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WWF calls on innovators to step up for NZ conservation competition

26 Sep 2016

Innovators, creators and inventors are being called to step forward to help boost tech's involvement in conservation, and $25,000 is up for grabs to make those innovative dreams a reality.

Resources are a huge problem for those working on frontline conservation projects, so the organisation is looking for innovators, and it will all be done through crowdsourcing.

“We’re really keen to hear about any ideas, gadgets, tools or innovative projects that tackle conservation obstacles, like controlling invasive pests, improving water quality or saving native species,” explains Michele Frank, WWF head of New Zealand projects.

The 2016 WWF-New Zealand Conservation Innovation Awards are seeking entries directly through an online crowdsourcing process, where applicants can join a community for proposing, critiquing and refining their ideas in real time.

WWF says that last year winning entries included an innovative lizard monitoring system. The range of entries and winners in last year's awards reflected the diversity of ideas and approaches that can be compatible with each other, according to applicant Sam Rye.

"This is strength and resilience," Rye comments.

This year, judges include Silicon Valley entrepreneur, Matthew Monahan (Kiwi Connect); Head of Industrial Design & Innovation at Auckland University of Technology, Shane Inder; environmental research champion, Justine Daw (General-Manager of Landcare Research); and conservation visionary and Director of Project Janszoon, Devon McLean. The Award applications are open from 26 September to 14 October. Winners will be announced in Wellington on November 8. For more information, head to wwf.org.nz/innovation and wwf-nz.crowdicity.com.

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