Haizea Analytics joined CEAT as a new Hub member last month. We spoke to co-founder Dr Pablo Larraondo (left) about Haizea Analytics and their hopes for growth in the future.
Haizea is a Basque word meaning ‘wind’. In Basque mythology, Haizea is also the name of the goddess associated with wind, and is said to have the power to bring storms and change the weather – a powerful representation of control over the earth.
Haizea Analytics was created by Pablo and colleague Albert Van Dijk, a professor at the ANU Fenner School for Environment and Society. Haizea is a data analytics company – working with large, publicly available earth datasets from satellites and climate models, and making this data accessible to their clients through their platform terrak.io.
“The customisation comes from the datasets… we need to transform those datasets into something that is meaningful to clients,” Pablo says.
The company was born out of a collaboration between Pablo and Albert. Pablo was working at the National Computing Infrastructure (NCI) at the time, having come from working both at CSIRO and at Geoscience Australia at the time they were developing Digital Earth Australia.
“I was in contact with all these datasets – remote sensing and satellite data – a big part of NCI was storing all these big datasets. Normally when scientists and researchers want to use this data they use the NCI because that’s where the data is, and the first hurdle to using all this data is getting access to the data because you need a big computer to have that (this is the NCI).”
“There was a project that we were collaborating with CSIRO and Geoscience Australia to develop a server that provides services to access the data more easily – that was called GSKY – that was the product that was developed at the NCI.”
Pablo met Albert through his work at NCI and then went to work with him at the ANU Fenner School, in a role which further exposed him to applications for the data, through the research projects being done. The idea for Haizea came near the end of his role at Fenner.
“The idea of starting a company was based on the ideas with what we had done with GSKY and NCI, but instead of relying on a supercomputer doing it on the cloud so that it is accessible to anyone.”
Haizea was created in March 2021 and has been building ever since. What started as a side project with one client and a small project and has now grown to a company of four employees with projects across the country. Their primary clients are in government – the water departments in NSW and Queensland, as well as the Federal Department of Environment.
They first came to know about CEAT through the Innovation Institute’s 2021 H2O Hackathon. They kept in contact and joined the Hub after having learnt about the new plans for CEAT as well as the new space. They’re excited to be located in the CEAT Hub and at ANU.
“It’s a good opportunity for our technology (terrak.io). A lot of the times our clients are looking at new ways of using the data or looking for new datasets – that is something we normally don’t have the capacity to do – we don’t do research – so it is a very interesting opportunity for us to be in this environment, being close to researchers that are in the field and are developing new products, developing new things. If an opportunity comes up to engage, we can collaborate in that way… we provide technology, they provide the research perspective, that’s a very good match.”