The environmental innovation that won Hydra Creative a Prolific North Tech Award in 2020

Charlie Spargo's picture
by Charlie Spargo

In 2020, Sheffield agency Hydra Creative won the Tech for Good Award at the Prolific North Tech Awards for its work creating the Beekind Tool for the Bumblebee Conservation Trust.

It was one of the last live awards ceremonies that took place in 2020, before the COVID pandemic hit. In 2021, the Tech Awards are returning - and you can enter now. The awards celebrate the region’s skyrocketing tech industry and the talent within it, rewarding top innovations and projects, teams and businesses, as well as individuals.

The Tech for Good Award recognises the innovator whose work has had the largest positive social impact. This growing area involves utilising the power of technology to make a tangible difference, directly improving social, environmental, economic outcomes and more through innovation.

Hydra Creative’s solution was created in response to the rapid decline of the bumblebee population in the UK, in the form of a tool to rank a garden’s friendliness towards bees.

Gemma Daniels, Client Services Director, explained that Hydra Creative was enlisted to develop the tool based on their “extensive experience of bespoke software development projects.”

The agency designed an advanced filtering solution which let users select from a range of 650-plus flowers and plants. “Users can identify flowers based on characteristics such as colour and number of petals.”

A ‘Bee Kind Score’ is generated by the tool, which is hosted on a subdomain of the main Bumblebee Conservation Trust website, providing an overview of where the user is succeeding, along with recommendations on how to improve the score.

The success of the Beekind Tool saw it gain coverage in a range of publications including The Ecologist and Positive News, and led to the Tech Awards win. A Senior Science and Policy Officer at the Trust called it “an exceptional educational resource that people across the country can use to help bumblebees and other pollinators survive and thrive.”

Why was the award win so important to Hydra? “The Tech for Good award win was a great way to celebrate and showcase the talent and dedication of our team,” added Daniels.

“Corporate social responsibility is a big part of our company values, so helping organisations in and around the Sheffield City Region is something we aim to do regularly. Our team are committed to innovation, using our industry expertise to generate new ideas and work towards a brighter future, so it’s amazing that we got recognition for that.

“Celebrations like the Tech for Good award encourage more people in the tech industry to get involved with supporting charitable organisations. Not just support via donations, but support with their incredible skills and abilities.”

Clearly, 2020 wasn’t without its hurdles, with businesses across the board struggling as the world went into lockdown. Despite the challenges, Hydra has come a long way, Daniels said. 

“The world looks very different since our award win... This past year has been spent supporting various clients across the globe with big digital projects, from new website builds, rebrands, SEO campaigns, and everything in between.

“We are supporting several great charitable organisations this year, either through donations, or free digital services. We are supporting a national women’s basketball team working to empower young women in the local community, a charity working to help children and families affected by cancer, as well as many other organisations.”

Hydra Creative are enthusiastic about entering awards and look forward to the return of live ceremonies. Prolific North’s first live awards event after COVID will be the Champions Awards at The Point, Lancashire Cricket Club on September 16th.

By entering categories like the Tech for Good Award, said Daniels, businesses can “get the chance to showcase the amazing work done for third sector organisations, and most importantly, to raise awareness for the causes that need it the most.

“Not only is it a great chance to network with other talented tech organisations, but live events and awards also give us the chance to properly celebrate successful projects with our hard-working staff. And if we win - that’s a bonus!”

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