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Hack the Planet Competition 2021 – Meet the inspiring finalists offering ground-breaking climate and ocean solutions

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

The six finalists include inspiring leaders with game-changing solutions that will make a real difference to the Commonwealth and the world. All 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.  There is 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 finalists are:

  • CAPELLA (The Gambia) – an idea which 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 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 which will change the way conservationists monitor marine animals. The idea focusses on animals which 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 which 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, 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 really impressed the judges, and we would like to offer them our 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 livestreamed on 14th October from 12:00 BST. To find out more and register to attend click here.


About the Hack the Planet competition

Hack the Planet is an entirely virtual international ideas competition that brings together concepts from diverse communities living on the front-line in facing the challenges of the climate emergency and ocean sustainability across the Commonwealth, together with the technical resources to support the innovation of new solutions. It is run by the Commonwealth Secretariat and the Satellite Applications Catapult and supported by Amazon Web Services, Deloitte, Maxar and Planet Labs.

The competition aims to stimulate discussion around the development of new approaches tackling the sustainability of the ocean, incorporating satellite data and technologies. Solutions are aligned to the 10 action areas of the Commonwealth Blue Charter.

To find out more, visit http://hacktheplanetcompetition.com/