Teams “Yadrava na Vanua” from Fiji and “Not Basic” from New Zealand win the Grand Prizes for Space Challenge
- : SpaceBase Limited
- : 18/02/2022
Christchurch—18 February 2022.
Yadrava na Vanua (Environment Watch) from Suva, Fiji won the Grand Prize today for the Space for Planet Earth Challenge.
Their project focused on integrating satellite data on land cover types across Fiji with ground truth measurements, and refining the carbon sequestration data with machine learning analysis of high resolution satellite images from Planet to generate international standard levels of measurements, reporting, and verification of carbon stocks.
Separately, “Not Basic” from Newlands College, Wellington, New Zealand, won the Grand Prize at the High School level. Their work featured using machine learning analysis of satellite data to predict the conditions leading to coral bleaching as detected within the Allen Coral Atlas with Planet satellite data.
Six teams from New Zealand, Australia, and Fiji competed in demo sessions with a panel of judges, then a Pitch presentation to a live online audience. The winners are awarded cash prizes of $30,000 and $10,000 each, satellite data from company Planet, and mentorship from SpaceBase. Additionally the High School team will receive scholarships from the US Based MMAARS Academy to attend their Level 1 Virtual Mars Programme.
“The presentations that I’ve seen were so amazing…and I was blown away by the ideas and the ability that they’ve shown…Planet is so proud to be part of this competition,” Dr. Tanya Harrison, Director of Strategic Innovation for Planet and a Finals Judge for the competition, said at the event.
The winners were selected by judges from Planet, the U.S. Embassy to New Zealand, Pacific GIS and Remote Sensing Council, Rocket Lab, Callaghan Innovation, ChristchurchNZ, Callaghan Innovation, and Consegna.cloud.
The awards were presented by the NZ Space Agency and the U.S. Embassy.
“I’ve been extremely impressed with the sophistication of the solutions that have been developed, by the approach of looking for different data sources to incorporate into those solutions, to reaching out to other organisations, establishing partnerships to make this more effective, and the quality of the presentations,” said Dimitri Geidelberg, Principal Advisor to the Agency.
The Challenge was the brainchild of SpaceBase founders who leverage incentive prizes and space technologies to catalyse innovation while solving tough problems in the region. “Already, we see the Challenge as pushing the teams to accelerate their research and create opportunities they may not otherwise have been able to realise.” said Emeline Paat-Dahlstrom, CEO of SpaceBase. “We think this is only the beginning for these climate change focused innovations, and we hope to continue to support these teams in their progress over the coming months and years.”
For more information about the Challenge and the Winners, go to spaceforearth.org
The Challenge is made possible by a partnership between SpaceBase Limited and Planet. Sponsors include the U.S. Embassy in New Zealand, K1W1, NZ Space Agency, ChristchurchNZ, Consegna.cloud, Clare Foundation, Greenlight Ventures, Namaste Foundation, Engineering Dreams, MMAARS Academy, and Christchurch City Council.
SpaceBase Limited is a New Zealand based education and consulting social enterprise, whose mission is to democratise access to space for everyone. SpaceBase is creating equal opportunity to leverage space technologies to solve problems on Earth, by catalysing space ecosystems in developing and emerging countries, starting in New Zealand. Since its incorporation in 2017, it has collaborated with economic development agencies, local governments, and advocacy groups to deliver over 100 educational presentations and workshops; two national space and aerospace competitions, as well as helping birth space communities and organisations locally and globally. SpaceBase created a platform for the NZ Aerospace Directory and a free course, Catalysing a Space Industry in Your Region, for anyone interested in creating a local space industry. SpaceBase is also the NZ Ambassador for the International Space University.
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- : Aotearoa 4 Assange
- : 11/02/2022
Jailed journalist Julian Assange has recieved a massive boost to his campaign to regain his freedom, raising a record-breaking NZ$80 million in less than a week on the Juice box crypto platform.
Renowned crypto-artist Pak collaborated with Assange, to produce NFT artworks which have been used solely to raise money for Assange’s defence and other press freedom and humanitarian causes.
The artwork came in two parts. A 1/1 edition titled ‘Clock’ which counts the days which Assange has spent behind bars, and an open edition titled ‘Censored’ which allows buyers to craft their own unique message which gets ‘censored’ with a line through it.
Assange is fighting against extradition to the US for publishing secret documents which exposed state crimes. This is an unprecedented case that Amnesty International and other human rights groups are warning threatens global press freedom and freedom of information .
Tens of thousands of people have joined AssangeDAO to raise the 16593.05 ethereum used to win the art auction in support of Assange. AssangeDAO moderator JB said in a statement ‘this is tens of thousands of people coming together to show real strength – the Power of the People. In less than one week, we have shown that decentralised and distributed peoples can band together to fight injustice.’
- : Matt Ó Branáin
- : National Co-ordinator of Aotearoa 4 Assange
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