11 May 2022

Global FoodTech Challenge launches, with $2 million up for grabs

In this guest blog, Danielle Anthony, Communications Manager at SafetyNet Technologies explains how winning the FoodTech Challenge has led to their game-changing technology being used to support sustainable fishing practices across the world.

The need for change in the fishing industry to make it more sustainable has been widely highlighted in recent years. The scale of the transformation in the sector that is needed requires huge technological innovation.

Our core aim at SafetyNet Technologies is to enable Precision Fishing. This involves using technology to develop sustainable practices in the fishing industry and to improve the livelihoods of fishing crews worldwide. Specifically, our product, Pisces, is a bycatch reduction device that uses LED light to increase the selectivity of fishing gear. Depending on what colour light is used, Pisces can either attract target species or deter bycatch away from the fishing gear. Recent estimates suggest that one in every ten fish caught commercially is the ‘wrong’ fish. Known as bycatch, these are fish that cannot be sold on account of being the wrong species, size, or maturity. Consequently, an estimated 9.1 million tonnes of fish are discarded every year.

Back in 2021 we were winners of the international FoodTech Challenge. The award is based on companies who have innovative technology-based solutions which enhance the food supply chain and brings the brightest minds together to push the boundaries of agri-tech. Winning the prize has been instrumental in helping us grow, scale up, and build a larger profile around what we do as a business.

The pressure is on many industries now to rethink food for the future, to rethink resilient agricultural practices, and to leverage the best of technological advancements in doing so. The FoodTech Challenge has brought us closer to finding those solutions. Before winning the competition, we focused predominately on reducing bycatch. But now, our mission has evolved to enable Precision Fishing for a sustainable future. This means we are now providing more holistic solutions to improve the sustainability of commercial fishing practices right across the world.

Technological innovations often provide the answer to a lot of the challenges that we face, and food production and agriculture are both integral to that. The FoodTech competition is about untapping that potential across small businesses that can be scaled up, encouraging ideas and out of the box thinking which can benefit the food industry and the planet. Often, it is firms like ours at SafetyNet Technologies who hold the answers to some of the world’s biggest problems, so I would encourage UK businesses to enter and submit your ideas today.

About the FoodTech Challenge

The FoodTech Challenge seeks to find the next wave of technology innovations that are on the cusp of transforming food and traditional agriculture practices, efficiently and sustainably. Targeted at early-stage start-ups, ranging from international university-based research teams to individual entrepreneurs and small firms, the competition invites innovations related to two critical areas: ‘food production’ to address the availability and abundance of food and explore ‘next gen’, nutrient rich alternatives, and ‘food loss and waste’ to ensure sustainability across the food supply chain and the planet more broadly. For more information and how to enter, please visit: www.foodtechchallenge.com/challenge/. The final submission deadline is June 24, 2022.

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