Call for innovative ideas to curtail the spread of stink bugs in cargo

Stink bugs in cargo are a growing issue. That’s why Wallenius Wilhelmsen, in partnership with Ogilvy Consulting and Humble ventures, has launched the BioSecurity Challenge, an open call for ideas to help identify and treat this and other invasive species.

Wallenius Wilhelmsen, in partnership with Ogilvy Consulting and Humble ventures, has launched the BioSecurity Challenge.

The brown marmorated stink bug was accidentally introduced to much of the world from its native Japan, Korea and China. Stink bugs and other invasive species have negatively impacted global agriculture, the supply chain and shipping, with no universal solution in sight. In the US alone, invasive species cost the economy more than $120 billion each year.

"We are excited to launch this global challenge to help address a real problem, not just for us, but for the whole industry. With the help of Ogilvy and Humble, we hope to engage global innovators to identify viable innovative solutions," says Alex Conjour, VP of port and cargo, WW Ocean.

Sustainable eradication sounds like an oxymoron, but it defines the innovative solutions we need to combat the spread of invasive species like the stink bug.

Alex Conjour

VP of port and cargo, WW Ocean

Controlling a global pest

Countries have taken various approaches when implementing regulations to control the spread of invasive species. Ultimately, the cost of these regulations impacts the commercial shipping industry. For example, Australia/New Zealand have been doubling down on regulations and policies, which has led to zero-tolerance enforcement of the new rules. These new policies have resulted in shippers having to invest in new technologies and processes due to the stink bug.

Economically, this invasive pest has devastating impacts on agriculture, logistics and ports. Authorities require mandatory pre-treatment of cargo originating from or transiting in a specified period from specific risk countries. Carefully vetting cargo potentially harbouring stink bugs can be cumbersome and costly in diversion costs, fuelling, and retreatment. This provides an unprecedented opportunity to explore innovative and impactful solutions for shipping contamination-free cargo.

"Sustainable eradication sounds like an oxymoron, but it defines the innovative solutions we need to combat the spread of invasive species like the stink bug. We are looking for help to fortify the supply chain against bio-security risk with a targeted environmentally-friendly treatment solution for RoRo cargo," says Conjour.

Calling innovators everywhere

The challenge calls on innovators from across a variety of fields such as academia, start-ups, venture capital, shipping, logistics and transportation, local and national governments, large enterprise organisations, agriculture, biology and etymology.

By the middle of February, we will have assessed all of the submissions, input and feedback. We will share our initial learnings on the BioSecurity Challenge website. The finalists will present to judges who will then select their innovative solutions and decide on the next stage gate. Phase two of the challenge will officially launch in March 2020.

Input and submission of ideas will be considered until mid-February 2020. For more information about collaborating to identify solutions for the identification of stink bugs and submitting your idea, visit BioSecurityChallenge.com.

Learn more about stink bugs

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