EIGHT INNOVATORS WITH THE POTENTIAL TO REVOLUTIONIZE THE MOBILE, TEXTILE AND FURNITURE INDUSTRY

IMAGINE A WORLD WHERE YOU RATHER THAN OWNING ALL OF YOUR FURNITURE JUST HAD IT DELIVERED AS A SERVICE? OR A WORLD WHERE SMARTPHONES WERE MODULAR AND YOU COULD EASILY REPLACE THE BATTERY OR THE SCREEN? OR WHAT ABOUT A WORLD WHERE YOUR JEANS OR T-SHIRT COULD HAVE A SECOND LIFE DUE TO AN RFID CHIP?

This is exactly what three of this year’s eight selected LAUNCH Circular Innovators are now working on making a reality. To help them succeed and scale, LAUNCH partners IKEA Group, Nike Inc., Kvadrat, eBay, Novozymes, as well as leading companies, Scientists, Investors, and Government Representatives will team up with the innovators at Kvadrat HQ in Ebeltoft Denmark Nov. 29-30, 2017.

Anders Byriel Circular Economy

“This year’s LAUNCH innovators represent a new age of manufacturing for a circular economy. From innovations in textile dyeing to RFID threads, these companies inspire us at Kvadrat to continue to keep sustainability at the forefront of our decision making. I look forward to hosting this year’s LAUNCH Forum at Kvadrat’s HQ in Ebeltoft.”

Anders Byriel, CEO, Kvadrat

Here, 38 industry executives, design and manufacturing experts, government officials and investors will gather to offer insight and guidance to help scale eight selected innovations. The innovations represent new business models, platforms, technologies and even a new policy that all support the creation of an alternative supply chain and all demonstrate potential to disrupt the linear economy.

“We are constantly looking for new ideas and innovation that can help make our business more sustainable. I’m happy to see the large global interest in the LAUNCH program and look forward to working with new partners and this year’s 8 selected innovators with disruptive ideas and fresh mindsets.”

Håkan Nordkvist, Head of Sustainability Innovation, IKEA Group

 

Flemming Besenbacher, chairman of Carlsberg Group, the Carlsberg Foundation, deputy chairman of Innovation Fund  Denmark, and the Chairman of the Advisory Group on Circular Economy to the Danish Government will be joining the Forum too:

Flemming Besenbacher

“LAUNCH is a great example of how global companies, governments and investors can work with circular entrepreneurs and start-ups. I look forward to joining and speaking at the forum and meeting the partners and 8 selected innovators.”

Flemming Besenbacher, Chairman of the Carlsberg Foundation


The 2017 Challenge

How do we start to design and manufacture for a circular economy? How do we shift to new business models that support durable products and re-use? These questions have been at the centre of this year’s LAUNCH Innovation Challenge on Design & Manufacturing for a Circular Economy that received 112 applications from innovators from 39 countries covering six continents.

The Innovators

Through a careful review process by a panel of 42 subject matter experts, 8 innovators were selected and invited to participate in the LAUNCH Forum at Kvadrats HQ this year, each based on their positive environmental or social impact potential. Their respective innovations have the potential to significantly shape a more sustainable future of design and manufacturing for a circular economy.

Ranging from start-ups to established companies, the selected innovators will present their ideas and technologies to the LAUNCH Council that is comprised of leading global companies, ministries and research institutions.

The top 8 LAUNCH innovations 2017 are:

  • AEROPOWDER – A sustainable insulation material created from waste feathers
  • Circular Devices – PuzzlePhone is a modular smartphone designed for longevity and circularity; it is customizable, repairable, and upgradable
  • Colorifix – Converting agricultural residues into pigments and dyed textiles using no acids or solvents – just sugar and biology
  • EON – The industry’s first RFID tag in the form of a thread that can integrate with textiles to power recycling
  • Living Ink Technologies – Making renewable and biodegradable printing ink from algae
  • Recircular – A brokering platform that proposes alternatives for a given waste stream and connects the generator with potential consumers
  • StrataLayer – Modular build furniture that changes according to life scenarios
  • University College, London – A new policy that companies only sell the lifetime services of their products but retain ownership of the materials

LAUNCH Innovator Alejandro Santacreu comments on his expectations for the LAUNCH Forum:

“We are eager to discuss with public bodies and conscious corporates how our vision on how Designing for Longevity enables the re-shoring of critical IT solutions, and how this impacts on national security in its most broader definition, beyond privacy and up securing long term welfare.”

Alejandro Santacreu, Founder, Puzzlephone and LAUNCH Innovator 2017

LAUNCH Innovator Natasha Frank is also excited about working with industry pioneers:

Natasha Frank EON.ID LAUNCH Innovator 2017

“A circular fashion industry requires industry wide-collaboration across technology and material science. Our technology and concept is a piece of this ecosystem. The industry partnerships through LAUNCH present an opportunity to move this concept from success to significance.”

Natasha Frank, Founder EON.ID, and LAUNCH Innovator 2017

LAUNCH Circular seeks to scale innovations that can play a crucial role in market evolution by exploring how businesses and alternative solutions use the circular economy to drive opportunities across complex global supply chains. Together with the innovators LAUNCH aims to disrupt and capture the value of the circular economy and by scaling innovations and taking action.

Following the LAUNCH Forum, innovators will take part in an accelerator program to help them bring their innovations to scale.
The LAUNCH Council participants include: Håkan Nordkvist, Head of Sustainability Innovation, IKEA Group, Anders Byriel, CEO, Kvadrat, Mike van der Zanden, Sustainability Director, Supply Chain Innovation Europe, Nike, Ben Maxwell, Circular Economy Lead, eBay, Markus Stutz, Director Environmental Affairs, Dell, Mikkel Stenbæk, Deputy Head of Division, Danish EPA, – together with more than 25 other industry representative, entrepreneurs, scientist and investors. They will provide access to capital, credibility and capacity to help the eight innovators scale globally.

This year, we will be providing live updates from the Forum, so do not miss out! Make sure to connect with us on Facebook for live videos and interviews, and follow us on Twitter with the hashtag #LAUNCHCircular for highlights. We encourage you to follow along and add your voice to the conversation using #LAUNCHCircular.

For more information on this years LAUNCH Challenge on Design & Manufacturing for a Circular Economy please watch this years call for innovators:

For more information on the challenge please watch this years call for innovators:

For more information contact Director, LAUNCH Circular, Sofus Midtgaard: +45 30220111 – or sofus@launch.org.

ABOUT LAUNCH

LAUNCH was founded in 2009 as a strategic partnership between NASA, NIKE, Inc., the US Department of State, and the US Agency for International Development. LAUNCH identifies and supports visionaries whose ideas, technologies, or programs have the potential to create a better world. Through a series of meetings, events, and an annual forum, LAUNCH has successfully introduced innovations that are solving urgent challenges facing our society today.

Since its founding, LAUNCH has attracted numerous additional strategic partners and supporters including IKEA Group, Novozymes, Kvadrat, eBay, Region Skåne, The Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and The Danish EPA.

Learn from LAUNCH Partners and Circular Design Innovators

Have you ever wondered how the startup companies started their adventure? Or how the big corporations work with Circular Economy? Now is your opportunity to meet 5 Circular Economy frontrunners and entrepreneurs working with Circular Economy. Together with The Royal School of Architecture and Design (KADK), we are hosting 3 open seminars about how to design for a Circular Economy. Meet Kvadrat and Really Cph on October 26th, IKEA and Ecovative on November 16th, and Queen of Raw on December 14th 2017.

Learn from Circular Design Innovators

Through the 3 seminars you will get the opportunity to dive into five different personal and professional journeys towards circularity. You will get insights on their vital learnings and learn from their ups and downs from starting companies and working in this space. And who knows, maybe your career path as a designer is another one than one than you imagined.

Ecovative Lamp

The 3 seminars are:

  • October 26th at 15.00-17.00: ‘Recycling Textile into Furniture and Decorative Elements’ – with Charlotte Bastholm Skjold (Head of Design Management at Kvadrat Textiles) & Wickie Meier (CEO at Really Cph)
  • November 16th at 15.00-17.00: ‘Design Inspired by Nature’ and Lamps and Packaging Grown from Mushroom Material’ – with Jonas Engberg (Sustainability Manager at IKEA) & Kenneth Lush (Prototype Engineer at Ecovative)
  • December 14th at 15.00-17.00: ‘Business Models for a Circular Economy’ and an online marketplace for unused fabrics and high quality raw materials – with Stephanie Benedetto (CEO at Queen of Raw)

All seminars is in Auditorium 2 at KADK – read more about each event here:

How to Design for Circularity?

Did you know that decisions made in the design phase determines 80% of the product’s CO2 footprint? The 3 seminars will showcase 3 different ways of making sure that the product or concept is designed from a Circular Economy perspective e.g. using fungal mycelium to grow biodegradable replacements for polystyrene, using recycled textiles, or using leftover and sustainable materials.

On October 26th, Wickie Meier (Really) and Charlotte Bastholm Skjold (Kvadrat) will talk about how they have collaborated together with Max Lamb about recycling textiles into decorative elements and furniture.

On November 16th, Jonas Engberg (IKEA) and Kenneth Lush (Ecovative) will talk about how they have collaborated making mushroom packaging. They will also engage you in their newest material developments and how you can design with the materials yourself. Ecovative have scaled their business and impact over the last 4 years due to their collaboration with the LAUNCH eco-system. They use fungal mycelium to grow biodegradable replacements for polystyrene (see video below).

 

At LAUNCH Circular Innovation Summit in March 2017 at Nike headquarters in Portland, Oregon, Jeff Betts from Ecovative talked about his company’s biomaterials products with Håkan Nordqvist, Director of Sustainability of IKEA (and partner in LAUNCH), and former NASA astronaut Cady Coleman.

On December 14th, Stephanie Benedetto (Queen of Raw) will talk about how she connects designers with global suppliers selected for their innovative raw materials, sustainability value, and avant-garde approach to fashion and technology. Stephanie Benedetto is also LAUNCH Innovator 2016 and have therefore scaled her business through LAUNCH. So if you want to learn from her, she will at the seminar give you insights on how to join the movement and we invite you to engage in the discussion. You can see and introduction to the platform (see video below):

 

Stay Tuned!

For all seminars, we will livestream interviews with the companies. And best of all, we will livestream the whole seminar with Queen of Raw December 14th. So make sure to follow us on Facebook and check in on our account on the seminar dates!

Meet the 8 new LAUNCH Innovators Transforming Design and Manufacturing

The LAUNCH Innovation Challenge 2017: Design and Manufacturing for a Circular Economy received an outstanding 112 submissions from innovators representing 39 different countries. Thank you to everyone involved in the process. It has been an amazing journey and we are honored to receive responses from such an interesting group of solutions from around the world. Today, it is our pleasure to announce the eight selected innovators:

  • Circular Devices – PuzzlePhone is a modular smartphone designed for longevity and circularity; it is customizable, repairable, and upgradable
  • EON – The industry’s first RFID tag in the form of a thread that can integrate with textiles to power recycling
  • Living Ink Technologies – Making renewable and biodegradable printing ink from algae
  • Colorifix – Converting agricultural residues into pigments and dyed textiles using no acids or solvents – just sugar and biology
  • StrataLayer – Modular build furniture that changes according to life scenarios (picture above)
  • AEROPOWDER – A sustainable insulation material created from waste feathers
  • Recircular – A brokering platform that proposes alternatives for a given waste stream and connects the generator with potential consumers
  • University College, London – A new policy that companies only sell the lifetime services of their products but retain ownership of the materials

The LAUNCH team and partners selected this year’s eight innovators following an extensive review conducted by more than 42 professional experts from research organizations, government institutions, and global companies. Each of the selected innovators offer solutions to accelerate Circular Economy using new design techniques and alternative ways of manufacturing and production.

Aeropowder LAUNCH innovator 2017

AEROPOWDER – A sustainable insulation material created from waste feathers

Living Ink Technologies

Living Ink Technologies – Making renewable and biodegradable printing ink from algae

What’s next?

These eight selected innovators are invited to attend this year’s LAUNCH Accelerator Forum at LAUNCH partner Kvadrat’s HQ, November 29-30. At the Forum the innovators will be joined by 35 industry executives, government officials, investors, and experts in design, manufacturing, and materials. Here, everyone will work together to support and help scale the innovations by offering one-on-one mentorship, access to market partners, and facilitated opportunities for investment with LAUNCH partners and others.

If anyone is interested in one of these innovators, or has ideas that can help them scale, please reach out to Toke Sabroe at toke@launch.org

Let’s connect!

This year, we will be providing live updates from the Forum, so do not miss out! Make sure to connect with us on Facebook for live videos and interviews, and follow us on Twitter with the hashtag #LAUNCHCircular for highlights and a live Twitter conversation.

Dutch Awearness: Turning Waste into Ressources Together!

At the LAUNCH Circular Innovation Summit held March 2-3 at Nike headquarters in Portland, Oregon, former NASA astronaut Cady Coleman had a conversation with Rien Otto of Dutch Awearness and Lea Nordström of textile manufacturer Kvadrat about sustainable processes in the clothing industry. Dutch Awearness has created a fully circular supply and production chain in the reusable workwear and corporate wear market, turning waste into resources.

Dutch Awearness can as chain manager, offer a full service model for the textile industry. They develop work wear and corporate wear that is designed to be reused and offer circular solutions for used workwear that cannot be recycled on the same level. This entails developing eco-effective textile innovations and controlling circular textile supply chains. Read more about Dutch Awearness here.

Background:

Dutch Awearness joined LAUNCH with the Textile Challenge in 2015 with their solution: Returnity Work Wear that reduces the impact of waste by designing for reuse at the design stage, improving recall processes for worn garments and developing recycling technologies and infrastructure to capture the materials for closed loop applications. The reuse is guaranteed by a circular track and trace management system. Learn more about the company here and follow @DutchaWEARness on Twitter.

Mango Materials: We Need An Ecosystem of Thinkers and Solvers from Unlikely Places!

Former NASA astronaut Cady Coleman interviewed Molly Morse of Mango Materials and Cyrus Wadia, VP for Sustainable Business Innovation at Nike, at the LAUNCH Circular Innovation Summit on March 2-3 at Nike headquarters in Portland, Oregon. They consider what system level changes are needed to accelerate a circular economy. Morse also talks about how Mango Materials is transforming waste gas streams into affordable biodegradable materials that are functionally and economically competitive with petroleum-based products.

Mango Materials transforms waste methane, into biodegradable plastics that are economically and functionally competitive with oil-based plastics. The methane is captured and fed to naturally occurring bacteria that produce the biodegradable plastic. Once that product is no longer needed, the PHA will break down in a microbial rich environment producing methane which can be turned back into PHA with Mango Materials’ cradle-to-cradle process. Follow @MangoMaterials and find more information about Mango Materials here.

Molly Morse, Mango Materials at LAUNCH Circular Innovation Summit. Photo: Ben Mund

Background:

Mango Materials Showcase, LAUNCH Circular Innovation Summit. Photo: Ben Mund

Plastics are convenient and ubiquitous in everyday life but traditionally manufactured from oil, a non-renewable resource. At the end of their useful lives, few plastics are actually recycled and therefore persist in landfills or oceans for thousands of years. Mango Materials joined LAUNCH with their affordable biodegradable plastics from methane, a greenhouse gas for the Green Chemistry Challenge in 2014.

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