WildCRU launches new conservation technology initiative

February 9, 2021

David Macdonald is excited to announce WildCRU’s role in launching the World’s First Conservation Venture Studio. This is a partnership between the University of Oxford, Global Accelerated Ventures, and the research commercialisation arm of the University, Oxford University Innovation. The Conservation Venture Studio will  rapidly accelerate novel technologies and innovative solutions addressing the world’s most pressing environmental problems. The idea is to discover and promote technologies that will combat biodiversity loss, climate change, confront energy crises, promote human food security, and predict the implications of landscape change, among others. The Studio will also serve as a think tank for thought leadership in conservation innovation. David Macdonald, Founder and Director of the WildCRU (Department of Zoology), and inaugural Chairman of the Conservation Venture Studio’s Joint Steering Committee, said:

“The biodiversity crisis threatens the moving parts of Nature that sustain ecosystems and support humanity. Novel technologies expand human capacity beyond previous imagining. What more potent, then, than to combine the greatest problem on earth with the greatest source of solutions, for the shared well-being of nature and people? At the WildCRU we’ve been developing technologies to serve conservation since the early days of radio-tracking – most recently we’ve been using individual voice recognition to count lions, and monitoring elephants from space.”

Dr. Robert Montgomery, long time Research Associate at WildCRU, will be the Managing Director of the venture studio and is taking up a joint academic appointment as a Senior Research Fellow at Lady Margaret Hall (LMH) and in WildCRU at the Department of Zoology. Via the launch of the Conservation Venture Studio, the University of Oxford strengthens its commitment to venture capital collaboration in the ‘Green Economy’, and WildCRU is determined to use this innovative model to catalyse a new phase of exciting work at the forefront of conservation.