How do you turn data into value?

Faster learning through collaboration on streamed data

Eide Fjordbruk and the software company Searis have worked together since 2015 to create the digital fish farming technology of the future, helping experts get a better overview of all factors affecting fish and fjord, and to learn more quickly and make better decisions for the future, sooner.

There are many ways to approach challenges such as lice, mortality, algae, optimal growth and fish welfare. At Searis, we believe the key to better control comes by having a simpler overview of the situation in and around the farm, as well as continual collaboration to make wise decisions and learn from what we do, as quickly as possible. That way, we can constantly make the small adjustments needed to solve problems and improve operations from day to day.

Supporting skilled experts with modern data technology will continue to be a recipe for success in the future, just like it is now. “With Clarify, we give experts modern data tools so they can explore, understand, and collaborate on data streamed from various systems,” says Tore Norheim Hagtun, Managing Director and co-founder of Searis.

How do you turn data into value?

We were introduced to Eide Fjordbruk in late 2015, and it quickly became very clear that we shared a passion for creating something new, as well as sharing perspectives on the opportunities and technical challenges that must be resolved in order to improve the industry. Searis has worked in aquaculture since 2012, and we started our company while we were studying Technical Cybernetics at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU). Throughout our work on everything from algae production to government reporting for the coastal fleet, we often encounter a similar challenge repeatedly: how to turn data into a useful tool for people as well as machines.

Unfortunately, data is something foreign to most people and considered more of a burden than an intuitive tool. This needs to change, and our goal is to get people to use data as a support to solve problems, improve and innovate, just as quickly and easily as doing a Google search.

Our collaboration with EFB started when we were both working on the concept Framsyn, in which several top Norwegian tech companies worked together to develop autonomous, data-operated plant technology and AI-assisted decision support. The application was sadly rejected, since the government argued this was not production technology; however, several concepts from this have been used in our work on Clarify.

Timeline Aquaculture

From reports and retrospect to collaboration and prospects

In today’s industry, a lot of energy is spent on creating and sharing reports. However, we believe data should be something everyone collaborates on from day to day, not quarterly or retrospectively. The industry is also moving from a situation with just a few manual metrics per day to continual streams of data from sensors, cameras, AI and so on, twenty-four hours a day, all year round.

This gives us many new opportunities, but it also requires new, modern technology, some new skills from our experts, and some new ways of collaborating on the data.

We have seen that the systems found in the industry are not built to handle these quantities of data and that the interfaces meant to make the data accessible have far too high a threshold for most people.

We believe that if data is to be a tool for only a few, then this will waste a company’s total creativity and capacity to solve problems and drive improvement. This is why we are always talking about making data into a useful tool, for everyone. Because data that no one uses has no value, and knowledge that is not shared is lost.

As a technology company, it is our responsibility to lower the threshold to get started. Ultimately, though, it is the experts who have the knowledge and experience to turn data into value.

Through our collaboration with Eide Fjordbruk, we have some good examples of the positive effect of making it easier to explore and collaborate on data in the Clarify project so far:

·        Exploring data that can explain previous unexplained mortality, to create strategies and action plans to avoid new problems

·        Support the development of tubenet / snorkel nettings on a commercial scale, and help improve installation, operation and operative procedures to prevent lice infestation

·        Explore the effect of various actions and strategies against lice, to determine what to do more of and what to do less of

·        Drive continual improvement and knowledge sharing around feed and daily operations

·        Lower the threshold for data-driven innovation by developing digital twins, 2D models and various forms of data analysis

To mention but a few.

The future: easier to focus on fish

Computers never sleep; they love routine work and complicated calculations. This is unlike most fish farmers we have met so far,and for this reason, we want to let computers do a greater part of our tedious routine tasks, so the fish farmers can focus on and understand even more about their passion: fish and fjords.

At EFB, thousands of data signals flow in to Clarify every second, all year around, and in ever increasing quantities. We are now developing automated systems to recognize patterns and fingerprints in the data streams, discover changes and behaviours sooner, ensure the quality of the data and uptime of all systems, and look ahead to the future based on historical data. In general, this is about helping fish farmers to focus their attention where it is needed, in order to be ahead of the game and make better decisions sooner.

For us as a start-up company, it is inspiring to work together with fish farmers who are also entrepreneurs and field experts with a nunstoppable drive to develop themselves and the industry. We look forward to the continuation and are excited to solve problems and drive innovation together going forward!


Guest article by Tore Norheim, CEO of Searis

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