TECH HUB Open Call: Tech to end wildlife crime

WILDLABS is collaborating with some of the biggest experts in the space to scale your technology to help end wildlife crime. With the help of the Foreign & Commonwealth Office, Amazon Web Services, Microsoft, Digital Catapult & the Satellite Applications Catapult, and our six international conservation partners, you will have access to a wealth of resources in our 3 month programme.

Date published: 2019/02/07

When you think of organised crime, most people probably think drugs, guns, human trafficking...how often does the illegal wildlife trade make the list? It should make it every time: the illegal wildlife trade is now the fourth largest illegal market, worth up to £17 billion per year.

Illegal wildlife trade threatens the very existence of species such as tigers, rhino, and the pangolin. Poaching threatens not just animals, but the livelihoods of local people and generations to come. It devastates local communities, with hundreds of rangers dying in the line of duty, and a network of corruption undermining the rule of law.

Technology offers hope in the battle against the illegal wildlife trade. Open hardware, the internet of things, and advances in artificial intelligence are just some of the areas that are opening new doors to help protect species. But while there are no shortages of technology innovations, the realities of deploying long-lived solutions to the field have limited the possible impact.

This is where you come in.

You have a technology solution on the cusp of reality. You’ve built prototypes and run tests, maybe even implemented in the field. Now your eyes are set to the future. You need the infrastructure to run your solution long term. You need support creating a sustainable business model. You need access to opportunities and partnerships that will help you scale and get new funding opportunities.

WILDLABS is collaborating with some of the biggest experts in the space to provide these resources, and more. With the help of the Foreign & Commonwealth Office, Amazon Web Services, Microsoft, Digital Catapult & the Satellite Applications Catapult, and our six international conservation partners, we’ll scale your technology to help end wildlife crime.

The WILDLABS Tech Hub programme starts in March and will run through to June 2019. To get started, all you need to do is complete the lightweight application here by Sunday 24th of February.

 

Partners convening to announce of the WILDLABS Tech Hub at the London Illegal Wildlife Trade Conference in 2018. 

What do you get?

Joining the programme will connect you with experts from the Catapults and big technology companies, also tapping into FCO connections and resources to help you scale your solution.

Benefits include:

  • Joining government networks and gaining support from international conservation organisations
  • Support from Digital Catapult or Satellite Application Catapult experts.
  • AWS Cloud credits to expedite your project including technical and business support, access to professional services and training including machine learning, compute and analytics as well as access to the IWT open data registry.
  • Azure cloud credits to complete your project, as well as inclusion in the AI for Earth community, which includes technical support, in-person and online trainings, and opportunities to work with the global grantee community.

Support may include some of the following, dependant on current stage of solution provider:

  • Diagnostic assessment of solution needs
  • Brokering of partnership with either collaborating organisations or with new discrete private sector services to address your needs.
  • Business model design sprints and road mapping tailored to you needs, including:
    • Proposition and business model canvas
    • Technology architecture review
    • Sustainable service and business model design
    • Partnership and links to Government, Academia, Industry
    • Financial modelling
    • Product development roadmapping
    • Creating a pitch deck proposal
  • Connection to in-field labs or in-situ opportunities for user feedback
  • Press and promotion through WILDLABS.NET and coalition partners
  • Investor event with the opportunity to pitch for funding

You don’t have to be based in London to take part, but you will need to travel to attend three workshops happening over April and May.  Participants will be expected to provide updates on their progress via a monthly call for the three-month programme.

No monetary funding is currently available at the end of the three months programme. During the programme, partners will be working to seek funding opportunities for participating solutions and match donors with solution needs and culminating with an investor event.

Programme timings

WILDLABS invites solutions to apply for the support programme which starts in March 2019. Steps include:

  • 24th February 2019 – Application deadline
  • March – Notification to winning solutions
  • March - June – Three-month support programme   

To apply please fill in the application questionnaire here by Sunday 24th of February.

RESPONSES TO ALL QUESTIONS WILL BE KEPT IN THE STRICTEST CONFIDENCE. ALL STEERING BOARD MEMBERS HAVE SIGNED NDAS TO PROTECT ALL CONFIDENTIAL OR PROPRIETARY INFORMATION DISCLOSED DURING THE PROGRAMME.

*The Catapult organisations have a remit to support UK initiatives. One partner working on the solution must be based in the UK

If you have questions, comments or want to connect with other members interested in scaling up their solutions to wildlife crime, join Joe Nash in our wildlife crime group where he is hosting a discussion about this programme.