Impact Lab: Plymouth City Challenge
  • Plymouth City Council Office, Council Chamber Reception Room, Armada Way, Plymouth PL1 2EX (next to the Civic Centre)

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The Impact Lab hosts a series of themed challenges, connecting you with private enterprises and academic experts to create innovative and commercially viable solutions to some of the key environmental and/or big data challenges facing the world today. 

The University of Plymouth is delighted to be working with Plymouth City Council to bring you the first Plymouth challenge event. Register now to attend the event on 22 March, which will be followed by two further half-day sessions (on 24 April and 22 May at the University of Plymouth) to further develop ideas with dedicated support from business and academic mentors. More details will be available soon.

How do challenges work?

Challenges are about giving people the tools they need to develop successful commercial solutions to tackle important issues. We provide extensive support from our team of experts at the Impact Lab, as well as access to academic specialists and business support professionals.

Challenge themes

The themes for the Plymouth City Challenge event are:

  • Becoming a National Marine Park
  • Plastic Pollution
  • Energy Efficiency
  • Electric Vehicles and Future Travel.

Travel and parking

More information about travelling to Plymouth by car, bus and train can be found on the Visit Plymouth website. Plymouth Railway Station is a 15 minute walk away, and the closest car parks are Theatre Royal Car Park and Plymouth Guildhall Car Park.


09:30 – Arrival

10:00 – Welcome to the event, aspirations, aims and opportunities

10:20 – The Environmental Futures and Big Data Impact Lab (Professor Iain Stewart, Director of the University of Plymouth’s Sustainable Earth Institute)

10:30 – Outline of the day and what can the Impact Lab do for me? (Sarah Fear, University of Plymouth Impact Lab Project Manager)

10:45-12:00 – Short presentations on challenge themes presented by a University of Plymouth and Plymouth City Council lead:

  • 10:45 – Theme 1: Becoming a National Marine Park
  • 11:00 – Theme 2: Plastic Pollution
  • 11.15 – Break
  • 11.30 – Theme 3: Energy Efficiency
  • 11.45 – Theme 4: Electric Vehicles and Future Travel

12:00 – Networking

12:30 – Lunch

13:00-15:20 – Workshops to give you the chance to develop future ideas, and to discuss these with University specialists and City leads:
  • 13:00 – Workshop 1
  • 14:10 – Workshop 2

15:20 – Closing remarks and next steps

15:30 – Networking

16:00 – Close of event

Who should attend?

Local businesses: Challenges are an amazing opportunity to expand and fast-track your ideas with support from business and technical experts; find new partners to collaborate with; and get the chance to market your ideas to real businesses with real problems to solve.

Academics: Take your research to the next level by exploring opportunities for commercialisation and collaboration with private enterprises. You might have research that could help solve a problem, or you may have uncovered an important problem to solve. This is also a chance to share your ideas with potential private research partners and develop ideas for Impact Case Studies.

Entrepreneurs and technologists: You might be looking for a new venture or a new career opportunity, or you may just be an enthusiast who loves to take on new challenges! We welcome you to come and bring your skills to help teams develop their ideas.

Corporations and agencies: If you are a larger institution who wants to innovate more and develop partnerships with SMEs, then this is a perfect opportunity. You can join as a Challenge Owner for free to shape a challenge and set a particular problem you would love to see solved. You are also invited to join us at the final Demo Session to see the amazing ideas our teams have come up with.

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