The RegioStars Awards are the yearly competition for inspiring and innovating regional projects supported by EU Cohesion Policy Funds. For the 2016 awards, the Jury selected 23 finalists from 104 entries, spread over 5 categories.
In pursuit of innovative and sustainable solutions for marine plastic waste, the Circular Ocean project seeks to inspire enterprises and entrepreneurs to realise the hidden opportunities of discarded fishing nets and ropes. The Circular Ocean project promotes the "green economy" by finding solutions to re-use waste, driving eco-innovation, generating efficient and environmentally responsible businesses, and diminishing levels of marine litter.
Project Coordinator, Dr Neil James of the Environmental Research Institute, North Highland College UHI, Scotland, has reacted to the news. “We are delighted and honoured that Circular Ocean has been selected as a finalist for RegioStars Awards 2016. This recognition is a wonderful tribute to the hard work and innovation demonstrated by all our project partners, and testimony to the importance of European collaborative efforts. We are committed to enhancing the environment and lives of residents within remote and rural regions of Northern Europe and the Arctic, and will continue our efforts to incentivise the use of marine plastic waste. On behalf of the project partners, I would like to thank the NPA programme for its continued support and allowing our project to be brought to life so we can assist the move towards a more circular economy. We look forward to more innovative joint efforts in the years to come, and of course to the awards ceremony in October.”
Winners of the 2016 RegioStars Awards will be announced at the awards ceremony on 11th October, during the European Week of Regions and Cities.
Previous RegioStars winners include the Northern Periphery projects Our Life as the Elderly, and Older People for Older People.