SubC Imaging, of Clarenville, along with Kolossal — an ocean exploration and conservation nonprofit in California — were the recipients of the grand prize for the Con X Tech Prize at the Conservation Innovation and Technology Happy Hour in the United States last month.
The $20,000 win was for SubC and Kolossal’s Real Deep Conservation VR (virtual reality). The project includes the creation and launch of the ACKBAR (Autonomous Camera for Kraken Baiting and Recording) which is a deep-sea camera trap which allows for exploration deep in the ocean. The device was deployed off the coast of San Diego in the Pacific Ocean.
“The deep-sea is facing significant conservation challenges from bottom trawling large nets on the seafloor, oil spills destroying fragile deep-sea corals, and emerging threats like mining of hydrothermal vent communities,” according to a release announcing the award win. “Most deep-sea exploration occurs for extracting resources, but the deep-sea camera trap will provide an inexpensive and easy to deploy tool for conservationists to rapidly explore deep-sea habitats in order to better understand and protect them.”
“It is easy to get excited about ocean conservation when you are working with
intelligent people towards a common goal,” says Chad Collett of SubC. “I am truly looking forward to the next stage of our system. Lowering the barrier for deep-ocean research in the visible spectrum by developing a lower-cost benthic camera trap, with a stretch goal of filming the colossal squid.”
According to a press release issued in December, the goal of the Con X Tech Prize is to build the ecosystem of early-stage conservation technology products and solutions, and support growing teams and ideas around the world.
The $20,000 from the Con X Grand Prize will go towards funding the next stage of development of the overall system with the goal of reducing costs and making it more convenient to deploy camera traps to the deep ocean.
“The deep is alive, mostly unexplored, and worthy of protection,” said Matt Mulrennan leader of the Real Deep Conservation VR project and CEO of KOLOSSAL. “This prize was amazingly important to develop an easy-to-use camera platform that could disrupt the outrageous costs of deep-sea research, and now we want to use it to find real, living sea monsters and help protect them.
“Deep-sea technologies are finally matching up to our level of curiosity, and it’s the most exciting time in history for ocean exploration.”
What is SubC Imaging?
SubC Imaging is a Clarenville based company which creates technologically advanced, intelligent video equipment for offshore and subsea markets.
Their products have been used in offshore oil and gas service work, as well as remote vehicle operations that include deep-sea mining, marine research and archaeology around the globe.