In this episode, Silvija talks to the research director at the Institute of Marine Research (Havforskningsinstituttet) Geir Lasse Taranger, and executive director and Co-founder of Bioceanor in Sophia-Antipolis, in the south of France, Charlotte Dupont. IMR provides data, research results, and governmental advice on fisheries, aquaculture, seafood quality as well as safety, while Bioceanor provides machine learning tools to anticipate water quality in aquaculture. Taranger and Dupont explain what environmental data is, how they use it and why it is important.
Who are you, personally and professionally?
GT: I am from the fishing community of Austevoll and have a background as a research scientist and research leader for more than 30 years in aquaculture, currently a research director with responsibility for aquaculture, environment, and technology at the Institute of Marine Research (IMR) in Bergen, Norway.
CD: I am 34 years old, in charge of leading operational activities at Bioceanor. I have created Bioceanor in 2017 with my husband Samuel and I am passionate about ocean preservation and new technologies.
What does your organization do, and why do people buy from you/work with you?
GT: IMR does the ocean, aquaculture, and seafood research and monitoring and is the principal adviser to Norwegian authorities use of ocean and coastal resources. We provide data, research results, and governmental advice on fisheries, aquaculture, seafood quality, and safety, as well as marine ecosystem state and impact of human ocean activities.
CD: Bioceanor provides machine learning tools to anticipate water quality in aquaculture. People buy our products because we can give valuable information about water quality in advance, the anticipation of issues to come, and related advice.
What does digital transformation mean to you?
GT: IMR gathers large amounts of ocean, coastal, and seafood data through our monitoring and research activities. In addition to our own data, are we receiving data from authorities, fisheries, and aquaculture? Data are shared on an international level through the Norwegian Marine Data Centre at IMR and through the NMDC collaboration. New sensors and analytical methods (such as genomics) result in a massive increase in data amount and the need for better data pipelines and AI interpretation of complex data, e.g. from broadband echo sounders on research vessels, ocean observatories, and in aquaculture experimental cages. We have recently established HI Digital as a new division at IMR in particular to strengthen our digital transformation and use of AI.
CD: For me, digital transformation is unavoidable in any aspect of life. But it has to mean something and be used for a bigger purpose than just being a convenient digital tool. It has to give an added value to the user, like advice and alerts.
Any important sustainability perspectives?
GT: We travel much less under covid-19, we have to work differently after covid in this regard. Digital communication has improved and contribute to less travel.
CD: We promote sustainability through all our activities. Our investors are impact funds who ask us for strong impact KPI, as much as business KPI. For the next years, we are committed to accelerate the adoption of sustainable aquaculture labels with our customers, giving access to more environmental data to researchers, and to educate about ocean preservation in general.
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What value do you think can come from being able to reliably predict future water quality (similar to a weather forecast)?
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