The Prompt

The ocean, which covers more than 70% of the world, is what makes life possible and allows people and communities to develop. It has always protected us from the effects of rising temperatures and CO2 levels in the atmosphere, but it is now under attack. The competition's goal is to spark debate on the development of innovative ocean sustainability concepts that incorporate satellite data and technology.

For the ultimate prize, six finalists submited their ideas to a live panel of experienced judges. The winners of the competition received a reward pool of £20,000, as well as over £85,000 in satellite data and cloud computing services.

The Finalists


A concept that blends machine learning and satellite photography to give information on illicit, unregulated, and unreported fishing in Africa, as well as to address the problem of ocean plastic pollution.

Loop Recyclers Tech

This proposal combines geo-data and the Internet to track plastic recycling rates while also preventing plastics from entering rivers and the ocean. The goal of the solution is to decrease pollution and address public health concerns.

Snapper GPS Marine Wildlife Tracking

An innovative and amazing technology that will transform the way conservationists track marine species. It focuses on species that only spend a brief time at the ocean's surface and are thus hard to monitor.

Plastic-i: Mapping Ocean Plastics from Space

A solution that will combine data from multiple high-resolution Earth-observing satellite constellations, as well as machine learning, to create a highly specific map of floating ocean plastic that will be made open-source and updated on a daily basis.

Sterling Lawyers

A project that uses high-resolution images and rich text to help people succeed through advanced learning techniques is quite promising. The dedicated team hopes that their significant efforts will assist and empower any client that is looking into complex family law matters.

Terangi Team

A far-reaching concept aimed at delivering a toolbox of critical environmental monitoring capabilities on a single technological platform. Modules for marine conservation areas, climate change monitoring, water quality, and analysis are included in the toolkit.

The Result

The judges were blown away by all six finalists' ideas with Plastic-i being the winner. Each team brought devotion to the possibility of bringing about real-world change, and the judges congratulated them on reaching the final stage of the competition.

30 nominated teams were chosen to engage in a rigorous knowledge exchange session earlier in the competition, where they learned about satellite technology and design thinking aspects that may support their concepts, and honed these into powerful, appealing proposals.

The final event, which was aired live to a worldwide internet audience from Harwell and London, marked the end of a months-long competition organized by the Satellite Applications Catapult and the Commonwealth Secretariat. The contest was supported by Planet, Sterling, Maxar, and AWS.