Reboot the Ocean Challenge Winners Announced

NEW YORK, 5 June (Office of Information and Communications Technology) — The United Nations announced the winners of Unite Ideas Reboot the Ocean challenge. The challenge was launched as a collaboration between the UN Global Compact and the UN Office of Information and Communications Technology (OICT). 

The challenge was part of the Reboot Accelerator Programme—a call for innovative solutions that aims to utilize the crowdsourcing platform to solve global challenges. 

The five winning ideas provide solutions to 5 Tipping Points identified by the United Nations to achieve a healthy and productive ocean by 2030. The tipping points cover the areas of sustainable seafood, zero-emission shipping, mapping the ocean, harnessing ocean energy, and ending waste entering the ocean. 

Reboot the Ocean winners are young innovators from around the world that engage technology to solve the ocean's problems. Winning idea Recube, represented by young innovator Lokesh Sambhwani, has created smart packaging systems to close the loop and create a circular closed-loop economy. The winning team for the Ending Waste Entering the Ocean category, consists of five young changemakers from India that aims to eradicate single-use disposables in food, fast-moving consumer goods, and E-commerce through reusable systems and engaging local brands. 

Local engagement is also used by ConnectOcean, winner of the Sustainable Seafood category. ConnectOcean is an initiative that provides training in data collection and sustainable fishing methods in Costa Rica. Sarah Travers, the team representative, said the solution incentivizes local fishermen to put extra effort into sustainable fishing practices and data collection because they will gain access to the virtual marketplace where local restaurants and families can buy their catch online.  

Creating a new approach to solve ocean challenges are one way the winning teams built their solutions. The winning idea, Cloudonomous, aims to answer the challenge of Mapping the Ocean with one of the lowest cost marine autonomous vehicles available on the market, and by using robust open-source marine autonomous software. The team from India, represented by Satish Ramachandranow, built a software framework that can be integrated with an underwater vehicle to perform seabed measurements autonomously or remotely through cloud.  

In Chile, Carlos von Dessauer and his team aimed to solve the problem of global shipping damaging the environment through high levels of carbon emissions and acoustic pollution on sea life through. Winner in the Zero Emission Shipping category, the team’s SANC-S (Ship Active Noise Canceling System) solution reduces the amount and intensity of ocean noise, relying on a technology similar to the one used in expensive noise-canceling audio equipment.  

Sandali Weerasinghe, from Sri Lanka, presented her winning idea for the Harnessing Ocean Energy category. The solution, Ocean-Based Alternative Energy Technologies, combines tidal and wind power and involves the installation of tidal stream turbines on the bases of offshore wind turbines. 

Despite these uncertain times, the winning solutions showcase the power of ideas and the determination of young innovators to create solutions for the world's unresolved problems.  

The five winning ideas were selected from among 80 submissions to #RebootTheOcean through the Unite Ideas platform. Unite Ideas is a crowd-sourcing platform developed by the United Nations Office of Information and Communications Technology, mobilizing data scientists and software developers globally. It fosters collaboration with civil society and UN offices to create open-source technology solutions in support of the Sustainable Development Goals. For more information, please visit ideas.unite.un.org

If you would like to contribute to building open-source tools for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals globally, create an account on ideas.unite.un.org to receive notifications of upcoming challenges. 

The winning #RebootTheOcean solutions can be viewed on https://bit.ly/LetsRebootTheOcean. For more information, please email uniteideas@un.org.