Plastics Remote Sensing Discovery Programme workshop

Collaborations and actions for future developments in innovation, intervention and policy.

Event Details


14.00 - 17.00



Share this event

Recording available on request

To receive a link to the recording of this workshop, please email Denise Goldsmith, KTM Marine Plastics.


Innovate UK, Innovate UK KTN, The Satellite Applications Catapult, and the Arribada Initiative have created a series of scoping activities to gather information on how remote sensing is used to understand, monitor, and mitigate plastic litter. The scoping activities include a survey and series of webinars to gather information on the current challenges surrounding remote sensing techniques for plastic litter studies and the challenges of policy making.

We define “remote sensing” as ‘obtaining information about objects or areas from a distance, typically from satellites or drones’ and “plastic litter” as ‘plastic products that have been discarded, disposed of, or abandoned’.


If you wish to participate, please complete this online questionnaire. The 15-question survey will take approximately 10 minutes to complete. To increase the effectiveness and scope of our questionnaire, we actively encourage you to pass it onto relevant peers and colleagues.

About the event

The presence of plastic litter is now recognised as a global environmental, social and economic issue. Remote sensings large spatial coverage and ability to collect data in remote areas have the potential to advance our understanding of plastic litter pervasiveness and how to combat it. However, successfully understanding and mitigating plastic litter requires an alignment between researchers, policy makers, and funders. Therefore, conversations between representatives from the sectors of intervention, innovation and policy are key.

Innovate UK, Innovate UK KTN, The Satellite Applications Catapult, and the Arribada Initiative have created this collaborative workshop to gather information on how remote sensing is used to understand, monitor, and mitigate plastic litter.

This workshop will bring together experts from three key sectors to discuss:

  • Innovation: What advances in remote sensing technology and data analysis are needed to improve our understanding and monitoring of plastic litter?
  • Policy: How do the results of remote sensing studies inform policies or guidance aimed at combating plastic litter and what kinds of information would help drive new policies?
  • Intervention: Where is additional funding or collaboration most needed to reform the use of remote sensing for the plastic litter issue and its integration with policy making?

Who is the event for?

  • Government
  • Industry/business
  • NGO
  • Academia/research institution


14:00 – Introduction, Luca Budello, Geospatial Lead, Innovate UK KTN and Nick Cliffe, Deputy Challenge Director, Smart Sustainable Plastic Packaging Challenge (SSPP)
14:10 – Expert presentations representing Innovation, Intervention and Policy facilitated by Alasdair Davies, Director, Arribada Initiative

  • Policy – Peter Kohler, Senior Marine Litter Scientist, Centre for Environment, Fisheries & Aquaculture Science (Cefas)
  • Monitoring ocean plastic pollution with satellites & AI – James Doherty, Plastic-i

14:30 – Case studies – research & product development

  • Detecting Floating Plastics: Uncertainties and Solutions – Lauren Biermann, Research Scientist, Plymouth Marine Laboratory (PML)
  • WASP – Windrows AS Proxies for detecting marine plastic – James Delaney, Argans Ltd
  • POS2IDON, an open-source tool for monitoring ocean plastic accumulations using Sentinel-2  – Emanuel Castanho, Atlantic International Research Centre (AIR Centre)

14:50 – Break
15:00 – Interactive workshop questions & discussion – demographics, barriers and innovation
16:00 – Panel – Q&A and discussion – connections between Innovation, Policy, Intervention and Implementation.
Panel – Martin Jones (Argans Ltd), Emanuel Castanho (AIR Centre), Peter Kohler (Cefas), Jamila Mifdal (Plastic-i), Lauren Biermann (PML)
16:50 – Workshop summary & next steps – Dan Wicks, Head of Geospatial Intelligence, Satellite Applications Catapult
17:00 – Close


Connect with Innovate UK Business Connect

Join Innovate UK Business Connect's mailing list to receive updates on funding opportunities, events and to access Innovate UK Business Connect's deep expertise. Please check your email to confirm your subscription and select your area(s) of interest.