PROTEI – Cleaning up the seas

PROTEI – Cleaning up the seas

4 May 2018
digitaldisruption environment innovation renewables
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It’s easy to understand why intellectual property is considered a fundamental right.

After all, it’s normal to want to protect an idea or a concept and make money out of it. But is this “every man for himself” model appropriate for intellectual property that serves the public good?

César Harada, a former MIT research scientist, had a bitter experience during the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

At the time, he was working on a very expensive clean-up solution that would only be effective over the very long term.

He realized that proprietary technology was not as good as it could be and, anyway, industrial patents meant it couldn’t be used without paying a hefty fee. This situation made him very angry.

How could people think only of profits, reducing people and their solutions to drivers of earnings when the planet is suffering?

In the end, he decided to leave MIT and create Protei, which uses an open source process.

César’s idea of developing a small boat capable of cleaning up the sea was modified and improved by people from the four corners of the world with different expertise and skills.

Starting from a small, hard to steer boat, the Protei community created a modular engineering masterpiece propelled forward by the wind and waves and capable of cleaning up an oil spill better than any other solution currently available.

Who said collaborative projects aren’t profitable?

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