April 3rd, 2018 by Paul
This is the story of the 2016 Innovation Award winners
In 2016, Scantrol Deep Vision won the Nor-Fishing Innovation Award for its trawl-mounted camera system. To win this award was an important recognition of excellence for the company after more than ten years of development. Winning the Award has contributed to national and international recognition of the technology – as well as better access to financial support both in Norway and abroad.
“Deep Vision is a development project that we have worked on for a long time,” says Hege Hammersland-White, Business Development Manager at Scantrol Deep Vision. “When we applied for the Innovation Award, we were at the point of starting the commercialization of the product.”
The timing should prove to be perfect.
Deep Vision was announced as one of the three finalists for the Innovation Award a few months before the presentation of the winner at Nor-Fishing 2016, and competition between the three finalists was fierce.
The Institute of Marine Research had adopted a somewhat different approach to the same problem and was nominated for a project including capture control in seine nets, while Selfa Arctic was nominated for the world’s first electric fishing vessel.
When the Norwegian Minister of Fisheries announced the winner and handed over the Award, it was Deep Vision that won out. The Award consisted of a diploma and a cheque for NOK 100 000.
Earmarking the prize money
“Already at the time when we were nominated, we decided what we should use the money for,” says Hammersland-White. “We spent the money on organizing a meeting of skippers and started collecting contacts and talking to researchers and cooperating partners already during the Nor-Fishing exhibition. A few months later we got together in Bergen, where we discussed the technology with those who would end up using it. They gave us a host of good ideas and viewpoints on what the users actually needed and wanted in terms of functionality and user-friendliness.”
The skipper meeting in Bergen resulted in a number of adaptations of the technology and a more fine-tuned system. “Feedback from the market was very positive, but the input from the skipper meeting made it possible for us to down-prioritize those parts of the functionality that the users were not so concerned about as we had thought – and to prioritize those that they felt were the most important.”
Important media coverage
After the award presentation, Scantrol Deep Vision scanned through all the media in order to register how the media coverage was. “We registered more than 50 articles in Norway and abroad. In addition, we saw that the media coverage was strongest in industry media, and this was particularly useful for us. We saw that the market was informed about our product and that it was in many ways ripe for it.”
Important in the application process
Hammersland-White feels that the Innovation Award has been of vital importance when the company has applied for R&D support in the years after the award presentation. “The development of the system has received support from the Norwegian Research Council, as well as from Innovation Norway. The award is a very good argument to include in our package when we apply for other development funding, whether it be in Norway or in the EU.”
A quality stamp of good innovation
In today’s market there is almost an inflation in relation to innovation, at least in the way that companies present themselves. “The pace of innovation in the fisheries industry as well as in the industry at large is so high that it is a great advantage for us to be able to have a respected quality stamp for the innovation that we have been involved in.”
Status and the road ahead
At present, the company is working on a full automation of its system. “Full automation is our goal. In addition, we would like to see that the system receives certification so that the user can supply reports on the data capture with Deep Vision to the authorities and the controlling agencies,” says Hammersland-White. She also adds that Scantrol Deep Vision has established a subsidiary company in Spain that will work closely with the leading environment for automation of the camera system at the university of Girona.
Until now, development work has been in cooperation with the Institute of Marine Research and CRISP.
Deep Vision has already delivered two systems to the Institute of Marine Research and has an agreement to deliver a system to a fishing vessel in South Korea. Thus, the technology is already on the market – and Scantrol Deep Vision expects more commercial deliveries soon.
The Jury saw a great potential
Mr. Odd Berg, who coordinates applications for the Nor-Fishing Foundation Innovation Award, says that the Jury’s decision to choose Deep Vision was the result of very thorough discussions. “The Jury discussed the technology and felt that this project represented a high level of innovation and something that the industry would benefit from in the future. It is therefore with great pleasure that we have learned that the market has embraced Deep Vision after we awarded them the Innovation Award for 2016.”
The Jury cited their decision to choose Deep Vision in 2016 as follows: “The technology can give an important contribution to a more ethical fishing activity as well as an environmentally sustainable management of marine resources. The system is expected to be of great importance to international marine research as well as to commercial fishing.”
Even one and a half year after receiving the Award, Hammersland-White and her colleagues can still see the effect of winning it. “People still talk to us about our winning the Award. We have kept the Award diploma on the desk where our visitors register – so we make very sure they know about it, too,” says Hammersland-White with a smile.
What is Deep Vision?
Deep Vision is a camera system that is mounted on the trawl. By analysing pictures of the fish and other organisms it captures information about fish species, the length of the fish in the trawl and the exact geological position for the data collected.
The technology is of interest to both researchers and commercial trawl fisheries. Researchers want to register data about fish without having to take the fish out the water, while trawl fishers want to sort the fish before they take it out of the water. In this way, the trawl fishers can get more out of their quota, reduce their bi-catch and work in a much more sustainable way. This is especially important as the EU has announced a ban on discards that will be implemented in full by 2019.
You can read more about Scantrol Deep Vision on their web site.
If you are working with technology that should be nominated for the 2018 Innovation Award – or if you know about others who are developing such technology – apply for the Nor-Fishing 2018 Innovation Award now!