The Western Development Commission with partners has recently been awarded funding from the Interreg Northern Periphery and Arctic programme for an initiative to support a solution to reuse and recycle fishing gear from our sea’s called “(Blue Circular Economy BCE)”. The first partner meeting by the BCE consortium aims to help small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) offering products and services within the marine derived plastics sector in the region to attain a greater market reach. Building on the network developed under the Circular Ocean initiative, (http://www.circularocean.eu ), (2015-2018), the project will set up a multi-level cluster to connect and support relevant SMEs in the region.
BCE is funded by the NPA programme with partners in Ireland, Norway, Scotland, and Greenland. The goal is to combine new innovative technologies with locally available natural resources, and to raise awareness of energy efficiency and identify possibilities to use renewable energy.
The event was organised and Chaired by the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, and the speakers included:
- Environmental Research institute. North Highland College UHI (Scotland)
- Western Development Commission (Ireland)
- The Centre for Sustainable Design, University for the Creative Arts (UK)
- Arctic Technology Centre (Greenland)
- Norwegian University of Science and Technology (Norway)
The Blue Circular Economy project will use the Regio Stars 2016 award winning project Circular Ocean as a springboard to accelerate and further the market reach of SMEs utilising marine derived plastic. Specifically BCE will capitalise on the substantial groundwork undertaken by Circular Ocean, especially with regards to creating awareness of both the issue and potential solutions, the piloting of novel uses of fishing nets (3-D printing, building materials, and waste water treatment), and developing an extensive network of relevant stakeholders including SMEs, entrepreneurs, local authorities, and NGOs.
Full project details and launch expected in early 2019.