The Ecosulis Tech Challenge, which closed on April 5, generated a number of interesting submissions encompassing a wide range of rewilding-related technologies. While the quality and potential of these submissions was high, the Ecosulis judging panel felt that five of the most promising entries would benefit from further development. The panel has now provided feedback, with the five entries to be judged again - and the winner announced - in the early summer.
"With so many great ideas the judges found it tough to make their final selection," says Ecosulis managing director Cain Blythe. "Ecosulis would like to thank all those who submitted entries, and we wish the remaining teams the best of luck as their refine their submissions."
The most promising submissions were as follows:
- Citizen Zoo
An automated mink eradication system.
- Seawater Solutions
An IoT-enabled saline agricultural system for transforming traditional coastal farms into artificial wetland environments for halophyte cultivation.
A series of models to assess the effects of rewilding, the dynamics of rewilded ecosystems, and the stability and resilience of these ecosystems under dynamic conditions.
- Brighton Wild
A mobile app allowing users to register a rewilded area of private property and provide rewilding advice.
- Blockchain-based Wildlife Incentives
Connecting urban environmentalists, rural landowners and rewilding projects through blockchain smart contracts.
An infographic illustrating the concept from Blockchain-based Wildlife Incentives.
"This contest inspired me to adopt my research to rewilding scenarios," explains Daniel Oberhauser, leader of the Blockchain-based Wildlife Incentives Team. "Our central idea is to use blockchain technology to improve the efficiency, effectiveness, and equity of payments for ecosystem services."
To maximise its effectiveness, conservation technology needs to be as collaborative as possible. Tech start-ups, policy makers, NGOs, big business, the finance sector, local communities and environmental consultancies all need to come together to build a conservation technology community that identifies challenges and develops and deploys innovative solutions as rapidly as possible.
It is in this spirit of collaborative innovation that Ecosulis established the Rewilding Tech Challenge. The overall aim of the contest is to drive the development of conservation technology and enterprise hubs which can catapult solutions into the field. The challenge was open to any UK-based individual, team or company willing to work with Ecosulis on the development of rewilding-related technology.
Challenge entries were evaluated by a judging panel comprising Ecosulis representatives, conservation scientists, and tech-focused professionals, entrepreneurs and investors. The winning entry will scoop a first prize of £5000. Ecosulis may decide to invest in the winning technology further if it is deemed commercially viable.