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“SafetyNet Is Entirely Focused On Breaking Down Barriers To Industry-changing Ideas Achieving Success”

This week we spoke to Dan, our CEO. He told us how his role has evolved as the company has grown, the challenges of expanding into new markets and scaling production, and the exciting prospects for the organisation’s development within the sustainable fishing industry in future. 

Hi Dan. Can you please tell me about your role here at SNTech?

Hello! I’m the CEO at SafetyNet Technologies, and am also one of the company co-founders. My role has become focused on fundraising, establishing relationships with collaborators and fishing industry stakeholders, and occasionally representing the company at events and conferences. It’s a big change from when the SafetyNet Project started around 10 years ago, when I used to do a bit of everything!

What do you do on a typical day?

The best thing about my role is that I get to meet tons of interesting people and try to understand how we might work together, or how we can help them achieve their goals. It’s a really creative role, as identifying where SafetyNet can add value to people all across the fishing industry, and beyond, can generate ideas from lots of different angles. I regularly meet with people from industry, science, government and the tech worlds, but also occasionally with people from sectors you might not immediately associate SafetyNet with, such as insurance, computer science and even space technologies. I spend a lot more time with spreadsheets, Powerpoint and Slack than I ever thought I would, but it turns out you can be pretty creative with them and answer a lot of strategic questions. It means I still get to use some of my mechanical engineering and design skills! Oh, and I get to make a LOT of fish puns.

And what are you currently working on? 

A lot of my time has been focused on finalising SafetyNet’s Seed investment round, which we successfully recently closed (hooray!). This will provide our company with the required resources to take Pisces to market, confident that we can do some really excellent work without running out of capital. It will also pay for the first large-scale Pisces manufacturing run, which is incredibly exciting. Beyond this, I’ve been collaborating with colleagues on a few funding proposals for projects that will enable us to extend Pisces’ reach to new markets and needs.

Can you tell me what benefits Pisces has for fishers, and the commercial fishing industry more widely?

The commercial fishing industry is undergoing a regulatory sea change, putting it under increasing pressure to ensure that profitability is supported by sustainability. Low quotas on threatened species make it really hard for fishing vessels operating in a mixed fishery, where they might be mistakenly catching those endangered species alongside abundant commercial species. Pisces can help dramatically lower the likelihood of catching non-target species, meaning fishing crews have a higher chance of operating their business without fines or regulatory issues. This is great for the individual companies, but also the wider industry, as it helps safeguard the sustainability of fish stocks into the future.

Why is this organisation so important?

SafetyNet continually tries to set the bar higher in terms of fishing conservation technology. We’ve brought skills such as Human-Centred Design to all our work in the fishing sector, showing other organisations new ways of working and getting to the nub of real user needs. We also had to figure out how to scale up the impact our technology could have, and the means to produce it at that scale. We’ve demonstrated that conservation technology can yield positive financial returns for fishing businesses and companies innovating to build technologies in this space, demonstrated by our successful Seed investment round. This all moves the sector forward, and hopefully inspires others to work in a similar way – with fewer barriers than we faced when we did it.

What role does SafetyNet play in the future of sustainable fishing?

SafetyNet is entirely focused on breaking down technical and scalability barriers to industry-changing ideas achieving success. We’ve started this through applying science to fishing with Pisces, but we’ve got so many other ideas we’re excited to pursue, on our own or in collaboration with others. The future is bright!

Finally, what is the best thing about your job?

Watching the company grow, and its achievements growing with it. The best thing about all of this is that it comes from the people who work on SafetyNet, each of whom I’ve had the privilege to welcome to the company. Each new person doesn’t only bring skills, they link them to the skills of others, enabling so much more than the work they could produce alone. All this, combined with amazing personalities and commitment to our company mission and vision, means I feel incredibly proud and lucky to call SafetyNet my place of work, and the people around me my colleagues.

If you work in the fishing industry and are interested in finding out more about how our Pisces product can support your business, contact our customer success team: enquiries@sntech.co.uk

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