Circular Ocean seeks designers, creatives and innovators

Circular Ocean

Reykjavik, Iceland has been chosen to host a unique Innovation Conference next month, as part of the award winning transnational Circular Ocean Project. Tackling the issue of marine plastic pollution, the two day event will gather project partners, including representatives from Cork County Council Initiative “Macroom E”, with members of the academic, creative and business communities to explore the opportunities around re-purposing waste Fishing Nets & Rope (FNR’s) in the Northern Periphery & Arctic Region.

The conference opens on July 17th at Innovation Center Iceland, with presentations from partners, followed by the Circular Ocean “Scenario Exploration Session”. With a particular focus on the theme of waste fishing nets and rope, the session will be led by Dr. Laurent Bontoux from the EU Policy Lab and supported by project partner Professor Martin Charter from The Centre for Sustainable Design (CfSD), based in Surrey. The approach for the workshop has been developed from a two year foresight study on the future of eco-industries and eco-innovation in Europe to 2035 and builds on a successful session held in Cork earlier this year.

Day Two will see Circular Ocean’s second #Net_Hack_Challenge at Reykjavik School of Visual Arts, an innovation workshop designed to develop solutions to a series of challenges surrounding management of fishing nets and rope. Professor Charter of CfSD, first developed and executed the #Net_Hack_Challenge in Farnham, UK in November 2016, which resulted in a collection of innovative product prototypes.

Funded under the ERDF Interreg VB Northern Periphery and Arctic (NPA) Programme, the focus of the Circular Ocean project is to seek opportunities for recovery and reuse of waste fishing nets & rope, with a view to benefiting local economies. In addition to highlighting the environmental impacts of waste fishing nets, the project is currently undertaking various streams of research into the potential applications of nets in areas such as wastewater treatment, 3D printing and as a reinforcement material in the construction sector.

Circular Ocean is also offering support to SME’s with a view to highlighting the prospective economic opportunities to SME’s in establishing a product/business utilising waste nets, while promoting the concept of circular economy and eco-innovation.

Partners involved in the Circular Ocean project include the Environmental Research Institute of the North Highland College UHI, Scotland; Macroom E, Ireland; The Centre for Sustainable Design, University for the Creative Arts, England; the Arctic Technology Centre, Greenland and the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Norway. The event will be held in conjunction with Innovation Center Iceland and the Reykjavik School of Visual Arts.

Circular Ocean is seeking members of the creative and SME communities in Ireland to join them at this two day event in Reykjavik, which aims to identify commercial opportunities for end of life fishing gear. The event is free, but registration is essential as places are limited. Full agenda and registration are available on or email