Planys Mobile, a Fife software company, is developing a web application to help the Scottish Association for Marine Science (SAMS) conduct complex surveys. The surveys study the attitudes towards, and usage of, the marine environment.
Examples of the surveys undertaken by SAMS researchers include collecting data from sea divers and sea anglers to inform the establishment of marine protected areas in the UK. Another example sought community views towards the concept of a new nature conservation facility in the Forth area, including potential social and economic costs and benefits.
Joe Henry, Planys co-founder said: "As a company we are keen to create strategic apps that are for societal benefit. This work for SAMS fits in with that objective; gathering better and faster data for SAMS will help manage and protect the marine environment."
Dr Jasper Kenter, principal investigator at SAMS, said: "An important aspect of SAMS research is to understand different views about how we manage the coastal and marine environment. EU funding has allowed us to contract Planys to develop software to help manage complex social research questions, such as which particular places are important to people, and why. This will help us in understanding how developments such as wind farms or aquaculture can be managed in a way that respects the coastal environment and those using it."
The web-application is funded by MERIKA, an EU FP7 funded project establishing a marine energy research and innovation hub at the University of the Highlands and Islands in Scotland close to the actual resource.
Henry explains: "This product needs to work in remote areas where there is no wi-fi or mobile phone signal but we've solved this issue before for clients such as Brodie International. We built an app for the American oil and gas company that helps their sales teams create complex client estimates very quickly even when the sales teams are in remote locations."
Planys Mobile has clients in the UK, United States and Singapore and was shortlisted for the HSBC Scottish Export Awards. The Scottish tech company also develops its own products and invests in joint ventures such as ClickGo, a care management app which won the Google Impact Challenge Award and was shortlisted for The Herald Digital Business Awards.
The web application will be an essential tool to facilitate the analysis of the social challenges likely to be determined by the delivery of new types of renewable energy plants, and a more general instrument for the analysis of the socio-economic impacts of multiple uses of marine resources as required by the Marine Strategy Framework Directive and recommended within the integrated context of the maritime spatial planning and integrated coastal zone management.
Based near Oban on the Scottish west coast, SAMS research strengths include marine renewables, aquaculture, marine biotechnology, marine policy, deep-sea systems, climate change and polar science.
For more information contact Michelle McWilliams firstname.lastname@example.org or call 07810 482 499