Resilient Ecosystems

Selected

SafetyNet Technologies

Building sustainable solutions in the commercial fishing sector

Team Lead

Dan Watson

Solution Overview

Solution Name:

SafetyNet Technologies

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One-line solution summary:

SafetyNet Technologies designs and builds trusted and valued solutions that enable Precision Fishing in the commercial fishing sector.

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Pitch your solution.

Between 8 and 25% of the total global fisheries catch is discarded each year due to a technical inability to accurately target and catch the right fish.

SNTech is working towards a world where humans and the ocean thrive together. We're working on Precision Fishing technologies that enable Observation, Measurement and Response to fishing activities and changes in the ocean.
Pisces, a light-emitting device that can lower bycatch by up to 90%, is the first technology we've brought to market, and we want to introduce it at scale to fisheries that need to reduce their bycatch.

Success with Pisces looks like a simple-to-fit, affordable solution that is actively deployed to combat bycatch by thousands - or millions! - of fishers, saving billions of ocean creatures. Precision Fishing tools will ensure food security, income and higher welfare for millions of people that rely on fishing, as well as protecting ocean biodiversity.

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Film your elevator pitch.

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What specific problem are you solving?

Overfishing and bycatch are huge global problems with few proven solutions. 8-25% (27mn tons) of the total global fisheries catch is discarded each year due to a technical inability to accurately target and catch the right fish (costing $6.6bn per annum [FAO]). The World Bank estimates that poor fisheries management costs the global economy $50bn/pa. Roughly 1/5 the global population (9bn by 2050) relies on fish as its primary protein source. Discarding seriously threatens this resource, as juvenile, endangered and other non-marketable fish are needlessly destroyed, at great economic, environmental and ecological cost.

The ocean also supports a huge number of communities, through supplying food and industry. Coastal communities depend on the ocean for trade and jobs (~40 million fishing industry jobs valued at $241bn/pa). As commercial and artisanal fishing sectors suffer, so do the communities they support. Whole value chains are built on a healthy ocean, able to provide for humanity forever, but without careful management this cannot be the case.

New regulations (fines and fishing right removal) increases pressure on fishing crews to catch more selectively, despite not having the tools to mitigate this problem. Cost effective ways of fishing selectively represent one way to address this.

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What is your solution?

Pisces - SNTech's first Precision Fishing tool, is a simple to use, affordable, LED light emitting device that retrofits onto any existing fishing nets. It helps fishermen attracts the size and species of fish they’re licensed to catch while repelling non-target species, acting like an emergency escape sign. A standard-sized fishing net uses around 10 Pisces lights (1 kit).

10 years' research with leading academic institutions has enabled SafetyNet to build a database of how ocean creatures respond to different types of light, and Pisces is our tool for applying that knowledge to the fishing process. Light has been shown to reduce bycatch by up to 90% in some fisheries - a substantial and exciting change in selectivity!

We've designed Pisces with fishermen, for fishermen, using a human-centered design process, meaning it's fit for purpose, easy to use and affordable. We supply our devices as a hardware-as-a-service 2-year contract, during which we support crews with maintenance and supply them with instructions on how best to exploit the science behind Pisces. This relationship also allows us to collect data from crews about how well the devices are performing, enabling us to improve the science and our technology.


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Who does your solution serve, and in what ways will the solution impact their lives?

SNTech works to improve the lives of fishing crews, coastal communities and  - more widely - anyone who eats fish or respects ocean health. There are many different stakeholders involved in our ability to deliver this work, and we engage through a human-centered design process and co-design with our end-users and customers (not always the same people). We act as a nexus between the industry, science, policy makers and consumers - who traditionally do not work well together, or even like each other.

The fishing community is underserved as they require tools to fish sustainably which are currently very early stage or do not exist (that's where Pisces comes in).

Policy makers serve their communities, who require the ocean to be protected for reasons spanning biodiversity, food security and economy. They currently lack tools to enable new regulations to be robustly implemented (that's where Pisces, Enki and Helios come in).

Scientists currently lack robust data on ocean conditions, fishing operations and species abundance (that's where Helios and Enki come in).

Pisces protects ocean biodiversity, aligned with SDG 14. Through helping maintain sustainable fish stocks, Pisces supports SDG 2 as there will be more reliable ocean food for the global population. SDG 12 is supported as Pisces helps the fishing industry consume fish stocks in a more responsible way. Pisces enables collaboration between science, policy and industry (SDG 17).

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Which dimension of the Challenge does your solution most closely address?

Create scalable economic opportunities for local communities, including fishing, timber, tourism, and regenerative agriculture, that are aligned with thriving and biodiverse ecosystems
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Explain how the problem you are addressing, the solution you have designed, and the population you are serving align with the Challenge.

Our technologies are all aimed at reducing waste in the fishing sector, retaining biodiversity and safeguarding income and food streams for populations of all demographic backgrounds.

Our vision is a world where humans and the ocean thrive together. This seems to align well with the Challenge, whereby ocean resources are absolutely vital to supporting a growing population both financially and from a protein perspective, but cannot continue to be exploited at the expense of the environment and species that call the ocean home.

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In what city, town, or region is your solution team headquartered?

London, UK
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What is your solution’s stage of development?

Pilot: An organization deploying a tested product, service, or business model in at least one community.
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Explain why you selected this stage of development for your solution.

SNTech has now built a production line for Pisces, and has made good headway with other product and service development (Enki, Helios). We now need pilot partners to demonstrate our technologies in a commercial environment, to show that they're effective and help us on our path to scale.

We are already working with pilot partners such as Tesco, Marks and Spencers, Clearwater Seafoods, Cooke Aquaculture among others in UK, Canadian, US and French fisheries. For our technologies to be truly impactful, we will need to work with partners willing to commit resources to proving their efficacy and impact.

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Who is the Team Lead for your solution?

Dan Watson

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More About Your Solution

Which of the following categories best describes your solution?

A new technology
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What makes your solution innovative?

Different species of fish are affected by lights in different ways. Some are attracted and some are repelled, and it all depends on the type of light you use. Our innovative and affordable product enables users (fishermen) to easily specify the wavelength, intensity, polarization and flash-pattern of the light it emits, to better attract the size and species of fish they are licensed to catch. It is easy to fit, recharge and is designed specifically for the fishing environment. It retrofits to any type of fishing gear and a set of 10 lights and a charger (enough for most vessels) can pay off its own purchase within 1 day of use by fishermen by enabling them to comply with new fishing regulations that reward the use of sustainable gears.

Pisces (and Precision Fishing technologies can be catalytic in a variety of ways):

  • Pisces can enable a whole new set of experimentation into light as a bycatch reduction tool and how fish respond, acting as a standardised programmable light source for scientists.
  • Pisces can dramatically reduce bycatch when applied to commercial fishing gears by fishing crews, based on existing and future science.
  • Other technologies, currently in SNTech's R&D pipeline, include easy to fit oceanographic sensors and camera systems that will turn fishing vessels into scientific platforms for gathering data. This will produce new data in higher resolution, which can be used to build and fuel new scientific research, and better guide the fishing fleet where and how to fish.
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Please select the technologies currently used in your solution:

  • Artificial Intelligence / Machine Learning
  • Behavioral Technology
  • Big Data
  • Biomimicry
  • GIS and Geospatial Technology
  • Imaging and Sensor Technology
  • Internet of Things
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Select the key characteristics of your target population.

  • Low-Income
  • Middle-Income
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In which countries do you currently operate?

  • Canada
  • Denmark
  • France
  • Indonesia
  • Italy
  • Malaysia
  • New Zealand
  • Spain
  • United Kingdom
  • United States
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Which of the UN Sustainable Development Goals does your solution address?

  • 2. Zero Hunger
  • 8. Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • 12. Responsible Consumption and Production
  • 14. Life Below Water
  • 17. Partnerships for the Goals
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In which countries will you be operating within the next year?

  • Canada
  • Costa Rica
  • Denmark
  • Ecuador
  • France
  • Indonesia
  • Italy
  • Malaysia
  • New Zealand
  • Peru
  • Spain
  • United Kingdom
  • United States
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How many people does your solution currently serve? How many will it serve in one year? In five years?

Currently, Pisces serves 18 vessels through commercial and scientific trials. Over the next 3 years, we expect the following growth:

  • 2022 - 251 vessels
  • 2023 - 432 vessels
  • 2024 - 864 vessels
  • 2025 - 1,209 vessels
  • 2026 - 1,528 vessels

We expect to supply other Precision Fishing technologies (Enki, Helios) to the following numbers of vessels:

  • 2022 - (Enki): 0 (Helios): 251
  • 2023 - (Enki): 288 (Helios): 648
  • 2024 - (Enki): 648 (Helios): 1,584
  • 2025 - (Enki): 875 (Helios): 2,303
  • 2026 - (Enki): 1,132 (Helios): 3,509

Vessels typically house 1-10 people, so at a minimum, SNTech's Precision Fishing technologies will directly impact 5,037 people, and potentially up to ~50,000 people. There will be knock-on positive effects through the value chain (eg, higher price for fish at market, better quality catch, improved safety at sea and welfare, improved food security, reduced greenhouse gas emissions and improved access to oceanographic and fishing data). Secondary impacts could reach millions of people through the subsequent protection of biodiversity and fish stocks.

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How are you measuring your progress toward your impact goals?

SDG 2 (End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture): 

INDICATOR 2.1.2 Prevalence of moderate or severe population food insecurity.

<10 years

  • KPI: # of at-risk fish stocks
  • KPI: # of at-risk communities due to at-risk fish stocks

SDG 8 (Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, productive employment and decent work for all):

INDICATOR 8.4.1 Material footprint, material footprint per capita, and material footprint per GDP

2-3 years

  • KPI: £ increased for fishing crews
  • KPI: £ increased for fishing vessel owners

SDG 12 (Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns):

INDICATOR 12.3.1 Halve per capita global food waste at the retail and consumer levels and reduce food losses along production and supply chains.

8-10 years

  • KPI: #kg/tonnes captured fish wasted by customer fishing vessels due to no sale due to lack of market demand

SDG 14 (Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development):

INDICATOR 14.4.1  Proportion of fish stocks within biologically sustainable levels

<5 years

  • KPI: # customer vessels fishing in line with ICES biological limit advice.

INDICATOR 14.a.1  Proportion of total research budget allocated to research in the field of marine technology

1-2 years

  • KPI: £ SNTech spends on marine tech R&D

SDG 17 (Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development):

INDICATOR 17.16.1 Enhance the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development.

1-2 years: 

  • KPI: # collaborative partnerships and projects (national/international)
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About Your Team

What type of organization is your solution team?

For-profit, including B-Corp or similar models

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How many people work on your solution team?

Full time: 12

Part time: 5

Contractors: 2

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How long have you been working on your solution?

12

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How are you and your team well-positioned to deliver this solution?

Directors:

Interdisciplinary: The team comprises user-centred-design experts, mechanical and electronic engineers, product designers, storytellers, scientists and business modellers. The ability to identify the needs of different stakeholders, generate and evaluate business models in support of technical solutions and then communicate them to different communities in order to get feedback means SNTech produces devices that have a high chance of being used and useful.

Design-led: More than half of the current team has had formal human-centred design training, and the company is design-led. The result of this is that the vast majority of interventions across the business, whether supplying a user-friendly, intuitive bycatch reduction system to a trawler or socialising useful information internally, are considered with reference to other ongoing activities.

Gender-balanced: SNTech is a gender balanced team with top-level female leadership, and with a strong emphasis on employee happiness and passion for the work. A supportive studio environment and benefits are offered that enable the team to confidently progress the company mission of “developing and scaling trusted and valued solutions that enable sustainable fishing practices in the fishing industry”.

Industry-proven: The team’s expertise has already brought complex ocean products to market, IoT products, biosensors and multiple social enterprises.

SNTech is employee-owned, and has created a supportive, inclusive and diverse company culture which is founded in creating positive change in the world. TEAL principles empower individuals to take responsibility and ownership of their work. Employees have personal development plans and dedicated budgets to help progress.


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What is your approach to building a diverse, equitable, and inclusive leadership team?

Gender-balanced: SNTech is a gender-balanced team with top-level female leadership, and with a strong emphasis on employee happiness and passion for the work. A supportive studio environment and benefits are offered that enable the team to confidently progress the company mission of “developing and scaling trusted and valued solutions that enable sustainable fishing practices in the fishing industry”.

Accessible employment: SNTech job descriptions are written to be as inclusive as possible and shared via a wide range of job boards and networks to ensure they are offered to as many people as possible. Candidates are selected based on enthusiasm and supporting skills/knowledge, and then progress through a range of interview stages, one of which is focused on company culture fit. We encourage our colleagues to bring their entire selves to work, as they will be safely accepted.

Fair reward: While SNTech is a growing company, we work really hard to ensure our colleagues are properly rewarded for their work. We always pay for work done with SafetyNet (including internships), and make sure salaries fall within fair market rates.

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Your Business Model & Partnerships

Do you primarily provide products or services directly to individuals, to other organizations, or to the government?

Organizations (B2B)
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Partnership & Prize Funding Opportunities

Why are you applying to Solve?

SNTech is intensively collaborative, and will need support across a range of different activities in order to achieve our mission. We are extremely open to mentoring, networking and pro-bono support from experienced and talented people. This is where we see the huge potential of Solve to help us, as our Directors all believe strongly in the idea of raising our "luck coefficient" by making sure as many people as possible know what we're trying to achieve, and asking them for help on the way.

In short, we are keen to be supported via:

  • Introductions (Industry, government, NGOs)
  • Creative problem solving and business modelling support
  • Mission and vision strategy
  • Partnership and pilot planning
  • Regulatory strategy (very key for us)
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In which of the following areas do you most need partners or support?

  • Human Capital (e.g. sourcing talent, board development, etc.)
  • Financial (e.g. improving accounting practices, pitching to investors)
  • Legal or Regulatory Matters
  • Technology (e.g. software or hardware, web development/design, data analysis, etc.)
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Please explain in more detail here.

As a growing company, SNTech is transitioning from a company that works within regulations, to a company that will try to positively influence them. We need help on both fronts:

  • How do we scale our products and services across new geographies and new regulatory environments?
  • How do we help influence policy to enable new solutions to thrive with the support needed to incentivise uptake and de-risk investment from industry and capital sources.
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What organizations would you like to partner with, and how would you like to partner with them?

MIT Faculty - IoT engineers, AI and Machine Vision scientists, Human Centred Design practitioners (eg, Media Lab).

Corporates/Retailers - Those with a fishing supply chain, or those that have experience with perishable supply chains with a traceability component (particularly in highly regulated industries).

Fishing companies (large and small)

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Do you qualify for and would you like to be considered for The Andan Prize for Innovation in Refugee Inclusion? If you select Yes, explain how you are qualified for the prize in the additional question that appears.

No, I do not wish to be considered for this prize, even if the prize funder is specifically interested in my solution

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Do you qualify for and would you like to be considered for The GM Prize? If you select Yes, explain how you are qualified for the prize in the additional question that appears.

No, I do not wish to be considered for this prize, even if the prize funder is specifically interested in my solution

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Do you qualify for and would you like to be considered for the Innovation for Women Prize? If you select Yes, explain how you are qualified for the prize in the additional question that appears.

No, I do not wish to be considered for this prize, even if the prize funder is specifically interested in my solution

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Do you qualify for and would you like to be considered for the Minderoo Prize to End Global Overfishing? If you select Yes, explain how you are qualified for the prize in the additional question that appears.

Yes, I wish to apply for this prize

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Explain how you are qualified for this prize. How will your team use the Minderoo Prize to End Global Overfishing to advance your solution?

SNTech focuses entirely on ending overfishing, and has done since its inception over 12 years ago.

We started with bycatch reduction, and have adapted over the years to build new and innovative technology to help improve fisheries monitoring and increase supply chain integrity. We are very confident that our mission and vision are aligned with the Minderoo Foundation's mission and vision.

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Do you qualify for and would you like to be considered for The ServiceNow Prize? If you select Yes, explain how you are qualified for the prize in the additional question that appears.

No, I do not wish to be considered for this prize, even if the prize funder is specifically interested in my solution

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Do you qualify for and would you like to be considered for The AI for Humanity Prize? If you select Yes, explain how you are qualified for the prize in the additional question that appears.

Yes, I wish to apply for this prize

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Explain how you are qualified for this prize. How will your team use The AI for Humanity Prize to advance your solution?

SNTech is applying AI to aggregated fishing and oceanographic datasets, in order to help model changes in fish stocks and the climate. This is entirely in the interest of a more sustainable planet, and safer society, and aligns with the mission of the AI for Humanity Prize.

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Do you qualify for and would you like to be considered for The GSR Prize? If you select Yes, explain how you are qualified for the prize in the additional question that appears.

No, I do not wish to be considered for this prize, even if the prize funder is specifically interested in my solution

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Solution Team

  • AD AD
  • Nadia Laabs Co-founder & COO, SafetyNet Technologies
  • Mr Dan Watson Co-Founder & CEO, SafetyNet Technologies LTD
 
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