature, valuing biodiversity and pro-environmental actions. 


Patrick Sarnacke, Managing Director, Thoughtworks UK commented: "As a business, Thoughtworks has a strong, ongoing commitment to deliver a positive social impact in the communities we serve. We are thrilled to be working with the Natural History Museum and AWS on this ground-breaking initiative that will be a catalyst for enormous positive change.”


As an AWS Premier Partner, Thoughtworks has in-depth experience with AWS services and has been helping clients migrate to AWS Cloud since 2006. Our collaboration is dedicated to helping companies win with data and achieve their technology and business goals by leveraging the agility, breadth of services and pace of innovation of AWS.


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About Natural History Museum


The Natural History Museum is both a world-leading science research centre and the most-visited indoor attraction in the UK last year. With a vision of a future in which both people and the planet thrive, it is uniquely positioned to be a powerful champion for balancing humanity’s needs with those of the natural world.


It is custodian of one of the world’s most important scientific collections comprising over 80 million specimens accessed by researchers from all over the world both in person and via over 30 billion digital data downloads to date. The Museum’s 350 scientists are finding solutions to the planetary emergency from biodiversity loss through to the sustainable extraction of natural resources.


The Museum uses its global reach and influence to meet its mission to create advocates for the planet - to inform, inspire and empower everyone to make a difference for nature. We welcome millions of visitors through our doors each year, our website has had 17 million visits in the last year and our touring exhibitions have been seen by around 20 million people in the last 10 years.


About Thoughtworks


Thoughtworks is a global technology consultancy that integrates strategy, design and engineering to drive digital innovation. We are over 12,500 people strong across 50 offices in 18 countries. Over the last 25+ years, we’ve delivered extraordinary impact together with our clients by helping them solve complex business problems with technology as the differentiator.


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