Application for 99% Alva Awards 20120404 London
Thanks to Lyn Hagan for pointing out this link.

What is your name?

Cesar Harada

What is your date of birth? (All applicants must be under 30 years of age as of March 22, 2012.)

September 16, 1983

What is your email address?

Questions : Phone ?

Answer : +44 7 853 286 216

Questions : Links that will helps us learn about you.

Answer :

Questions : Applying as a group rather than an individual. List the other members of the team.

Answer :
I am applying as the Director of Protei which is a spin-off Start-up (B-corp) of Open-H20, (non-profit) both based in the USA, San Francisco. These 2 entities are very international by nature, I am half-french, half-japanese, our members are in Norway, Japan, Brazil, Netherlands, USA, UK, France, Mexico, Australia and more. You can find us on our people page :
We are making a new website now so you can see who is doing what, in real-time, an Open Hardware project management website.
Here is a list of our most active members.

Questions : Describe the project that you are currently trying to realize, and why it will make an impact on the world. *

Protei is a shape-shifting sailing robot developed Open Hardware. It is a ground-breaking innovation in the science of sailing but what's most interesting is that the applications of this technology ranges from oil-spill cleaning, to radioactivity sensing, plastic debris collection, study of coral reefs, monitoring fisheries and general oceanography to name a few. We've already built 8 working prototypes of this innovative technology :
We will launch our first commercial product Protei_010 during winter 2012 - 2013. We want to change how humans interact with the ocean.

== What is at stake ==
The earth is covered with than 74% of water and sea level is rising. The world Ocean is the earth largest CO2 offsetting pump driving climate change. More than half of the world population lives in cities, less than 150Km away from the sea. Overfishing, we have killed more than 80% of our large fishes. Millions of barrels of oil spilled and other petrochemicals, agricultural run-offs, hydraulic fracturing byproducts, heavy metals and radioactive leaks create unprecedented stress on our ocean suffering eutrophication, acidification, multiplying dead zones, deadly algae blooms and red tides. Many coral reefs and wetlands are dying. We have hundreds of millions of tonnes of plastic debris in the ocean that we keep adding to every day. I could go on and on. Ocean issues are colossal and determinant for the future of our specie. We have major challenges ahead, too immense for our human hands capacity : we need to automate many of the processes harnessing renewable energies - wind, solar, waves - to save our ocean. Protei is part of the solution as a new transport of instrumentation and clean-up material at sea.

== Game changing ==
By our successive prototypes we know that a bending hull provides unmatched sailing control and permits towing very large objects at sea with wind power. We also know that towing a long and heavy payload stabilises a sailing robot trajectory. It is a new technology but we will eventually master it. Oceanography is currently a very elitist activity, that can be made more affordable. Fishermen and sea-farers have the highest occupational mortality rate, many operations could be done remotely, safely. When Protei reaches our desired specification goals, it will change how we do oceanography and protect our oceans.

Questions : Plan of execution of the project

== General mission ==
Our mission is to "Develop and promote open source software and hardware for ocean study, protection and enhancement." If a truly good technology is invented, it needs to be made accessible to the greatest number quickly, adaptable to local culture and resources. In other words : cheap, efficient, reliable and easy to appropriate. Intellectual Property should facilitate that instead of getting in the way : this is why we're using Open Hardware licensing.

== Open Hardware ==
Everyone is invited to use, modify and distribute our technology for free. In exchange, we require "Protei™" to be credited and that the improvements made are shared with the community on our website. Our revenue model is quite common in the software industry (Open Source Software) but is relatively new in the context of hardware development. Several recent Open Hardware startups demonstrated the model successful []. I strongly believe environmental and financial benefit should be simultaneous, also I want Protei to be the first Environmental Open Hardware start-up to be well profitable. Our revenues are not coming only from sales but also from operations (Cleaning, collecting data / samples), customer service, extensions (Sensors, batteries, motors), byproducts (Documentation, films, books, hoodies), consulting, collaborations.

== Non-Profit and Profit integration ==
We have a US trademark on "Protei", and we're filling patent these days. The IP lives in the non-profit Open-H2O. "" is a spin-off of Open-H2O that uses the technology developed by the community. This way, even if the Protei company fails or turns "evil", we are sure the technology and the community are always safe. The idea is to take the best of both worlds : the stability and ethical qualities of a non-profit + the dynamism and competitiveness of a tech startup = Open-H2O + Protei

== Community ==
Protei is a community-generated technology and Protei_006, our first large prototype was financed through Kickstarter : We are supported by the community, we serve the interest of the community at large. Many other aquatic projects are like ours are in search of :
    1. a website to collaborate and develop their technology
      Ref :
    2. an Open Hardware licence to protect and share their work
      Ref :
    3. share the environmental data they collect (archive, real-time, forecast data)
      Ref :
These services will be provided by to other projects for free, while the manufacturing, distribution, operations, customer service, consultancy on Protei specifically would be offered by

== Prototypes and Products ==
Protei is a new technology and before we have a swarm of large capacity sailing robots, there is quite a stretch. Cleaning up an oil spill is an extremely difficult task and is our ultimate goal by its complexity : a sailing robot absorbing several tons of oil in stormy waters is no simple business. To reach that large capacity sailing robot (6m unmanned), I have laid 4 milestones, which are our 4 key products.

So, we only need to produce 2 hulls, as both the Protei 1 and 6 meters can be upgraded for autonomy, reducing our production costs and providing truly evolutive platforms.

You probably know about quadrocopters. They were in labs a few decades ago. Recently they got into the toy industry and their price dropped down dramatically as their performances exploded. Now they are back in labs and they are favourite test platforms for the most advanced aerospace engineering, embedded control, artificial intelligence and swarm algorithms. We aim to provide equivalent agility for a swarm of autonomous sailing vessels. For now, our recent prototypes are gracefully sailing but we are moving fast.

== Market competitiveness ==
The figures presented are to give you an order of idea of the anticipated performances of Protei Protei 6m Arduino + Android (in 2015) : not from measured data.
I will compare the highest performing vessel in the same category :

If we reach the specs we are looking for, Protei would really be a radical game-changer for ocean science and clean-up.

Questions : Tell us about the past initiatives, actions, or projects you've undertaken that qualify you to execute on the project you described above. *

== Japanese Grand Father ==
I come from a tradition of resilient makers and entrepreneurs. My Japanese Grand-Father was a farmer that invented himself blacksmith during the second world war. Father of 7 children and with a bad eye sight, he was refused as volunteer kamikaze and survived the war. He set a metal construction factory in Niigata and built many of my hometown industrial and earthquake resistant public buildings such as the local train station, factories, schools, observatory etc.

== Father and local craftsmen ==
My father is Tetsuo Harada, monumental stone sculptor []. He ran away from Japan in the 70s that he considered too conservative and spent most of his life carving enormous granite and marble sculptures outdoors around the world. I assisted my father in many projects, usually many tons sculptures, and on construction sites especially, involving power, pneumatic, carving, polishing, lifting and welding tools, long before legal age ;)
My parents house in Paris used to be the metal machining factory where one of the earliest mechanical computer was built by Nathan Prochownick after returning from the Shoah in Auschwitz. The old man that took care of me -when my parents were busy- was an old italian microscope maker living around the corner - that's growing up in a blue collar area of Paris.

== Mother, computers and sailing ==
On the other side, my mother comes from a tiny french village just by the belgian border. She worked many years in the semi-conductor companies as marketing director (HP France). She was in the team that introduced the credit card in France, and many other cool technologies - back in the days. She passed me her love for high technology, many management and communication techniques that I still use. Because my father was working in blue granite quarries, my family moved for some years to the presque-isle of Saint-Malo where I had the luck to sail pretty much everything in the port. I was born in in the south of France in Bayonne, by the Atlantic ocean. Best surf spot in France. As far as I can remember, I always built stuff. For my first Master degree in animation film, I build the world smallest trimaran / bike trailer on which I travelled from Paris to the south of France alone. 2 years ago I was contracted as construction manager for East Africa largest mobile technology Incubator in Nairobi, Kenya :

== The International Ocean Station ==
In 2009, I lead the Open-H2O group (former Open_Sailing, ~about 40 people) to win the Ars Electronica [NEXT IDEA] Golden Nica with the proposal of building the International Ocean Station. It took about 5 decades and 150 billion USD to build the International SPACE Station of which design and produced informations are generally secret (even if financed by tax payers!). I believe that in under a decade, we can build many International OCEAN Stations around the world for a very modest cost with Open Hardware designs and open data.
We actually completed 75% of the construction of the International Ocean Station in South London during summer 2009.
  1. Concept :
  2. Design :
  3. Small model :
  4. Construction of the real 7 tons steel structure :
Unfortunately, the organisation committee of Ars Electronica got scared and stopped funding the project half-way, so we never had the chance to sail the International Ocean Station - it had to be dismantled and recycled in Germany.

== MIT ==
I was offered a position of researcher at Senseable City Lab in MIT, Cambridge MA. I was chosen by my peers as project leader on the SEASWARM project []
SEASWARM is an interesting technology, but it is going to be expensive, it will take many years to develop it, all patented by MIT. I decided to leave my "dream job" to develop a completely different technology that would be cheap, that I could prototype immediately and that would be Open Source. That's how I moved from Boston to New Orleans and started Protei as I was volunteering and teaching residents how to map the on-going oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico using DIY Aerial Photography with the Public Laboratory (former Grassroots Mapping) []

== How we are going to Succeed ==
I built many things. I am not afraid of failure. This is how we progress, by trying and trying. I'll get back to build the International Ocean Station after Protei has become a reliable standard for Ocean study and cleaning. I am disciplined and I will go at a moderate pace, because I will keep doing this until it works. What is at stake is too precious to risk crashing the community and myself. I believe we are going to succeed because we know where we are going with the technology and the business.

The International Ocean Station IOS (manned laboratory) + Protei (remote sensing and operation) + Website gathering data (Open-H2O)
= constitute a full Ocean Monitoring System.

== Build on successes ==
It is fundamental for our group to start with Protei - that is already a complex and ambitious project to achieve - and build on top of that success if we want to go ahead with something as ambitious as the International Ocean Station.

Questions : Describe what you're focusing your energy on right now. For example: Are you a student? Are you running a startup? Are you working on a "passion project" alongside a full-time job?

== Start up : Protei as a B-Corp ==
I put most of my energy to grow protei as a startup that has a product to sell. Building new prototypes, getting always closer to a product is my current personal priority. Developing a business plan, sponsorship plan, studying the market, planning, strategy, vision, brand is also part of the corporate work. Setting up a business is getting to know how the business works so I do a lot of networking and talking to people who have been in this business for some time, positioning ourselves. It is a steep learning curve for an inventor like me, but I love it.

== Non-profit : Open-H2O as a 503c Non-Profit ==
Protei is a community-generated-technology, so I work a lot as community organiser, discussion facilitator. That means welcoming new members and putting them to work, maintaining conversation and workflow with older members. That means coding and moderating the community website, organising general meetings, managing research and a lot of administrative work. We also have many exhibitions around the world, talks and workshop so I must prepare a lot of that materials, prototypes to ship, prints, slideshows, physical demos, cutting films etc. I work as a secretary, taking notes of our meetings, and doing all the paperwork : registrations, taxes, accounting. Also technician maintaining web services, emails, editing permissions to websites, FTP users, backups...

== PhD candidate ==
I am a part-time PhD in Design candidate at Goldsmiths University of London, expected to finish in 2016. My thesis is about " Open Hardware Entrepreneurship, Developing an ocean monitoring and cleaning system". My PhD -strangely- does not create me more work, I forces me to take time to reflect and write about my work a few hours a week. 4 times a year I meet my supervisor for 2 hours and she helps me develop my research in the academic world. Ocean technology and science is still largely dominated by academia so it is important to maintain academic status to have access to certain polluted and protected sites, collaborate with other academics and keep publishing. The "Protei handbook" is to my knowledge the most comprehensive documentation published on an sailing robot :

== Teaching Masters at Uni ==
I lecture and tutor Masters in "Design and Environment at Goldsmiths University. That's one of my main source of income and allows me to "test" and explore new ideas with students. I am done with the teaching for the academic year 2011-2012. In 2012-2013 I will concentrate my teaching during the month of October so I can focus on being an entrepreneur and non-profit lead the rest of the year.

== Odd jobs ==
Currently I do not manage to make ends meet with Protei and academic work so I have no choice but doing a couple of odd jobs that take up to 30% of my time. I decided to use my energy to develop Protei as a business rather than applying to multiple research grants. I am confident Protei as a business will soon support me financially and that I will be able to dedicate myself a 100% to it.

Questions : What character traits do you think have contributed to your ability to execute on your ideas thus far? *

== Love of nature ==
I am of shinto tradition. Nature is my religion. Not as a dogma, but as in "love of nature is what guides my decisions".

== Creativity & Resourcefulness ==
I have an artistic and design background, but I work now in the engineering and science world. I use my creativity to build a new technology into a community and a business. Creativity and adaptability are required for the survival of the nascent entrepreneur I am. I can never be stuck, I always learn and progress, driven by curiosity and passion.

== Determination, Efficiency ==
I did not do so many promises in my life, but the projects I am currently doing are in that space. I believe "I am what I do", and not "I am what I am" : I commit myself to make these projects happen to change status quo. I know it is a long journey and we've been on it for some time already. I keep my vision clear on long term goals and I solve everyday issues one by one.

== Leadership ==
Leadership is caring for one's community. I love the oceans and everyone in my team does too, making our discussions more focused and productive as we care for the same things. I think our organisation is quite democratic and decisions taken by consensus. I love listening to people, getting to the point and getting things done. I invented the Protei physical principles and the structure of the non-profit + profit : because it is all quite new, it is important I remain the guardian of the core values of the project.

Questions : If you are selected for the Alva Emerging Fellowship, how would you use the funds to get your project off the ground? *

Answer : If you give me 8500 USD cash, this is how I plan to use the money.

Questions : What else should we know about you? *

== Stay lean, iterate and release often ==
Any money I make goes into the making of the project. I have been saving every penny to work on Protei. I live and breath for it. I built my own yurt on top a friend's house in London Liverpool Street to save up and build Protei prototypes.
I do this because the technologies we are develop are necessary. I am currently based in London UK, but I am moving to SF in May 2012 because it gives me better access to : - water. The Bay and the Pacific are perfect testing locations and home to the creative sailing culture in the USA. - cutting edge technology, culture of entrepreneurship and Open Hardware. - potential funding. Several investors and potential sponsors are in the Bay Area. I don't know yet where I will live yet, but I know I will develop Protei at TechShop and Noisebridge. [] for prototyping, [] for electronic hacking. It is crucial for a start-up to stay lean and productive. With only 100 USD / month I can have access to a fully equipped workshop and office. This is how I will be able to serve my community best.

== from "ideas worth Spreading" to "product with huge environmental impact". ==
If you google me, you will find that in 2010 I became a TED Fellow with the International Ocean Station Project. In 2011 I became a TED Senior Fellow contributing to the TED community intensively since. It has been an amazing experience that really changed my life, gave me the opportunity to meet iconic characters but was more networking oriented rather than "getting things done" oriented. I like people and I know a good professional network is a requirement when doing an ambitious project, but I need now to go "next level" of my project. I looked carefully at 99% conference, talks, Behance and I found a culture of young creative people running purposeful businesses. I believe I could benefit from your community as well as I could contribute to it.

I feel it is time for me and my community to go from "ideas worth spreading" to "making ideas happen".

Thanks you very much for your time and attention.

Cesar Minoru Harada

Application submitted April 4th at 15:20 London Time / sent by email for confirmation.