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European Commission’s flagship Earth observation programme Copernicus selects CGI for insurance sector information service

CGI to develop a proof of concept to forecast impact of severe wind storms in the next 35 years

London, United Kingdom, 23 February 2016 -  

CGI (TSX: GIB.A) (NYSE: GIB), has been awarded a two year contract by the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) for the EU Copernicus programme to develop a proof-of-concept for a Sectoral Information Service (SIS) focused on the insurance sector. Funded by the European Commission, Copernicus uses information collected from satellite, land, sea and air to help industry and business sectors as well as policy-makers and scientists to understand and mitigate climate threat, adapt to change and capitalise on business opportunities. CGI’s project aims to work with the Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S) to make the Copernicus climate change data more accessible to the different industrial and public sector user communities.

The number and size of losses suffered by the insurance sector due to natural disasters caused by atmospheric hazards, and severe wind storms in particular, has increased steadily over recent decades. CGI will lead a team of specialists including two national meteorological agencies, two universities, and industrial partners from the space and insurance sectors to develop the Wind Storm Information Service (WISC) proof of concept to help the insurance sector better understand the level of risk.

CGI will develop and integrate the WISC platform which will take data on hundreds of historical windstorms, going as far back as 1900, and input it to an advanced catastrophe modelling framework to produce high-quality forecasts of potential future losses from severe windstorms. The project will produce key indicators such as number of European winter windstorms per year, average maximum wind speed of winter windstorms and average storm severity.

CGI will lead the insurance sector engagement to ensure the service delivers the most useful information, including forecasts of the total insurance losses per year due to windstorms and the total losses of transport infrastructure per year. The information generated by WISC will also support planning for the impact of climate change in other sectors such as energy, transport, civil engineering and government.

Jean-Noël Thépaut, Head of the Copernicus Climate Change Service at ECMWF, said “A key objective of the Copernicus Climate Change Service is to combine observations of the climate system with the latest science to develop authoritative information about the past, current and future states of the climate and its impacts. We are delighted that CGI is leading this first proof-of-concept and has brought together an experienced team to demonstrate how this service can bring clear benefits to the insurance sector”

“We are proud of our 40 year heritage in the space industry and pleased to have secured our first contract with ECMWF under the Copernicus Climate Change Service” said Steve Smart, SVP of Space, Defence, National and Cyber Security at CGI. “We understand the huge potential of exploiting climate data from space, into information services which bring business benefit to commercial markets. We are excited to work with the insurance sector to demonstrate the value that the Wind Storm Information Service can deliver to them and we intend to develop other services in the future”.

CGI delivers complex, mission-critical space systems and works on the major European navigation, communication and earth observation programs such as Galileo, Skynet 5, Iris Precursor and Copernicus. Our systems produce weather satellite images and data for over 3 billion people across Europe, Asia Pacific and Africa and we deliver the maintenance and evolution of ESRIN’s earth observation ground systems.

About CGI

Founded in 1976, CGI Group Inc. is the fifth largest independent information technology and business process services firm in the world. Approximately 65,000 professionals serve thousands of global clients from offices and delivery centers across the Americas, Europe and Asia Pacific, leveraging a comprehensive portfolio of services including high-end business and IT consulting, systems integration, application development and maintenance, infrastructure management as well as a wide range of proprietary solutions. With annual revenue in excess of C$10 billion and an order backlog of C$20 billion, CGI shares are listed on the TSX (GIB.A) and the NYSE (GIB). Website: www.cgi.com

About Copernicus at ECMWF

Copernicus is the European Commission’s flagship Earth observation programme that delivers freely accessible operational data and information services. ECMWF has been entrusted to operate two key parts of the Copernicus programme and is assisting with a third to bring a consistent standard to the measurement, forecasting and prediction of atmospheric conditions and climate change:

  • The Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S) (in development) will routinely monitor and analyse around 20 essential climate variables to build a global picture of our climate, from the past to the future, as well as developing customisable climate indicators in relevant economic sectors. Website: climate.copernicus.eu
  • The Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service, CAMS, provides daily forecasts detailing the makeup composition of the atmosphere from the ground up to the stratosphere, atmosphere.copernicus.eu
  • The Copernicus Emergency Management Service - Floods supports improvements to flood forecasting and understanding of the frequency, variability and consequences of extreme weather. Website: ecmwf.int

The European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) is an independent inter-governmental organisation supported by 34 states based in Reading, UK. ECMWF is both a research institute and a 24/7 operational service, producing and disseminating numerical weather predictions to its Member States. The Centre also offers a catalogue of forecast data that can be purchased by businesses worldwide and other commercial customers. The organisation was established in 1975 and now employs around 280 staff from more than 30 countries. ECMWF is one of the six members of the Co-ordinated Organisations, which also include the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO), the Council of Europe (CoE), the European Space Agency (ESA), the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), and the European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites (EUMETSAT).

For more information
Jenny Thorpe
UK External Communications
jenny.thorpe@cgi.com
+44 (0)7771 815428