Can space technology tell us how many whales there are?
One of the world’s leading professional services firms, Deloitte has joined with WDC in a bid to explore how space technology can tell us more about whales, and how to protect them.
This exciting project is part of Deloitte’s Gravity Challenge, a global programme that encourages corporates, entrepreneurs and universities to use innovative space technology to solve real-world problems facing society, industry and the environment.
One of the challenges this year has been set by WDC and will centre on the use of technology to answer the mystery of global whale populations and unlock the opportunities of ocean-based solutions to the climate crisis.
Erich Hoyt, research fellow at Whale and Dolphin Conservation, said: 'The Gravity Challenge could be a game changer in helping us find satellite-scale solutions to map whale populations across the ocean. It will support our work to help whales recover from centuries of abuse, as well creating ocean-based solutions to the nature and climate emergencies.'
In addition to counting whales, WDC is partnering with the UK Hydrographic Office on another challenge to use satellite technology and environmental data to reduce ship strikes on marine mammals. The project has the potential to help reduce the threat to whales and dolphins in busy shipping lanes across the world.
Registrations are now open for space technology companies and experts to express their interest in solving these challenges. The winners, announced in October 2021, will work with the challenge providers to turn the pilots into solutions.
Scott Campbell, partner in Deloitte Ventures, said: 'We have entered a new space race for innovation. The number of start-up and scale-up businesses looking to use data from space has soared, evolving an industry that previously had a high barrier for entry. This presents significant opportunities for businesses and communities across the world that are looking to space technology to solve some of the largest challenges they are currently facing.'
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