Frequently Asked Questions & Answers 


A: Our conservation problems - like ocean acidification and coral reef die-offs - need scalable, feasible, impactful, and innovative solutions. The field of conservation biology seeks innovative thinkers and makers from multiple disciplines to help solve these problems! Make for the Planet is an event to inspire teams to create solutions.

At Make for the Planet Borneo, five conservation experts will present FIVE marine conservation problems as challenges. Teams will have access to the challenge statements a few weeks ahead of the event. Teams are expected to create solutions DURING the event (June 24-29, 2018). The event pushes teams to brainstorm, iterate, and create early prototypes, models, designs, or some physical representation of a solution for one of the five presented problems. There will be a pop-up makerspace on-site and access to equipment. Teams should not use the event to showcase a solution that they have developed for another purpose. 

Q: How does the event work?


Q: who can participate?

A: Conservation X Labs will invite 15 teams of 4 to compete in-person at Make for the Planet Borneo. Conservation X Labs encourages the participation of multidisciplinary teams from multiple countries in the greater SE Asia region. We will give priority to teams comprised of residents of: Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Singapore, Vietnam, Cambodia, Myanmar, Philippines, Laos, Brunei, South Korea, India, China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Japan, New Zealand, and Australia. Teams do not need to be comprised of single nationalities. Although we will give priority to teams from the countries listed, teams from anywhere in the world may apply. Anyone over the age of 18 may apply. 

Refer to this site for Visa requirements to enter Malaysia: http://www.imi.gov.my/index.php/en/main-services/visa/visa-requirement-by-country
Participants are responsible for obtaining Visas.


A: You will become part of a growing community of conservation technologists!

  • At least two teams will win cash prizes, with a prize purse of up to $10,000 USD.
  • All participating teams will receive at least one consulting session from Shenzhen Open Innovation Lab (SZOIL) to continue to refine their prototypes and solutions after Make for the Planet: https://www.szoil.org/
  • One team will receive a 6-month hot bench membership to Maker Bay in Hong Kong: https://www.makerbay.org/ 

Q: What are the prizes?

Q: How do teams apply?

A: There is a competitive application process for teams to participate. Prospective teams MUST apply through the online Google Form. There is one application per team.  Conservation X Labs will assess applications and notify teams of acceptance. We encourage you to apply early! The application will close once we reach capacity.

Send an email to barbara[at]conservationxlabs[dot]org with questions.

Access the application HERE


A: If your team is accepted, Conservation X Labs will support registration for the IMCC5 conference & Make for the Planet, as well as lodging for all four team members (at 2 team members per room) in The Waterfront Hotel Kuching or another nearby venue (arriving June 24 and departing June 29). Teams may fundraise or seek sponsorships to cover the remaining associated costs like meals and travel to Kuching. 

Q: Is this event free?


A: Make for the Planet Borneo will occur at the 5th International Marine Conservation Congress (IMCC5). Teams are expected to be on-site no later than 3 pm on June 24th and depart on June 29th, 2018. The Waterfront Hotel Kuching is the venue for the IMCC5 conference and Make for the Planet Borneo.  

Q: Where & how long is the event?


Q: Why participate?

A: There are a number of reasons:

  • You are a solver. You want to use your ingenuity to fix marine conservation problems.
  • At least two teams will receive cash prizes. 
  • You will have access to the delegates of the IMCC5 meeting - a gathering of the World's best marine conservation scientists.
  • You will create solutions for real-world problems. 
  • Your idea just might be the solution marine conservationists need. The IMCC5 delegates represent potential customers, clients, and collaborators for your solutions.

A: Schedule
June 8th: Conservation Challenges will be available online for the teams.

June 24th: Teams arrive at the venue, the Waterfront Hotel, no later than 3 pm local time.

June 24th: Teams participate in a 2-hour IMCC5 workshop (W116) "Hacking for Conservation" from 4-6 pm local time. IMCC5 delegates are welcome to participate - sign up when you register for IMCC5.

June 25th: 10:00 am - 12:00 pm. Conservation Experts present challenges to the teams in an IMCC5 symposium (S191). Teams will start to work on solutions after S191.

June 27th: 6:00 - 9:00 pm. Teams present solutions at the IMCC5 evening poster session to a panel of reviewers.

June 28th: 4:00 - 6:00 pm. Finalists present solutions to a panel of judges in an IMCC5 symposium (S197) & receive awards.

Q: What are the important dates?