Imperial college London

The partnership is led at Imperial by the Grantham Institute – Climate Change and the Environment, and harnesses the academic expertise of the College's Ocean Plastic Solutions Network. Grantham Institute experts gave evidence to the UK government that was instrumental in bringing about a UK-wide ban on micro-plastic particles in cosmetic products in 2016.

Through our partnership we aim to identify investable ideas from within the Imperial’s broader ecosystem.  The research areas currently active across Imperial’s Ocean Plastic Solutions Network include enhancing our understanding of the movement of plastics across oceans; developing technologies for its recovery; creating more environmentally friendly materials; and designing new waste management systems that increase plastic recycling or reuse.

The new partnership will include activities that stimulate the imagination of scientists, budding entrepreneurs and business-people to draw out ideas in unexpected areas. 

More details on some events and potential hackathons to come.

Professor Martin Siegert is Co-Director of the Grantham Institute, and leads the partnership for Imperial. He says: "Plastic is a fantastic and hugely popular material, being light, cheap and versatile, and we should value rather than waste it. My research takes me to the Southern Ocean of Antarctica, where I have seen first-hand the effects of improperly discarded plastic on the environment.

"There is a global momentum to stop the wave of plastics being wasted by our society, prevent further plastic pollution, and engineer an effective clean-up effort. I welcome this timely opportunity for the experts we have at Imperial to collaborate with a globally-reaching organisation like Sky, so that together we can help turn the tide on this challenge."

Fred Michel, Director of Sky Ocean Ventures said: “We’re delighted to have the Grantham Institute at Imperial College London on board. We are looking forward to working with them to find more investable ideas that will stop our oceans from drowning in plastic.”

At Imperial's new White City innovation campus, experts from the Grantham Institute will be convening and contributing scientific expertise to projects that seek to eliminate plastic waste, designing and running student challenges to encourage innovative ideas and workable solutions.