Planys Mobile to develop software to help protect the marine environment
Dunfermline-based software firm Planys Mobile has landed a contract to develop an app which will help the Scottish Association for Marine Science (SAMS) better understand attitudes to – and, ultimately, better protect – the marine environment.
By creating the strategic web application, the company will enable SAMS to conduct complex surveys, which might include collecting data from divers and anglers to inform establishing marine-protected areas in the UK.
A previous SAMS survey sought community views towards a proposed new nature conservation facility in the Forth.
Planys Mobile co-founder Joe Henry 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 Mobile 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 added: “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 recently 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.
It says the web application will be an essential tool to facilitate analysis of the social challenges likely to be presented by the delivery of new types of renewable energy plants.
It will also act as a more general instrument for analysis of the socio-economic impacts of multiple uses of marine resources as required by the Marine Strategy Framework Directive, as well as being 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.