23 Partners from 12 different countries, 60 representatives and more than 20 local stakeholders came together on the 10th and 11th of January, to kick-start the project REMEDIES, planning forward actions for deploying plastic litter valorisation and prevention pathways.
REMEDIES is Horizon Mission Program co-funded by the European Commission aiming to co-create solutions for the future of our oceans, through deploying plastic litter valorisation and prevention pathways. Remedies overall objective is to create a trend of plastic prevention by exploitation of traditional and modern channels. Along with the help of citizen’s science fostering co-creation of participatory processes, REMEDIES aims to build a more plastic-conscious society. Monitoring and collecting plastic litter, as well as preventing the generation of litter in the first place.
National Institute of Chemistry (NIC) in Slovenia as the Coordinator of the consortium, led the content and facilitated the first gathering of this ambitious innovation action project. The meeting was dedicated to the introduction of partners and the topic, from a local, European and global perspective. The meeting-agenda setting highlighted the team’s collective actions, outputs, outcomes and the expected impact for the upcoming four years.
On the first day, at the Koper Grand hotel in the coastal line of Slovenia, press representatives were introduced to the main pillars and principles of REMEDIES by dr. Uroš Novak, Coordinator of REMEDIES, and dr. Vesna Kuralt, Project Manager of REMEDIES, from the National Institute of Chemistry. During the panel discussion, dr. Barbara Tišler, Head of the NIC project office and dr. Jerneja Jug Jerše, Head of EC representation office in Slovenia, underlined the importance of developing solutions implemented locally, by valorising knowledge and expertise of the European Region.
The panel discussion followed by a team-visit to the Marina Koper DEMO site, accompanied by
Hakim El Khiar and Kostja Klabjan from one of the solution providers, Clera.One, together with dr. Annamaria Vujanović, from University of Maribor, and Mr. Alen Jakopin, Marina director. The participants were introduced to the innovative filtration technology -a small scale prototype for micro-plastic removal that will be applied to an underwater drone, equipped with a camera in order to detect large microplastic particles, along with a circular system of water reuse in vessel washing at the Marina Koper. This technology along with other solutions will be developed by 2025 and later replicated to 7 other demo sites in the Mediterranean Sea.
In the afternoon a roundtable, hosting public sector, industry and civic society leaders took place, debating on the quest: “A plastic waste-free lifestyle – a utopia or the future?” You can find the video documentation of the event here: (https://youtu.be/YCUdQx6po5M).
A series of inspiring talks followed up addressing the topics of Microplastics, ZERO waste and plastic waste prevention.
A networking session with a dynamic introduction of all partners, wrapped the day, exchanging personal views and organizational approaches on how we can contribute towards the protection of our ecosystems, the challenges we face and the opportunities that we foresee.
By the end of the evening, in an #Open-end event, the guest rapper Masayah from Koper, presented her compelling blend of art, music and words, addressing personal and societal pressing matters. Equally to science – music is a powerful tool to bring social and political reform.
The next day started with a Kick-off hybrid meeting, of all the 23 project partners, where an overview of the REMEDIES’ objectives and ambitions was presented by the Project Coordinator and Project Officer, Silvia Vaghi from CINEA, the Climate, Infrastructure and Environment Executive Agency.
Afterwards the work package leaders discussed the project’s tasks, the objectives, and the activities foreseen with the consortium. All the expected outcomes of the Horizon Europe Mission OCEAN&WATERS were touched upon and the REMEDIES key implementation aspect was determined by the team. These involve:
Monitoring plastic litter (WP1 lead by National Institute Chemistry)
Collection of plastic litter (WP2 lead by Clera.one)
Circular solutions for prevention of plastic waste (WP3 lead by Alchemia Nova Greece)
Sustainability assessment and optimisation of implemented measures (WP4 lead by University of Maribor)
Scalling & Replication (WP5 lead by F6S)
Community engagement, dissemination & communication (WP6 lead by Impact Hub Athens)
The presentation was interconnected with an interactive workshop, where all the partners both in person and online worked on analysis and inputs on stakeholders mapping, key words, messages and slogans that the consortium will apply to amplify the mission of REMEDIES.
The resulting documents of the group’s brainstorming were harvested by F6S and Impact Hub Athens. The conclusions are noted, integrated and shared with all the partners, as a follow-up of the Kick-off meeting, serving as an important guidance to REMEDIES’ exploitation, communication, dissemination and community engagement plan.
The day of the REMEDIES Kick-off meeting ended with an overview of the Project Management (WP7 lead NIC) and a wrap-up session featuring a Q&A to the coordinator team and the Project officer.
REMEDIES is about creating a movement, one act at a time, from the individual and the organizational, to the collective. Involving all the relevant stakeholders who want to contribute to a plastic-waste free ecosystem, we come together to form a community and change our habits. Join us!