Competition Winners Announced!

Date of issue: July 16, 2018

The award winning Circular Ocean project has today announced the winners of its Innovation Competition 2018. Two winners have been selected, representing innovative, creative and inspiring re-use ideas for end of life Fishing Nets, Ropes and Components (FNRCs) in the NPA region.


Silke Foged, a student at the Design School Kolding in Denmark received the top award in the Under 25’s category.  In collaboration with Lifestyle and Design Cluster and Faroese knitwear brand Gudrun & Gudrun, Silke’s aim is to create a sustainable accessories collection utilising end of life fishing nets along with waste from the fishing industry on the Faroe Islands. The products will be showcased at the fashion fair CIFF in Copenhagen, in addition to exhibitions at several sustainable fashion events in Denmark. Click here for visuals of the entry


Winner of the over 25’s category is Omali Sanjani, from the University of Moratuwa in Sri Lanka. The idea of “Reject Values” is to produce a creative platform to utilize the end of life FNRC materials in the NPA region as value additions in the field of textile and fashion.  Omali’s vision proposes that waste net material would be utilised as raw materials or embellishment for hand weaving and hand embroidery crafts, with the aspirations to attract endorsements for the range through “green” celebrities and red carpet events. Click here for visuals of the entry


A considerable number of entries were received from across the globe, before being evaluated by a panel of experts from the NPA region and specialist networks, including Zero Waste Scotland, the Environmental Protection Agency in Ireland, Norut Northern Research Institute, in Norway, Local Enterprise Office South Cork in Ireland, the MARELITT Baltic Project, Innovation Center Iceland and Global Ghost Gear Initiative (GGGI).


Special commendations were awarded to:

  • Tzu Yun (Sherry) Chang (Canada) – possibilities for waste FNRC’s in the areas of compression moulding and 3D Printing
  • Rebecca Pickering (Northern Ireland) – an Adventure Gear Range, including sunglasses, paddle boards and kayaks) created from waste Polyethylene fishing nets
  • Rober Webbon, GRN Sportswear (UK) – high performance Sportswear created from sustainable materials
  • Dr. Katherine Dunlop, Akvaplan-niva & Clean Oceans International (Norway) – plastic to fuel conversion technology


The competition was overseen by Circular Ocean’s partners at The Centre for Sustainable Design (UK) seek to attract new ideas that enable a circular value chain through innovative material processing, technology, systems, business models or other solutions that enable the collection, reusing and recycling of discarded and used FNRCs. This is a particularly pertinent issue in the Northern Periphery and Arctic (NPA) region, where many remote communities are subject to the consequences of ocean plastic pollution that are already damaging local fishing industries, tourism and other marine related business. Speaking on the winner’s announcement, Chair of the Board of Judges for the Circular Ocean Innovation Competition – Professor Martin Charter said “It was motivating to see a range of excellent solutions to the growing problem of waste fishing nets in the NPA region. It was fantastic to see a high proportion of the innovative ideas coming from under 25s”.