Microscopic plastic debris, so-called microplastics (MP), pose a global challenge. As most plastic is produced and used inland, the considerable lack of knowledge on their sources and impacts in freshwater ecosystems inhibits effective mitigation measures.
To meet this challenge, LimnoPlast will for the first time bring together environmental, technical, and social sciences with the vision to transform a new understanding of freshwater MP to innovative solutions.
- Train a new type of scientists able to tackle the complex plastics issue holistically and contribute to Europe’s innovation and Circular Economy capacity. Working at the interface of three usually very distant disciplines, they will promote a step change in how we deal with this and future environmental challenges.
- Provide the first comprehensive assessment of the sources and impacts of freshwater MP based on the analysis of three major urban areas as hotspots of plastic pollution.
- Innovate technological solutions to the plastics issue, including novel processes to remove MP from municipal and industrial wastewater as well as bio-degradable, environmentally sound polymers.
- Promote societal change by understanding the economic, legislative and social context of freshwater MP.
- Transform science into a set of specific solutions, including (I) the prioritization of actions based on the sources and impacts of MP, development of (II) better processes and polymers, (III) risk communication strategies and societal interventions, (IV) effective policy and legislative interventions.
- Transfer the LimnoPlast outcomes to European decision makers, stakeholders and the public to enable and promote action on freshwater MP using an innovative communication and dissemination strategy.
LimnoPlast will offer early stage researchers world-class scientific training in the respective host institute, through research secondments (six month research stay at complementary partner institution) and training events. LimnoPlast will significantly enhance the ESRs’ career perspective by providing a unique set of skill they will exploit throughout their professional lives:
- Excellence in transdisciplinary research, including the wider societal context of research,
- Excellence in environmental, technical, and social science, with a unique, individual scientific profile,
- Capacity to transform an environmental challenge into innovative solutions,
- Capacity to effectively communicate science and to integrate the contrasting stakeholder perspectives,
- Insights in standardization, economic aspects, and entrepreneurship,
- Transferable skills (creativity, problem solving, intercultural and team competence, leadership).
A deep dive into our Projects
What is a Marie-Skłodowska-Curie – Innovative Training Network – European Training Network?
Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA) are part of the European Union’s largest research and innovation programme: Horizon2020. Innovative Training Networks (ITNs) are one of three programmes funded through MSCAs. ITN-ETNs support competitively selected joint research training and/or doctoral programmes implemented by European partnerships of universities, research institutions and non-academic organisations, for the structured training of young researchers. The aim is to boost their scientific and general competences within an international, interdisciplinary and intersectoral research and education programme within this network, to enhance researcher career prospects through developing their skills in entrepreneurship, creativity and innovation. Particularly important is the participation of institutions from both the academic and non-academic sectors host foreign researchers and to create strategic partnerships with leading institutions world-wide.
See also this video from the EU.
For further information on who is involved in the LimnoPlast, and what research will be undertaken, please click on the links below.