Circular Ocean Innovation Competition 2018

Date of issue: April 18, 2018


The award winning transnational European Circular Ocean project has today launched a global “Innovation Competition”, designed to engage creative and technical communities to provide radical, inspiring and fresh ideas and solutions related to the re-use and recycling of end of life Fishing Nets, Ropes and Components (FNRCs) in the NPA region.  It is hoped the competition will act as a catalyst to motivate and empower remote communities to develop sustainable business opportunities utilising plastics from waste fishing gear.

It is estimated that up to 8 million tonnes of plastic enters the sea each year, causing serious damage to our ocean environment and marine ecosystems.  Experts believe that lost and discarded fishing-related gear is the most treacherous form of marine plastic, persisting in the marine environment for hundreds of years, continuing to catch fish and causing entanglement of marine wildlife, including birds and mammals. This is an important 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.

Managed 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, local machinery, systems, business models or completely different solutions that enable the collection, reusing and recycling of discarded and used FNRCs. The Circular Ocean Innovation Competition is aligned to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, in particular Goal 9 “Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure”, Goal 12 on “Responsible Consumption and Production” and Goal 14 “Life Below Water.”

Circular Ocean would like to hear from individuals and/or multi-disciplinary teams of entrepreneurs, inventors, designers and students who would like to tackle marine plastics with ideas, solutions and product concepts. Closing date for entries is 1st June 2018, submissions will then be evaluated by a panel of experts from the NPA regions and specialist networks, including Global Ghost Gear Initiative (GGGI). Founded by World Animal Protection, GGGI is a multi-stakeholder alliance, established to drive solutions to the problem of lost and abandoned fishing gear worldwide.

Full competition details and entry guidelines available here