Six seafood innovators capped the Fish 2.0 Competition Finals & Sustainable Seafood Innovation Forum in Palo Alto. We speak to one of the winners founder, President, and CEO of SabrTech, Mather Carscallen
In 140 characters or less – what is SabrTech?
Developer of The RiverBox™ the world’s first modular, scalable & rapidly deployable algae farm. We enable the cost-efficient commercial production of micro-algae.
What was the driver for creating SabrTech – what gap did it fill?
In 2007, SabrTech’s founder Mather Carscallen began studying the Polar Regions, exploring the consequences of icecap loss, species extinction and climate change. After evidencing the devastating human impacts on the ecosystem, he founded SabrTech in 2010 with the goal of developing eco-friendly replacement technologies.
SabrTech was created to fill a major void in the algae industry and to solve the industry’s bottleneck. SabrTech developed a technology that enables commercial-scale, low-cost algae production using award-winning, sustainable processes.
Who does it primarily serve?
SabrTech’s platform technology enables the commercial production of algae worldwide, for a variety of application from food to fuel.
SabrTech’s initial target market is the aquaculture industry, which today faces two problems:
1) Excess fish waste that creates toxicity leading to fish mortality, costing farmers between $10,000 and $700,000 per year.
2) Increasing price of aquaculture feed as fishmeal (protein) prices continue to rise due to the decline in natural fish stocks.
The RiverBox™ creates a sustainable closed loop system that addresses the waste issue and produces algae, an optimal and proven replacement for fishmeal protein. The purchase of SabrTech’s technology allows farmers to recirculate waste water, reduce pollution, provide clean water for the fish, in addition to producing on-site feed.
What difference does SabrTech want to make?
At SabrTech we believe in working with nature instead of exploiting it to achieve economic progress. We believe in creating sustainable solutions to the complex problems we face. We want to make a difference by using algae’s unparalleled potential to build a better tomorrow.
Our technology solutions will make a difference in the following fields:
– Water detoxification and bioremediation
– Algal derived feeds – Fish feed
– Algal derived energy – Biofuels, biogas
What are the barriers to making that difference?
Funding is always a barrier, especially in an industry that tends to have a long-term return on investment, which is why we focus on identifying investors who align with our vision and understand what it takes to make a global difference. Additionally, the overall mentality in the various industries, shaped by the existing structures and high investment in infrastructure, makes it difficult to sell a proposition like ours that challenges the current paradigms of success.
Who’s helping you overcome those barriers?
In addition to a very strong internal team, we are collaborating with some of the best organizations around the world, including: DHI-Singapore, Nova Scotia Community College, Dalhousie University, Berkeley Labs – Advanced Biofuel Process Demonstration Unit, and Queens University, among others. We believe that bringing a wide variety of experts to the table will accelerate our plans and help mitigate any challenges come across along the way.
You recently won a Fish 2.0 award. Without being modest, why do you think you won?
I think we won Fish 2.0 because we have created a cost-effective, local everywhere solution. Our goal is to develop sustainable solutions that proactively solve problems instead of simply mitigating the aftermath of human impact on the environment. Our solution is simple, and follows the behavior of nature, ultimately, we believe that this is the only way to create long-term sustainable change.
Are the aquaculture industry’s actions today commensurate with the significant fish stock challenges we face?
Although the aquaculture industry is growing rapidly, I believe that it is still in its infancy, in terms of being able to compensate for the significant fish stock challenges that we face.
How can people – individuals and organisations – find out more about SabrTech?
They can visit our website (sabrtech.ca) , follow us on twitter (@sabrtech) or contact us by e-mail.
A Good Look At How Homes Will Become More Energy Efficient Soon
Everyone always talks about ways they can save energy at home, but the tactics are old school. They’re only tweaking the way they do things at the moment. Sealing holes in your home isn’t exactly the next scientific breakthrough we’ve been waiting for.
There is some good news because technology is progressing quickly. Some tactics might not be brand new, but they’re becoming more popular. Here are a few things you should expect to see in homes all around the country within a few years.
1. The Rise Of Smart Windows
When you look at a window right now it’s just a pane of glass. In the future they’ll be controlled by microprocessors and sensors. They’ll change depending on the specific weather conditions directly outside.
If the sun disappears the shade will automatically adjust to let in more light. The exact opposite will happen when it’s sunny. These energy efficient windows will save everyone a huge amount of money.
2. A Better Way To Cool Roofs
If you wanted to cool a roof down today you would coat it with a material full of specialized pigments. This would allow roofs to deflect the sun and they’d absorb less heat in the process too.
Soon we’ll see the same thing being done, but it will be four times more effective. Roofs will never get too hot again. Anyone with a large roof is going to see a sharp decrease in their energy bills.
3. Low-E Windows Taking Over
It’s a mystery why these aren’t already extremely popular, but things are starting to change. Read low-E window replacement reviews and you’ll see everyone loves them because they’re extremely effective.
They’ll keep heat outside in summer or inside in winter. People don’t even have to buy new windows to enjoy the technology. All they’ll need is a low-E film to place over their current ones.
4. Magnets Will Cool Fridges
Refrigerators haven’t changed much in a very long time. They’re still using a vapor compression process that wastes energy while harming the environment. It won’t be long until they’ll be cooled using magnets instead.
The magnetocaloric effect is going to revolutionize cold food storage. The fluid these fridges are going to use will be water-based, which means the environment can rest easy and energy bills will drop.
5. Improving Our Current LEDs
Everyone who spent a lot of money on energy must have been very happy when LEDs became mainstream. Incandescent light bulbs belong in museums today because the new tech cut costs by up to 85 percent.
That doesn’t mean someone isn’t always trying to improve on an already great invention. The amount of lumens LEDs produce per watt isn’t great, but we’ve already found a way to increase it by 25 percent.
Maybe Homes Will Look Different Too
Do you think we’ll come up with new styles of homes that will take off? Surely it’s not out of the question. Everything inside homes seems to be changing for the better with each passing year. It’s going to continue doing so thanks to amazing inventors.
ShutterStock – Stock photo ID: 613912244
IEMA Urge Government’s Industrial Strategy Skills Overhaul To Adopt A “Long View Approach”
IEMA, in response to the launch of the Government’s Industrial Strategy Green Paper, have welcomed the focus on technical skills and education to boost “competence and capability” of tomorrow’s workforce.
Policy experts at the world’s leading professional association of Environment and Sustainability professionals has today welcomed Prime Minister Teresa May’s confirmation that an overhaul of technical education and skills will form a central part of the Plan for Britain – but warns the strategy must be one for the long term.
Martin Baxter, Chief Policy Advisor at IEMA said this morning that the approach and predicted investment in building a stronger technical skills portfolio to boost the UK’s productivity and economic resilience is positive, and presents an opportunity to drive the UK’s skills profile and commitment to sustainability outside of the EU.
Commenting on the launch of the Government’s Industrial Strategy Green Paper, Baxter said today:
“Government must use the Industrial Strategy as an opportunity to accelerate the UK’s transition to a low-carbon, resource efficient economy – one that is flexible and agile and which gives a progressive outlook for the UK’s future outside the EU.
We welcome the focus on skills and education, as it is vital that tomorrow’s workforce has the competence and capability to innovate and compete globally in high-value manufacturing and leading technology.
There is a real opportunity with the Industrial Strategy, and forthcoming 25 year Environment Plan and Carbon Emissions Reduction Plan, to set long-term economic and environmental outcomes which set the conditions to unlock investment, enhance natural capital and provide employment and export opportunities for UK business.
We will ensure that the Environment and Sustainability profession makes a positive contribution in responding to the Green Paper.”