About the Hackaday Prize
This year, Hackaday is partnering with leading nonprofits to tackle some of the world’s toughest problems across conservation, disaster relief, renewable resources, and assistive devices. The Hackaday Prize connects you to engineers, expert mentors, and other powerful resources to develop dynamic solutions for those who need it most. They’ll be giving away over $200,000 in grand prizes, microgrants, and bootstrap funds. Hackaday has partnered with four nonprofits: CalEarth, Field Ready, Conservation X Labs, and The United Cerebral Palsy of Los Angeles (UCPLA), to develop challenges for the open source hardware community.
Dream Team Applications Close 6/2/2020
Dream Team Selections Announced 6/5/2020
Community Vote (Bootstrap) ends 7/6/2020
Final Submissions 8/31/2020
Finalists Announced 9/7/2020
Finalists Close 10/5/2020
Winners Announced on or around 11/6/2020
The Mission: Conservation X Labs
Conservation X Labs’ mission is to end the global extinction crisis through the democratization of science, mobilizing new talent to work on extinction and climate crises, and ultimately, delivering scalable and impactful solutions. Current trends indicate that endangered species extinction rates may be 1,000-10,000 times greater than background rates.
Over the past five years, Conservation X Labs’ open innovation program and Garage program have inspired and implemented bold ideas for new environmental solutions. Through their grand challenges and prizes for conservation, they have brought together thousands of brilliant individuals from around the globe to develop hundreds of innovations.
The Garage program aims to deliver highly impactful technologies needed in the conservation field, including a platform for bringing user-defined artificial intelligence capabilities to environmental tools such as remote cameras (the Sentinel System), and a low-cost, field ready, handheld DNA analysis tool (the DNA BIT).
Combating Invasive Species:
Global travel and trade leads to the introduction of non-native species in novel habitats around the world. Not all non-native species cause harm, but ones that outcompete native species can cause significant damage to local biodiversity, agricultural crops, and local economies. Prominent examples include Lionfish in the Atlantic Ocean, Cane Toads in Australia, Burmese Pythons in Florida and Feral Pigs worldwide.
This challenge seeks new globally scalable systems and technologies that aid in the monitoring, prevention, and systematic removal of invasive species in aquatic ecosystems or on islands.
New Tools For Marine Protection:
Protected areas in the ocean, unlike a forest patch, are far more difficult to manage and face increasing challenges, especially as they expand to enforce boundaries and policies with no observable boundaries or protective barriers to the sea. By enabling quality data collection and monitoring and surveillance of marine environments, important ocean habitat can be better managed, guarded against threats, and protected for conservation and sustainable fishing, etc
This challenge seeks methods for real-time monitoring of everything on or below the water with surveillance technology and data analytics designed for affordability and autonomy within the developing and developed world.
The Dream Team Grant
Reducing Ghost Gear:
Up to 10% of the world’s ocean plastic (and 70% of large pieces) comes from lost or abandoned fishing gear (nets, ropes, lines, pots). This poses a threat to large whales (the Red List estimates that 45% of all threatened marine mammals are impacted) and small crabs (NOAA estimates that there are 145,000 derelict crab pots still “fishing” in the Chesapeake Bay alone, killing over 3 million crabs a year). This problem is compounded in the developing world settings where fishing is less regulated.
This challenge seeks innovations that reduce “soak time” – the time that gear (pots or longlines) has to be left in the water unnecessarily, or deployment in undesirable locations, that increase the chances of snags, or loss.
This includes innovations that notify if the gear has been deployed in an undesirable location, or systems that communicate in a timely fashion to the fisher that the gear has moved location or the target species has been caught.