Nigerian Wins Top 3 in Commonwealth-wide Ideas Competition


Nigeria’s Loop Recyclers Tech came third in the Commonwealth-wide Ideas Competition to find innovative solutions to ocean and climate challenges using the power of satellites.

Conservationist Dr Collins Akumabor, founder of Loop Recyclers Tech, in his presentation to the Hack The Planet 2021 Contest, said the concept is to use geospatial data to monitor and improve recycling rates of plastics, keeping them from reaching rivers and the ocean.

The British creators of Plastic-i – a powerful tool for mapping ocean plastics with Earth observation satellites – won the competition.

Plastic-i is an idea to help tackle marine pollution by combining satellite data with machine learning to create an open source floating pollution map, updated daily.

Dr James Doherty, Dr Lauren Bierman, Michael Lawton and Dr Jonal Hill developed the cutting edge concept in collaboration between OXLABS and Plymouth Marine Laboratory.

He passed five other outstanding finalists at a live presentation event held yesterday to find the most impactful and scalable idea that uses satellite technologies to solve ocean challenges.

Lucy Edge, COO, Satellite Applications Catapult, said: “From the spark of an idea two years ago, we are delighted to announce today our first winners of the Hack the Planet competition. It was a remarkable trip; From over 80 entries, two months of intensive training and mentoring, to the last six teams entering the final today, the commitment shown by the participants has been inspiring. We look forward to following Plastic-i’s journey as they advance their ideas and we are ready to support all of the finalists to turn their ideas into reality.

The Terangi team from Malaysia took second place for their pitch to create a technology platform to monitor environmental elements such as climate change and water quality, while analyzing potential threats.

The three winners will share a prize pool of £ 20,000 plus more than £ 85,000 in satellite data and cloud computing services, according to a statement from Josephine Latu-Sanft, senior communications officer for the Commonwealth Secretariat.

Hack the Planet is a fully virtual international ideas competition that brings together concepts from diverse communities living on the frontlines to address the challenges of climate emergency and ocean sustainability across the Commonwealth, along with the technical resources to support the innovation of new solutions.

The distinguished jury that selected the winners included: Chris Gorell Barnes, Founding Partner, Ocean 14 Capital and Co-Founder of the Blue Marine Foundation; Angelique Pouponneau, CEO, Seychelles Conservation and Climate Adaptation Trust; Andrew Zolli, vice president of sustainability and impact at Planet; Angelique Brathwaite, co-founder of Blue Finance; Phil Cooper, Aerospace and Satellite Solutions, Regional Director EMEA at Amazon Web Services; and Laura Benns, program director at Second Muse.

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