Clarenville’s SubC Imag­ing and Kolos­sal win grand prize for Con X Tech Prize

The Packet (Clarenville) - - Front page - BY JONATHAN PAR­SONS Jonathan.par­[email protected]­ Twit­ter: @je­j­par­sons

SubC Imag­ing, of Clarenville, along with Kolos­sal — an ocean ex­plo­ration and con­ser­va­tion non­profit in Cal­i­for­nia — were the re­cip­i­ents of the grand prize for the Con X Tech Prize at the Con­ser­va­tion In­no­va­tion and Tech­nol­ogy Happy Hour in the United States last month.

The $20,000 win was for SubC and Kolos­sal’s Real Deep Con­ser­va­tion VR (vir­tual re­al­ity). The pro­ject in­cludes the creation and launch of the ACKBAR (Au­tonomous Cam­era for Kraken Bait­ing and Record­ing) which is a deep-sea cam­era trap which al­lows for ex­plo­ration deep in the ocean. The de­vice was de­ployed off the coast of San Diego in the Pa­cific Ocean.

“The deep-sea is fac­ing sig­nif­i­cant con­ser­va­tion chal­lenges from bot­tom trawl­ing large nets on the seafloor, oil spills de­stroy­ing frag­ile deep-sea co­rals, and emerg­ing threats like min­ing of hy­dro­ther­mal vent com­mu­ni­ties,” ac­cord­ing to a re­lease an­nounc­ing the award win. “Most deep-sea ex­plo­ration oc­curs for ex­tract­ing re­sources, but the deep-sea cam­era trap will pro­vide an in­ex­pen­sive and easy to de­ploy tool for con­ser­va­tion­ists to rapidly ex­plore deep-sea habi­tats in or­der to bet­ter un­der­stand and pro­tect them.”

“It is easy to get ex­cited about ocean con­ser­va­tion when you are work­ing with

in­tel­li­gent peo­ple to­wards a com­mon goal,” says Chad Col­lett of SubC. “I am truly look­ing for­ward to the next stage of our sys­tem. Low­er­ing the bar­rier for deep-ocean re­search in the vis­i­ble spec­trum by de­vel­op­ing a lower-cost ben­thic cam­era trap, with a stretch goal of film­ing the colos­sal squid.”

Ac­cord­ing to a press re­lease is­sued in De­cem­ber, the goal of the Con X Tech Prize is to build the ecosys­tem of early-stage con­ser­va­tion tech­nol­ogy prod­ucts and so­lu­tions, and sup­port grow­ing teams and ideas around the world.

The $20,000 from the Con X Grand Prize will go to­wards fund­ing the next stage of de­vel­op­ment of the over­all sys­tem with the goal of re­duc­ing costs and mak­ing it more con­ve­nient to de­ploy cam­era traps to the deep ocean.

“The deep is alive, mostly un­ex­plored, and wor­thy of pro­tec­tion,” said Matt Mul­ren­nan leader of the Real Deep Con­ser­va­tion VR pro­ject and CEO of KOLOS­SAL. “This prize was amaz­ingly im­por­tant to de­velop an easy-to-use cam­era plat­form that could dis­rupt the out­ra­geous costs of deepsea re­search, and now we want to use it to find real, liv­ing sea mon­sters and help pro­tect them.

“Deep-sea tech­nolo­gies are fi­nally match­ing up to our level of cu­rios­ity, and it’s the most ex­cit­ing time in his­tory for ocean ex­plo­ration.”


Kevin Hardy of Global Ocean De­sign, Chad Col­lett of SubC and Matt Mul­ren­nan of Kolos­sal at the ACKBAR launch off the coast of San Diego.

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