Ocean Exchange Announces Collegiate Innovation Contest

The BIG Pitch

Seeking Undergraduate & Graduate Innovations that Improve
Economies, Health, and the Environment
$10,000 cash award

Early Registration Deadline: August 1, 2015, 11:59pm GMT, $50 registration fee.
Final Registration Deadline: September 7, 2015, 11:59pm GMT, $100 registration fee after August 1st.

Eight finalists will be invited to present at the Ocean Exchange October 11, 2015 in front of 150 delegates from business, NGOs, academia, and government.
Welcome to the Ocean Exchange's Monthly Newsletter
June 2015 Edition

This month our featured Solutions are:
2014 registrant,
 Alabama Shrimping, and 2012 finalist, Resolute Marine Energy.

Draggin' Wing by Alabama Shrimping was an Ocean Exchange Solutions Inspiring Action contest registrant in 2014. The Wing Trawling System (WTS) cuts fuel use in half or more on shrimp trawlers, and also significantly reduces bycatch.
Alabama Shrimping website

Wing Trawling System on the water
Many improvements and design changes have been made to the Wing Trawling System (WTS) for shrimp trawling over the last two years. Water flow and stowage handling have progressed to make the system much easier for the fishermen. 

The most interesting feature of the WTS is its ability to not capture unwanted fish. Where typical trawl doors herd fish toward the center of the net, the WTS directs fish away from the net center toward freedom. Video demo here.
A design change in the WTS has improved this feature. Preliminary results are showing a possibility of a 90% by-catch reduction while retaining shrimp capture. 

Host vessel owned by WTS inventor Randy Skinner


To prove this and acquire scientific data, a NOAA Fisheries By-Catch Reduction Engineering Program (BREP) Grant has been awarded. Trawling is scheduled to begin July 1, 2015. A standard pair of trawl doors will be pulled from one side of the vessel and a WTS from the other. Nets are identical and have been filmed underwater by the National Marine Fisheries.

Alabama Shrimping has an active social media presence on Facebook, Google+, and YouTube, including numerous videos of recent field tests.

Photos provided by Alabama Shrimping.

Wave Powered Desalination for Developing Countries by Resolute Marine Energy was a finalist and presenter at Ocean Exchange 2012. The system harnesses wave power to provide energy for community-scale desalination.
Resolute Marine Energy website

Paddle submerged during Wave Energy Converter test in North Carolina.

In December of 2012 a full-scale sea trial of the Wave Energy Converter was initiated at an Army Corps of Engineers facility in the outer banks of North Carolina. The test WEC remained in the water generating power 24/7 until the end of January 2013. RME's system reduces costs by up to 3x as compared to a diesel powered desalination facility.

Following the successful trial, numerous projects have been initiated in other locations. Notably a water desalination project has commenced in Cape Verde, an island off the west coast of Africa which suffers from a severe shortage of fresh water. Funds from the EU "Horizon 2020” grant will facilitate the project and future market expansion.

Bill Staby, CEO of RME, presents an update in a recent Google Hangout with Ocean Exchange.

In addition to the clear-cut environmental impacts of reducing fossil fuel use and reducing the carbon footprint of desalination plants, social impacts are broad-ranging. Bill notes that addressing water access issues can improve the lives of women and children, who often spend significant time gathering water when access is limited. 

RME has conducted environmental and social impact studies on its projects, and several new projects are currently in development around the world.

Photos photos by RME and Ocean Exchange.
Pictured (L to R) are Dr Dominique Halaby, GSU President Brooks Keel,  Ocean Exchange CEO Millicent Pitts, and Dean Allen Amason
Ocean Exchange and the Business Innovation Group of the College of Business Administration at Georgia Southern University have teamed up to host The BIG Pitch contest for student innovators.

The contest features a 'shark tank' style event on the first evening of Ocean Exchange this October, where students will present their work to a panel of judges, and delegates will vote on the winner.

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December 2014.

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