Mancham among delegates to choose winner of Gulfstream Navigator Award


15-September-2011

The Gulfstream award is conferred to a solution that has contributed positively towards shaping the future of the coastlines.

This time around, the winner of the $100,000 Gulfstream Navigator Award is “an unmanned ocean vehicle originally developed to monitor the songs of humpback whales”.

Mr Mancham, now in Frankfurt, Germany, was in Savannah, Georgia, USA where he was among 100 government, business and conservation leaders from around the world who were invited to do the choosing after being exposed to ten solutions which had been selected to be considered for the Award.

“Ideas and concepts are important but proven solutions need an outlet to gain traction in the market place,” said Joe Lombardo, executive vice-president of Gulfstream parent company, General Dynamics.

“The exchange has brought great minds together and stimulated valuable dialogues,” Mr Mancham said.

The wave glider looks like a surfboard tied to a tier of underwater wings. While wave action powers its forward motion, solar panels power both monitoring devices onboard, as well as satellite transmission of their data. With no need for fuel, the duration of a wave glider’s mission is limited only by barnacles building up on its surface and creating drag.
 
“At the moment deep ocean exploration using conventional vessel time costs about $50,000 a day. That is where the wave glider becomes most attractive,” said Mr Suneil Thomas, vice-president of the Sunnyvale, California-based Liquid Robotics, the company which has pioneered the project.

More information about the winning project can be accessed at www.liquidr.com.
According to Mr Mancham, many of the solutions in the contest could be of great interest to Seychelles – e.g. the seawater desalination; an innovation cement production technique with seawater desalination (see www.greensriya.com); the Ecological Mangrove Restoration – which restores water flow to restore mangrove forests, which is an important coastal ecosystem in worldwide decline. (see www. mangroveactionproject.org); the use of multipurpose reefs to push threatened coastlines seaward while offering opportunities for enhanced surfing, fishing and diving (see www.skysails.com); the Skysails New Energy for Shipping project – the production of the powered propulsion system that can be installed not only on new builds but also can be retrofitted onto existing cargo ships. (see www.skysails.com)
Mr Mancham is expected back in Seychelles next week.

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