Message from HMEI Chairman, Jim Anderson
Published 5 Aug 2021
Author: Jim Anderson
“HMEI – one globe, one industry, one voice”
HMEI was formally established in January 2002 at the American Meteorological Society meeting in Florida, USA. Nearly two decades later, and as we approach our 20th anniversary, much has changed.
Back in the early 2000’s the hydrometeorological industry was dominated by hardware manufacturers providing equipment to government agencies, hence why the Hydro-Meteorological Equipment Industry name was chosen. However, today the sector has grown into a large technology-oriented enterprise that not only builds equipment, but also operates observing networks, collects, analyses and distributes data, and provides vital insight to its customers.
Today, we are an industry that operates satellite networks, high speed computing systems, undertakes risk analytics for industry, and provides sophisticated communications and intelligence for consumer, business and government interests.
HMEI’s aim remains the same today as it did back in 2002 – to represent and provide one voice for the whole hydrometeorological sector. But we do, however, recognize that the industry has grown into much more than it was when we started nearly two decades ago. In keeping with this transformation and growth, HMEI has dropped the word ‘Equipment’ from its title – the established ‘HMEI’ acronym remains, however.
We have also added an important new position to our advisory board dedicated to the services sector – as a large proportion of our members are services companies or have a significant services component to their business. Ilse Gyle, vice president of strategy at Advanced Environmental Monitoring (AEM Group) is our services sector focused representative and is actively engaging with members and companies in this area.
HMEI continues to endeavor to build on this momentum and work to bring more services sector representation into our membership.
As HMEI acknowledges the growing importance of the different facets of the global private hydro-met sector, so too does the WMO. During the 22nd second session of the HMEI General Assembly (GA-22), which was held on Thursday, March 4, 2021, WMO Secretary General, Petteri Taalas, reminded industry that they have a friend in WMO, and that it welcomes further engagement to receive ideas about services it can offer the private sector.
According to the WMO representatives attending GA-22, there are many opportunities where the public and private sector can work together. Some of the key areas highlighted include modelling, service delivery, unmanned aerial vehicles, sustainable solutions, exascale computing, ocean observations, radio frequency, aviation, and satellite technologies.
Industry were encouraged to get in touch with HMEI to find out how they can get involved. During GA-22 Anthony Rea, Director of Infrastructure Department at WMO, said, “HMEI has a vital role in assisting WMO to build bridges to the private community.”
HMEI’s partnership with the WMO strengthened in June 2018 when we were promoted to a Working Arrangement. This arrangement foresees consultation and collaboration, including the development of standards and promotion of compliance, and guidance on technical specifications and project design and public-private partnership.
HMEI is now working very closely with WMO’s newly-formed Public-Private Engagement Office to develop a business model that is mutually beneficial to all parties when drawing up a public private engagement agreement document. We also held an information day in March with the WMO providing our members a chance to learn more about the key changes happening at the WMO and how the private sector can get involved. There will be more information days in the near future – giving our members more opportunity to foster improved cooperation with the WMO.
I’d also like to take this opportunity to welcome the new members who have joined HMEI in recent months, including Tomorrow.io, Meteopress, Piesat Information Technology, Synoptic Data, Primeau Global Sourcing, and Qingdao Leice Transient Technology.
The global weather enterprise is growing…
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