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Six Finalists Selected to Offer Innovative Climate & Ocean Solutions at ‘Hack the Planet’ Competition 2021



After an unprecedented Pan-Commonwealth search for innovative satellite-driven solutions to tackle the challenges of climate emergency and ocean sustainability, the Satellite Applications Catapult and the Commonwealth Secretariat are delighted to announce the inaugural finalists of the Hack the Planet competition 2021.

The six finalists include inspiring leaders with game-changing solutions that leverage the power of satellites to make a real difference in the Commonwealth and the world.

With a prize pool of £20,000 plus over £85,000 worth of satellite data and cloud computing services for the winners of the competition, the six finalists will now enter the final stage of the competition for a live pitch event, where they will pitch their concepts to a panel of expert judges.

The finalists are:

  • CAPELLA (The Gambia) – an idea that combines machine learning and satellite imagery to provide data on illegal, unregulated and unreported fishing in Africa and to address the challenge of ocean plastic pollution.
  • Loop Recyclers Tech (Nigeria) – this concept uses the power of geospatial data and the Internet of Things to monitor and improve recycling rates for plastics and prevent plastics from reaching rivers and the ocean. The solution aims to reduce pollution levels, prevent illegal waste disposal and address public health issues.
  • Marine Wildlife Tracking with Snapper GPS (UK) – an impressive and novel solution that will change the way conservationists monitor marine animals. The idea focuses on animals that only spend short periods at the surface of the ocean and are therefore normally difficult to track.
  • Plastic-i: Mapping Ocean Plastics from Space (UK) – a solution that will combine data from multiple high-resolution Earth-observing satellite constellations, combined with machine learning to create a highly specific map of floating ocean plastic, to be offered open-source and updated daily.
  • Project 30 (Trinidad and Tobago) – a project looking to streamline the Marine Protected Area (MPA) selection and evaluation process, using high-resolution satellite imagery, analysed via machine learning. Ultimately the team plan for their tool to be used by Governments, NGOs and conservation professionals to manage and designate MPAs.
  • Terangi Team (Malaysia) – a wide-reaching idea that aims to deliver a toolbox of important environmental monitoring capabilities in a single technology platform. The toolbox includes modules for marine conservation areas, climate change monitoring, water quality, and the analysis of potential environmental threats.

The ideas and commitment demonstrated by all six finalists to delivering real-world change greatly impressed the judges, who offered them their congratulations on reaching the final stage of the competition.

Earlier in the competition, 30 shortlisted teams were invited to participate in a rigorous, knowledge exchange programme where they learnt about satellite technologies and elements of design thinking that could support their ideas, and hone these into robust, compelling pitches.

The final event will be live-streamed on 14th October from 12:00 BST. To find out more and register to attend click here.

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