20 February 2019

Lynker Analytics Launch Function

We were very pleased to host attendees from across the public and private sector at the official launch of Lynker Analytics in Wellington, New Zealand on February 20th.  The New Zealand team were joined at the launch by US based Lynker President and Lynker Analytics Chairman Joe Linza and his colleague and fellow director of the new company, Chief Scientist, Dr Graeme Aggett.

In his address Managing Director Matt Lythe explained the philosophy behind the company that everything is connected and the mission to unlock insights and relationships from complex environmental and business systems through advanced analytics. 

Principal, Analytics and Visualisation – Phil Woods then introduced a foundational capability that is in development called the Brain which is a suite of deep neural network models.

These models can be used to predict the future state of systems – environmental, organizational or infrastructure. 

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This suite of models is informed by a set of fundamental geospatial data layers that describe the environment such as climate, land use, topography and more.  Phil went on the explain the Brain can simulate and predict the future condition of an external data set such as a power grid, water network or customer portfolio based on geospatial inferred relationships within the Brain.

The Lynker Analytics video – everything connected explains geospatial inference and the Brain concept in more detail.

Joe Linza shared the history of Lynker including the growth in 12 years from a single person company to now almost 400 staff and the evolution into a science-centric environmental consulting company whose primary client is NOAA. 

He explained that Lynker now provide GIS services, hydrologic and hydrographic services, shipboard operations, diving operations, policy support, software development, and biological science across mainly federal government clients in the US. 

Dr Graeme Aggett also referenced the stresses we face across a myriad of fronts are only increasing including water resilience, watershed, river and coastal management, climate hazard, risk impacts and adaptation.  These issues are prevalent in New Zealand as they are everywhere else and that increasingly his team are turning to dense and multi-dimensional data sets generated by drones, ROVs and other sensors to understand the science. 

 
Machine learning decision systems and effective data visualization techniques are now essential tools to help us understand complexity and develop better resilience solutions for our customers
 

Based on this growing need for analytics Lynker initially considered Silicon Valley as a likely location to establish a team but instead turned to New Zealand, and specifically Wellington, as the ideal location that brings together creative people, a culture of innovation, and a national focus on the environment.

In his closing remarks Matt Lythe went on to say that the intent is to grow the analytics capacity in Wellington and the US into a world leading geospatial inference practice.  He added that the partnership model was potentially a good template for New Zealand start-ups as it can support the flow of ideas and capabilities in both directions across the Pacific Ocean.