Return to site

BioCarbon Engineering wins 2nd place at the Drones for Good Competition

Press Release


OXFORD, UK - BioCarbon Engineering, a British company that uses drones to plant trees, won second place at the UAE Drones for Good competition. The finalists were selected from 1,017 entries from 165 countries and were evaluated on their documentation, technical performance, stage presentation and social mission.

BioCarbon Engineering, a small 10-person team from Oxford, had an exceptional result coming second only to Nokia, by just 1.1%.

BioCarbon Engineering team members at Drones for Good 2017

At the competition BioCarbon Engineering demonstrated their planting system, mapping and monitoring method, biodegradable seedpods, business model and impact potential. Leveraging technical ability from its specialist team and intellectual property portfolio, BioCarbon Engineering revealed how quickly hundreds of trees could be planted; how entire ecosystems can be restored using enabling emerging technologies; how the data collected from each operation is crunched by machine learning algorithms in order to provide clarity on how ecosystems around us develop; and to further improve restoration practices.

Susan Graham, CTO and a recently chosen Forbes ’30-under-30’ said, ‘We see technology being an enabler. Drones provide the platform that allows us to reach difficult places, and plant trees where we need them.’

Susan Graham, CTO of BioCarbon Engineering, presenting at Drones for Good 2017

BioCarbon Engineering’s technology is increasingly important as many governments and businesses have committed to restore 350 million hectares by 2030, which would be near impossible with current planting methods alone. Adopting scalable ecosystem restoration solutions is pivotal not just for these commitments, but future generations; as planting forests fast could mitigate climate change and reverse the loss of top soils, which cause droughts and other natural disasters, leading to entire communities becoming environmental refugees.

BioCarbon Engineering’s mission is to play a key role in restoring the planet’s depleted and destroyed ecosystems at 10 times the rate, and at just 15 percent the cost of traditional hand planting methods.

Lauren Fletcher, CEO of BioCarbon Engineering said, ‘This is a tough competition with many great teams. Second place is an important result for us as we had to come together as a team in order to demonstrate to the world that our solution is going to make a real difference.’

Lauren Fletcher, CEO of BioCarbon Engineering, presenting at Drones for Good Competition 2017

About BioCarbon Engineering’s system

BioCarbon’s system works in two stages: first, the mapping drone flies over the land and takes detailed images giving the information on terrain, nutrients, and biodiversity. That data is processed through a machine learning algorithm and a precise planting pattern is generated. Next this map is uploaded into planting drone which flies at 2-3 meters above the ground and fires a biodegradable seedpod at each pre-determined position. The seed pod penetrates the soil, is activated by moisture and contains all the nutrients for healthy tree growth. With 150 swarms of 6 drones cooperating together, we could plant 1 billion trees per year, with the potential to scale to 10s of billions of trees each year.

Lauren Fletcher, CEO of BioCarbon Engineering, presenting at Drones for Good 2017

The team, based in Oxford, UK has successfully demonstrated growth for a number of tropical and boreal species in indoor and outdoor trials, and developed a unique system that uses a combination of ingredients to match different requirements for each tree to succeed. In just one year of full-scale operation, BioCarbon Engineering will be able to sequester 18 million metric tons of carbon dioxide, the equivalent of all the car emissions in the UAE.

About Drones for Good

Drones for Good competition encourages and celebrates disruptive ideas, which have a potential to address the most pressing challenges of humanity. To check the profiles of other finalists see -

Further information

For further information, interviews and general enquiries please contact BioCarbon Engineering via:

All Posts

Almost done…

We just sent you an email. Please click the link in the email to confirm your subscription!