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Cambridge Global Challenges


Are you passionate about the issues that surround plastics in our environment? Would you like to contribute to finding solutions to current key challenges? Do you already have an idea for innovation that can reduce/re-use/recycle plastic? Would you like to find ways to change people’s behaviour around plastic? People, Plastics and Our Planet offers the unique opportunity for early career researchers and entrepreneurs to come together over 4 days to develop and test ideas around solving the challenges that plastics in our environment pose

The impact of plastics on our planet is increasing of concern and has recently gained significant media and public attention.  While we are starting to understand the myriad and complexity of issues that surround the plastic phenomenon and its impact, it is less obvious what innovations could provide solutions to the challenges that these issues currently pose. In this venturing school, these challenges will be explored from the social, environmental, technical and economic perspective and innovative solutions sought. Teams of early career researchers and nascent entrepreneurs will work together to identify solutions and explore the ways that these solutions can be delivered to the market, into the hands of those who need to use them, to enable a positive and sustainable impact.

The venture school will be a highly interactive/hands-on course delivered over 4 days, where interdisciplinary teams will work together to find solutions to plastic challenges that they identify as of particular interest. Each team will work towards identifying a business model that is suitable to take their innovation forward – supported by expert mentors. That could be a business venture, a social venture, an impact project, or a new experiment.

During the programme, participants will:

  1. Define a complex problem
  2. Brain storm solutions and choose the most appropriate one(s)
  3. Articulate a value proposition
  4. Identify key partners
  5. Evaluate routes to market
  6. Design and deliver a winning pitch to ask for resources

Funded and partially-funded places are available for early career researchers from certain CDT/DTPs and the OPDA. Please check with your CDT/DTP or the OPDA as appropriate.


If you have any questions at this stage or wish to express an interest in taking part, please get in touch here.

Tuesday, 18 September, 2018 - 09:00 to Friday, 21 September, 2018 - 18:00
Event location: 
Aurora Cambridge, High Cross, Madingley Road, Cambridge, CB3 OET
Cambridge Global Challenges is a Strategic Research Initiative of the University of Cambridge that aims to enhance the contribution of its research towards addressing global challenges and achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030.

Funding Opportunities

Find out about open funding opportunities, pre-call announcements, responsive calls, studentships and awards relevant to the global...