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News‎ > ‎

Minutes of Protei GM 20120507

posted May 14, 2012, 9:25 AM by Etienne Gernez
General Meeting 20120507
Attending:
  • Cesar Harada
  • Peter Keen
  • Sebastian Müllauer
  • Etienne Gernez
  • Piem Wirtz

Agenda


Plastic collection

Introduction of the plastic collection initiative in Holland

Discussed items

Timeline

Funding

Technology (transport + plastic collection)

Where do we start?

Who takes the leadership?

Should we work with Kaisei or the dutch consortium?

What is the objective of the dutch consortium?

What´s in it for Protei?

What can Protei offer?

Existential questions

Current legal status of Protei

DEAF

On the agenda for next week



Plastic collection

Introduction of the plastic collection initiative in Holland

http://protei.org/download/20120501PiemandIMTECH.pdf
The “consortium” is composed of
IMTECH: autonomous, propulsion
IMARES: Marine life protection research
RDM: facilities, machines
Hogeschool: student groups, Mechanical engineering
WFO: non-profit, many high-political contacts
IHC: dredging, large vessels

+
in parrallel, Kaisei: Non profit raising awareness about plastic pollution by organizing missions on their ship, took contact with Cesar

Next meeting Protei - Kaisei in Rotterdam during DEAF festival. Kaisei is planning a 1 month journey in the pacific in July to measure, locate, qualify plastic in the Pacific

Next meeting with all the participants is in Rotterdam (?) on the 4th of June
>>attending from Protei:
Piem Wirtz
Peter Keen (tbc)
Before that, the consortium is expecting every willing participant to define their role (document shared by Piem: can we put it online?)

Question asked to Protei are:
are we interested in participating?
how can we contribute to the initiative?

Discussed items

Timeline

does the consortium want to go collect plastic there this summer, summer 2013, 2014?
>> Cesar: my understanding is that they are interested in long term collaboration, but that should include short term and mid-term objectives

Funding

what kind of funding is available for our participation?
Cesar: they are looking at european budgets - that's usually several years long research cycles - slow but well funded.
Etienne: if money is coming from large european research projects - then it is distributed to all the participants of the project. Once they have a better idea of the funding they are looking for, we can also "massage" our contribution, so that we can help them increase the chances to get funding, by showcasing complementary competences between the different participants of the consortium.
Peter: I'd say we definitely want to stay on the "board" but I think our chance at sharing research funding would come from specific proposals for technology development.

Technology (transport + plastic collection)

are they willing to test many new techniques to capture plastic ?
All: No idea so far.
Seb: is there some technology which we can think of , which binds plastic to a collector, instead of using fishing nets...
Peter: Electrostatics?

Are they interested in collecting the plastic under the water surface? if yes how deep?
Peter: One issue I have is the three dimensional nature, it seems, of plastic particle distribution.  I'd like to map that more comprehensively because if it's mostly below a level any of this proposed technology can access then we won't be able to reach it.
Cesar, Piem: yes, but still relatively close to surface, down to 1m below surface. So a towed net of reasonable size should be able to get it.

What kind of transport technology are they looking into?
A solar powered catamaran from MTI
Protei

Is the technology open source?
Piem: yes.
Piem: there is a patent submitted for the solar powered catamaran.  

Where do we start?

Peter: I thinking a good place to start would be to identify some element of the Protei project that could directly contribute to the IMTECH initiative, and that would be something that we're going to have to develop for Protei in any case,  An intersection ot the two paths.
Sensor technology might be a good place to start, and I've a few ideas there.  But also it would be good to look at what is currently unsolved about getting an autonomous 'blue water' Protei happening and create an prioritised list, then start ticking them off.

Who takes the leadership?

Piem: Especially IHC (=part of MTI) seems to take the lead. It seems they are well capable of pulling this project on themselves, so I think it is wise if we stay at the background and benefit where we can from what they develop. And that we on the other hand feed them with ideas, opportunities etc.
So, we can help define the overall goal with them. And make sure Protei can benefit from sub-developed technology
Peter: With that in mind, our approach might be something like "we've similarly been thinking along these lines and would welcome the opportunity to engage with them in a joint project to address this issue."  Applying some of the knowledge we've developed along our so far independent route.

Should we work with Kaisei or the dutch consortium?

Cesar: MTI made a cool 3d that seduced this group to work with them for the years to come in exchange of money. The goal being measuring and collecting plastic.
If Protei explains what we want to do to a similar group, and propose to work with them for the years to come, in exchange of funding, I think it would work. Kaisei consortium could be that group.

What is the objective of the dutch consortium?

Do they want to make a commercial product out of it?
Piem: maybe it`s nice to talk with them about this in particular. Well, it will be a business case of some sort, of course. They are commercial companies after all

What´s in it for Protei?

Etienne: we need to start facing the operational constraints and logistics of sailing on long distances and performing specific tasks, as these have an influence on the way we want to design Protei. So this is a good opportunity to get started.

What can Protei offer?

Piem: I don't think the vessel design is our greatest contribution. In my opinion it is the story of Protei, the way we approach problems (Open Source, community) and how we present that to the world.
Cesar: So, basically the answer is 2 folds to me :
A. We have immediate needs for ourselves, for our group, our technology. Our technology is open source and we want to put Protei in the hands of our community. that means that we want to produce many small cheap protei of 1m and distribute them to hobbyist - that's the fast prototyping and hacker, crowd-source approach.
B. We have long term goals for cleaning plastic in the ocean, sensing radioactivity and ultimately, cleaning tons of oil spilled. And that means working with largers industries on many years plans. That means very slow prototyping, big budgets and complicated top-down collaborations
>> What I suggest is that we put A inside B: we bring to these big companies, big institutions, our agility
Peter: so in this sense one thing we could offer them is a prototyping approach that evolves their design (any design) rapidly to the point of practical use. (?)
Cesar: Open-H2O community can provide the
1. Co-design
2. Licence Open Hardware
3. gather data of different groups
Piem: I see a logical connection with the student projects that will evolve from it (Hogeschool R'dam/RDM)
Etienne: happy to work with students from September 2012

Existential questions

who are we? How are we organized? Can we make hard promises to them?
Peter: we are a think tank in many respects, with a prototyping arm
Piem: That's why I proposed to not take the lead, but see where we can benefit from their developments...
Cesar: but that would mean they would not support you financially, they wont get involved with you if you don´t want to make that step

Current legal status of Protei

Cesar: we are company in the UK
Open-Sailing LTD. Company Number 7930020. Private company limited by shares, Act 2006 registered office in England and Wales.
But even the name has changed, so on that front, it all still needs to be built
Peter: name changing a company in the UK is reasonably easy I think Cesar.  All Protei's IP resides within and is protected by the company?
Cesar: I dont have the money to register the IP nor to pay the lawyer to develop the licence
From my knowledge in france registering a "association" cost about 1000 Euros
In the USA to do it all with an attorney, it is about 2000 USD
To register a C-corp online in the USA is 300 USD
To register a patent pending, about 300 USD
A trademark, that I just paid (for the name "Protei") was 375 USD
To develop the Open Hardware licence H2O that is about 1500 USD
The developers for the website were asking 650 Euros / day for development
>>We need to find money ....
Peter: Agreed.  Best we get some paid work.  One thought off the top of my head is whether an overhead is appropriate for appearances at invited exhibitions to start building a legal fund for all these things.
Cesar: I'm writting a sponsorship plan these days - not a business plan anymore - because a business plan is to attract investors for a technology that will pay them back a lot of money. We need sponsors, that are interested in associating themselves with the development of a community, of great innovative technologies
Cesar:
Money will come and we will be able to propose ourselves as a solid proposition such as :
- we can build that hull, in that amount of time, for that money...
- we are this number of people working at Protei, this amount of hours...
….in order to to become a reliable partner
Right now we're all floating and partners cannot collaborate with us because we're not structure : it costs money to get structured, it's a chicken and egg problem.
Peter: Fair points all, and also consider the case of a research grant to solve a particular issue, if this was submitted with Protei as the PI an overhead could also be added for administrative purposes of exactly the type outlined.
Seb: through a friends contact I have access to a famous potential private investor. + I got to know the curator of the Monaco Aquariumas where we could launch a protei exhibition.
Etienne: Blue OCEAN film festival is in Monaco next year (2013)

DEAF

Seb: going to work on P006 in V2´s basement!
Cesar: protei_006 is shipping today at 18:00 from france and should arrive tomorrow at DEAF

On the agenda for next week

Transnatural (Amsterdam, NL) & Teks expos (Trondheim, Norway) is something we need to talk about : they both want Protei_006...
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AuuziAKG2PX9dEZOUDVRWjNjWkRhbnJkOEg5WVJZckE
Cesar: so, I'm thinking of going back to france this week end to pack up more smaller prototypes

================================== end of meeting =======================
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