Ocean i3 dives into the fight against plastic

Ocean i3 is taking up the challenge of fighting plastic pollution in the oceans to help reduce pollution along the Basque-Aquitaine cross-border coastline. We take a look at this inter-disciplinary, multicultural and cross-border project dedicated to innovation in teaching and employability, managed by the University of Bordeaux and the University of the Basque Country.

  • 29/06/2021

Des étudiants lors d'un atelier de sensibilisation sur la plage © Oceani 3 Des étudiants lors d'un atelier de sensibilisation sur la plage © Oceani 3

“Every year, Europe produces 25 million tons of plastic waste, of which less than 30% is recycled. In addition to this, 85% of the pollution on our beaches is caused by plastic (…)”. It was on the basis of this observation that the Ocean i3 project was created in 2018 as part of the “Campus Euskampus-Bordeaux” partnership,  through which the University of Bordeaux and University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU) are taking action as regards the blue economy and the sustainability and development of the oceans. The name Ocean i3 refers to the three “i’s” in Basque: ikaskuntza for learning, ikerkuntza for research and iraunkortasuna for sustainable development.

The aim of the project is to put students directly in contact with professionals from the sector of the blue economy along the cross-border coastline, as part of an inter-university intensive training program, so that they can develop and acquire employable skills in this sector. For this, the multidisciplinary community operates like a living lab and works in teams to take up the challenges in collaboration with public and private entities in the sector.

Ocean i3 is aimed at undergraduate, Master’s and PhD students and post-docs from different disciplines from the two universities of Bordeaux and the Basque Country, with the support of their study programs and research units. 

Ocean i3

Several entities from the Bordeaux campus are involved, such as researchers from the EPOC Laboratory (Oceanic and Continental Environments, a research unit belonging to the CNRS, EPHE and the University of Bordeaux) as well as students studying for a Masters in the International Management of Action and Board Sports Projects and Products (MI2PAS SDG), those from the Faculty of Education and Training Sciences and the Bayonne Nursing Training Institute (IFSI)...

Thanks to its commitments to sustainable development and employability, Ocean i3 has been awarded ERDF co-financing through the INTERREG-POCTEFA program for the 2019-2021 period.

Oceani3 - key figures

Over the three academic years 2019-2020-2021: 

  • 98 students from the two universities
  • 70 academic works produced (degree and Masters’ dissertations)
  • 38 teachers involved for periods of between one and three years
  • 16 disciplines: civil and administrative law  - nursing care - business administration and economics - management and innovation in sport - eco-toxicology - biology - communications - pedagogy - psychology - French philology - environmental health and safety - chemical engineering - environmental law – balneology - criminology
  • 14 regional challenges linked to the plastic pollution of oceans
  • 25 socio-economic and public stakeholders (Mater museum boat, Surfrider, Rivages Pro Tech (Suez), Diputación Foral de Gipuzkoa, the Basque Country Urban Community, etc.)
  • 27 internship contracts signed

For more information

You are a student, a researcher or lecturer-researcher, concerned about environmental development and interested in taking part in an interdisciplinary, intercultural, transborder project - don't hesitate to contact the Ocean i3 team!


Julieta Barrenechea
DIPE project manager, RIPI pole