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. All finalists were part of an exhibition the day prior to the ceremony to present the projects to attendees, who voted for the most popular project, the winner of the additional “Public Choice Award”.
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, responded to winning the award “ On behalf of the Circular Ocean project partners it is my pleasure to express our sheer delight at winning the RegioStars Public Choice Award 2016. It is an absolute honour to receive the first ever Public Choice Award, in addition to being a finalist in the category of Sustainable Growth: Circular Economy. The award is testimony to the hard work and dedication of our project partners (ERI, Macroom E, CfSD, NTNU, and ARTEK), who are deeply passionate about the issue of marine litter, sustainable development of the Northern Periphery and Arctic region, and the progression to a more circular economy.
To be present among a select group of innovative and cutting-edge transnational projects is inspirational, and will further motivate us to positively impact local economies of the NPA region, whilst facilitating the reduction marine litter and waste. As Lead Partner we are extremely proud of Circular Ocean and are honoured to lead such a wonderful and innovative project which is only possible through transnational collaboration, and exchange of knowledge and expertise. We would like express our gratitude to the Northern Periphery and Arctic Programme for providing funding to make our project a reality.”
Previous RegioStars winners include the Northern Periphery projects Our Life as the Elderly, and Older People for Older People.
We congratulate the Circular Ocean project on winning this well-deserved award!