Nigeria’s Loop Recyclers Tech has won third place among six finalists selected for the inaugural “Hack The Planet” competition this year. The platform uses geospatial data to monitor and improve recycling rates for plastics, preventing them from reaching rivers and the ocean.
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.
Dr Collins Akumabor, an environmental advocate and Loop Recyclers Tech’s founder made an excellent pitch of his idea (watch below at 2:05:50).
British creators of Plastic-i – a powerful tool for mapping ocean plastics with earth-observing satellites – won the first prize in the competition. Plastic-i is an idea to help tackle marine pollution by combining satellite data with machine learning to create an open-source map of floating pollution, updated daily.
Terangi Team from Malaysia won second place for their pitch to create a technology platform to monitor environmental elements such as climate change and water quality, while analysing potential threats.
The three winners will share a prize pool of £20,000 plus over £85,000 in satellite data and cloud computing services.
The finale event, broadcast from Harwell and London to a global online audience (broadcast above), concluded a months-long competition that spanned 54 countries, run by the Satellite Applications Catapult and the Commonwealth Secretariat. The contest was supported by Planet, Maxar, Amazon Web Services and Deloitte.
More than 80 teams submitted entries, from which just six were shortlisted for the final stage, following an intensive training and mentoring programme.
The pitch event opened with an address from the Secretary-General of the Commonwealth, Rt. Hon. Patricia Scotland QC, COO of the Satellite Applications Catapult, Lucy Edge and CEO of Planet, Will Marshall. The event also featured a keynote speech from world-renowned marine biologist and ocean educator Dr Asha de Vos, the founder and executive director of Oceanswell.
The distinguished panel of judges that selected the winners included: Chris Gorell Barnes