NewsUCA Farnham

Centre for Sustainable Design champions innovation competition

With an estimated eight million tonnes of plastic entering the sea each year and causing considerable damage, The Centre for Sustainable Design (CfSD), based at UCA Farnham, is managing a global innovation competition launched by the award-winning European Circular Ocean Project.

The Circular Ocean Innovation Competition – organised by the CfSD on behalf of the Circular Ocean Project - is calling for creative and innovative ideas to consider new ways to tackle harmful pollution damaging the marine ecosystem. 

Professor Martin Charter, Director of the CfSD at UCA Farnham, said: “Lost fishing-related gear is the most treacherous form of marine plastic. This is an important issue in the Northern Periphery and Arctic (NPA) region, where many remote communities are feeling the full effects of ocean plastic pollution, which is causing ongoing damage to local fishing industries, tourism and other marine related business.”

Through the competition, which is open to entries until Friday 1 June, the Circular Ocean Project is seeking submissions from 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.

In addition to the CfSD at UCA, partners involved in the Circular Ocean project include the Environmental Research Institute of the North Highland College UHI, Scotland; Cork County Council Initiative “Macroom E”, Ireland; the Arctic Technology Centre, Greenland and the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Norway. The Circular Ocean Project is funded under the ERDF Interreg VB Northern Periphery and Arctic (NPA) Programme.

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.”