Tech for Good: The Mayflower Autonomous Ship and The Role of the Mainframe

In the latest of the C-Suite series by IBM Institute for Business Value, sustainability was found to be top of mind for CEOs. The study, interviewing 3,000 CEO’s, revealed that there has been a dramatic emergence of sustainability onto the ‘mainstream corporate agenda’ with CEOs identifying sustainability as their ‘greatest challenge’. With reports of CEOs experiencing great pressure from board members and investors to transform their business in pursuit of becoming more sustainable, there’s great need for change in the corporate world, but where are the examples of companies taking a step in the right direction?

Cognition Foundry is a shining example of a company putting sustainability at the heart of what they do with their aim “to create nurturing, collaborative partnerships that contribute to a better world”. Cognition Foundry’s core IT infrastructure is built on IBM products due to client demand for IT systems with low energy profiles and minimal impact on our planet’s future and Cognition Foundry has invested in IBM LinuxONE servers which are far more straightforward to manage than the complicated cloud computing which exists on the market today.

An excellent example of how Cognition Foundry is exploiting the IBM LinuxONE mainframe is in the ground-breaking IBM Mayflower Autonomous Ship project. The Mayflower project uses IBM’s revolutionary technology to help transform the way we can help scientists and governments respond to the climate crisis focusing on the largest ecosystem on earth, our oceans. Cognition Foundry plays a pivotal role in this venture, working with their partner Videosoft Global Ltd.

Videosoft Global Ltd developed technology which allows live videos to be transmitted at low bit rates whilst maintaining reliable connectivity and reduce latency to a minimum. The use of high-definition colour cameras on-board the Mayflower allows footage to feed into a Videosoft gateway encoder which then compresses each video stream to send over satellite  to virtual servers installed on an IBM LinuxOne mainframe. From there, the footage is relayed on to the IBM Watson Media platform, and then streamed live to every user that is tuned in to the live dashboard.

The intelligent collaboration between IBM Business Partner TES, Cognition Foundry and Videosoft has contributed to the development of cutting-edge innovation which can only help accelerate our trajectory in finding new ways to tackle the climate crisis. Videosoft Global CEO, Stewart McCone says “We are always delighted to be involved in ground-breaking projects such as the Mayflower Autonomous Ship. In this case a successful collaboration between marine specialists and technology has enabled this project to happen, which will deliver valuable benefits to the world in the future. The Videosoft technology plays a key part in linking shore side operations to remote vessels over the satellite network and the IBM LinuxOne platform delivers  reliable, secure and scalable services to distribute the live video to the public, educational institutions and media outlets across the globe.” Since investing in LinuxONE, Cognition Foundry has helped many start-ups validate, develop, deploy and mature their ideas.

Cognition Foundry together with IBM received a UN Sustainability Award for their Plastic Bank Blockchain solution. This platform has verified 2.6 billion plastic bottles (as of June 2022) have been diverted from the ocean waters, while lifting over 20,000 people out of poverty through a sustainable living income.

By contributing to both environmental and social causes Cognition Foundry has positively left their mark as one of the pioneering tech companies, along with IBM, who are working toward reaching our UN Sustainable Development Goals.

As the Mayflower Autonomous Ship sailed from Plymouth UK to Plymouth USA, we’re confident that by  complementing Videosoft’s encoding technology, IBM LinuxONE ensures the video streams are available for all to see. As the technology is exploited further, we hope to see a range of new services and solutions developed that will impact blue light, improve security, drive efficiencies in satellite communication and complement autonomous shipping. What innovative application of technology can you develop to help in reaching the 17 UN Sustainable development goals to help to the turn the tide on climate change?