XPRIZE Rainforest’s independent judging panel has selected 15 teams from 10 countries to advance to the semifinal round of the XPRIZE Rainforest competition. These high-quality, interdisciplinary teams will spend the next year developing and refining their innovative approaches ahead of the Semifinals Testing in Q2 of 2023 in Singapore. For this, teams will be required to demonstrate the capability and readiness of their technology in a rainforest setting. Ultimately, teams will need to survey the most biodiversity in 100 hectares of tropical rainforest in 24 hours and produce the most impactful real-time insights within 48 hours to win the competition. To learn more about the competing teams, click on a team name below.
|About the Team||Team||City||Country||Country flag||Website(s)|
|ACT NOW - Amazonas Action Alliance||Macas||Ecuador||decarbonized.org|
|The ACT NOW FORESTLABS team is co-led by Amazonian Indigenous Leaders, Scientist and Entrepreneurs: Fiona Banister, Climate Impact Strategist, Sustainability Educator and Naiara Yusy Sampaio Dolabella (NAIARA TUKANO) Environmental Lawyer, Indigenous Leader from the Ye'pa Mahsa (Tukano) Nation in Brazil. Morphobotics is now supporting the Amazonas Action Alliance in the XPRIZE Rainforest and is led by CEO Erin Linebarger where she and her team are developing an end-to-end forest survey solution using autonomous UAVs. Her areas of expertise are robotic perception, localization, and decision making. Our team further includes alliances of dynamic women such as robotics expert Mashid Fila CEO of Xelephantinspace as well as Silvia Gomez the executive director at Gaia Amazonas foundation. We also have a dynamic youth Greenteam led by technical manager Dan Hanzlick. We are catalyzing solutions with adaptive technology, using biomimicry design in an organic process, building low cost, scalable models. We are using open-sourced principles, innovating with the next generations, evolving the tech for adaptation within their community needs, protecting biodiversity, human resources and the environment.|
|AraceEye is a Canadian based team, comprised of 10 members located globally. Our team is looking to ""Keep an Eye on Nature"" by developing a rapid biodiversity surveying solution utilizing Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS), remote sensors, and machine learning algorithms. We hope to do our part in the battle for rainforest conservation and sustainability by providing targeted data to key decision makers. This will allow them to make better, more informed policies.|
"You can't manage, what you don't measure"
|BioSTREAM||London||United Kingdom||naturemetrics.com |
|BIOSTREAM is a partnership between NatureMetrics, Dendra Systems, SYSTEMIQ and global collaborators, committed to improving biodiversity data to communicate the wealth of the natural world and drive action.|
This innovative tech solution will rapidly and accurately measure the vast biodiversity of the rainforest using a combination of eDNA, portable labs, GIS, drone technology and robotics. BIOSTREAM’s unique data analysis capabilities integrate indigenous traditional knowledge and are accelerated with the power of AI, facilitating environmental monitoring at scale.
|Forest inventory with focus on non timber related forest products. Drone, satellite, bioacoustics based aerial survey.|
|Blue Devil Rainforest Divers||Durham||United States||duke.edu/bluedevilforestdivers|
|The Duke University based team uses a combination of smaller “baby” forest flying, and large aircraft carrier “mother” drones to collect forest biodiversity data and samples over long range and in all layers of the forest from overstory to forest floor. The team then processes these raw data using AI tools to generate high quality images, sounds, and biological samples for crowd sourced identification, with real world demonstrations occurring in Duke Forest in Summer 2021 and at La Selva in Costa Rica in Summer 2022.|
|The Brazilian Team has been built as a collaborative and multidisciplinary group of scientific research, including bioinformaticians, ecologists, robotic engineers and taxonomists, devoting synergic efforts to improve our knowledge on plant and animal diversity from tropical rainforests worldwide, using modern techniques such as spectrography, DNA barcoding and artificial intelligence. This approach has been applied during the XPrize Rainforest.|
Considering that destruction of tropical rainforests is expanding faster than human ability to study them, our aim focuses on promoting innovative technologies for the rapid, accurate and low-cost characterization of biodiversity, especially from remote areas.
Our main innovations rely on the use of existing tools (drones, bioacoustic devices, portable sequencers) and knowledge in an integrated manner, aiming to develop technologies and a protocol for rapid and replicable study of biodiversity, which are easily handled by non-specialized professionals, but, at the same time, based on scientific methodology and comparable among different environments.
|ETH BiodivX formed out of a merge of team GainForest and team BiodivExplorer.|
Our experiences span cultural, artistic, scientific, and social science backgrounds- from inventing ways to sequence DNA from air to influencing and negotiating multilateral conservation agreements to working on the frontlines of human health connections and biodiversity. We are team ETH BiodivX and we enter this competition as if it were no different than our daily work, because in fact, we have all dedicated our careers to solving the technical and environmental challenges of our time.
|Team Lorax is presenting an inclusive, low intensity approach to physically access the rainforest to sustainably gain insights to help understand and conserve the rainforest in a time of unprecedented change. While doing so we aim to have the lowest carbon footprint and include indigenous locals in critical natural material component construction on an ongoing basis.|
|Map of Life Rapid Assessments||New Haven||United States||mol.org/rapidassesments|
|Map of Life Rapid Assessments|
We are an international team with background in biodiversity science, biodiversity monitoring, survey technologies, machine learning, and taxonomic identification. Our X-Prize solution leverages careful groundwork for quantitatively linking up geographic scales of observation with human-in-the-loop machine learning to deliver comprehensive local biodiversity information and support conservation insights. Our general framework offers strong scalability and flexible extension to new survey hardware and links in identification experts in innovative and effective ways.
|The Providence+ solution augments our existing technology Providence, a first-in-class unique design. Providence is a sensory box that has been designed by the Laboratory of Applied Bioacoustics at Technical University of Catalonia – Barcelona Tech (UPC), team leader, and that has been widely deployed in different environments to capture biodiversity data, specifically covering Marimauá reserve in collaboration with the Insituto Mamiraua in Brazil, member of Providence+ team. In this competition we extend the functionalities of Providence, which nowadays mainly bases its success on the recording and processing of bioacoustics information, by improving its image processing and allowing remote deployment using aerial vehicles. All the improved image processing capabilities are being developed by MIT and UPC, whereas aerial vehicles technology is being provided by TUDelft and UPC and CSIC. There will be two types of aerial vehicles: (i) for surveillance and providing communications relays; and (ii) for carrying and deploying the sensory boxes. Communications systems are being designed at UPC. Apart from ecosystem diversity indices and metrics, the Visualization group at UPC is working to compute the spatio-temporal co- occurrence of species, thereby highlighting relational aspects among and across them, which will be represented as a dynamic graph. Providence+ includes e-DNA sampling in its technological approach, thus implicating integrating historical data on species composition with the observed current biodiversity status, mostly provided by the real-time analysis of soundscapes and flora image classification.|
|Re-Forest-ER is a state-of-the-art, integrated data-driven monitoring and management platform for tropical, mixed agroforestry environments. We aim to support decision-makers, field workers, and local communities to ensure and improve efficient, resilient and sustainable agroforestry design and operation. Re-Forest-ER unites remote sensing, cloud-based geographic information systems and AI algorithms backed by complex big-data enriched and utilised through community-based approaches.|
The Re-Forest-ER team is a consortium of leading technology and knowledge providers focusing on nature conservation, forest restoration, and sustainable agroforestry innovation. It consists of the Masarang Foundation, pioneering restorative rainforest practises in Indonesia and led by Dr. Willie Smits; Arsari Enviro Industri, one of South East Asia’s leading sustainable climate solutions developers; the School of Biological and Environmental Sciences at the Liverpool John Moores University led by Prof. Serge Wich specialised in tropical rainforest ecology and conservation of primates and their habitats; and Space4Good, a geospatial innovation developer using remote sensing and artificial intelligence to monitor complex ecosystems for social and environmental impact projects around the world.
Our joint mission is to create a comprehensive and objective, data-driven understanding of the complex ecosystem of rainforests. In doing so we aim to better protect and restore these essential systems within the context of our obtained baselines of biodiversity, systems dynamics and species insights. We want to enable mutually beneficial and sustainable relationships between “humans and nature” and to go beyond research, to create an applied system around acquired insights. In combining conservation, ecosystem services and sustainable agroforestry practises we aim to leverage the wealth of natural knowledge held within Earth’s forests for these systems to be maintained and derivative activities to work. For this, it needs to be monitored accurately, timeously and holistically.
|Team Waponi!||Grand Junction||United States|
|Team Waponi is a small group that is a subset of a group of over 50 professionals that have worked together for several decades, discovering new species of insects and plants in the Amazon and working with indigenous groups. Nearly all our members have spent substantial time in the tropics monitoring species diversity and together we have produced hundreds of research papers. Our team has been exploring the frontier of autonomous sampling in a diversity of fields and our most current solution is focused on collecting the richest and most informative types of data which include insects and bioacoustics from rainforest ecosystems.|
Our solution is a custom designed modular sampling device called the Limelight that samples rainforest diversity using acoustic and photographic data collection. Limelight units will be delivered autonomously to the rainforest canopy where they will lower into the forest layers for sampling. The devices will collect digital images of insects attracted through a diversity of method and acoustic data from specialized microphones. This data will be relayed by a mesh system for real time analysis and species identification by machine learning algorithms.
|Welcome to the Jungle||Chicago||United States|
|Welcome to the Jungle is using their expertise in robotics and conservation to provide unique solutions to the XPrize Rainforest Challenge.|