Limerick designers, students and inventors invited to enter global competition

Picture : Domnick Walsh

The award winning European Circular Ocean project has 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 in the Northern Periphery and Arctic (NPA) region.

Irish partners “Macroom E” hope the competition will act as a catalyst to motivate and empower communities across Limerick to consider 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. This concern is particularly pertinent to Ireland, as an island nation, where many communities are already subject to the consequences of ocean plastic pollution damaging their environment as well as local fishing industries, tourism and related business.

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Circular Ocean would like to hear from individuals and/or multi-disciplinary teams of entrepreneurs, inventors, designers and students in the Limerick area,  who would like to tackle marine plastics with ideas, solutions and product concepts. Aligned with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, the challenge will 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.

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 Irish representatives Keiron Phillips, Project Manager at the Environmental Protection Agency. The initiative is also supported by the Global Ghost Gear Initiative (GGGI), a multi-stakeholder alliance, established to drive solutions to the problem of lost and abandoned fishing gear worldwide.  Full competition details and entry guidelines are available on the Circular Ocean website (

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