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.

Bioamber: Using Sugars To Produce Building Block Chemicals More Responsibly

Anne Waddell of Bioamber spoke with David Constable of the American Chemistry Society and former NASA astronaut Cady Coleman at the LAUNCH Circular Innovation Summit on March 2-3 at Nike headquarters in Portland, Oregon, about producing building-block chemicals more responsibly and economically. Bioamber makes renewable chemicals from sugars rather than fossil fuels to create plastics, food, textiles, and personal care items.
At BioAmber they have developed technology to convert renewable sugars to bio-based succinic acid a chemical building-block, that replaces petroleum-based chemicals to offer both performance and sustainability in a broad range of products from industrial applications such as polyurethanes, paints and coatings, to specialty applications, such as flavours and food, and personal care ingredients. At @BioAmber you can follow the latest updates. Read more about the innovation here.

Bioamber Showcase at LAUNCH Circular Innovation Summit. Photo: Ben Mund

When it comes to sustainable chemicals, there is a need to bridge the demand across the different players at multiple levels of the supply chain – from chemical producers to brands and retailers and consumers. In 2014, with the Green Chemistry Challenge BioAmber joined LAUNCH as sustainable chemicals company that combines industrial biotechnology and chemical catalysis to convert renewable feedstock into chemicals for use in a variety of everyday products including plastics, paints, and polyurethanes.

 

Vigga.us: We Need a Shift From Ownership to Usership

Entrepreneur Vigga Svensson of Vigga.us and Håkan Nordqvist, Director of Sustainability at IKEA, talk about why it’s imperative to entice consumers to be part of a sustainable culture. Vigga is a kids’ wear brand and circular subscription service that reuses children’s clothing. It provides an innovative business model where consumers become an active part of the solution to problems of waste and overconsumption.

The Vigga.US business model has the potential to reduce the footprint up to 80%, compared to the traditional children’s fashion consumption. This circular model can accelerate a powerful movement, which can lead to a whole new and meaningful way of consumption. Follow @ViggaUS for updates.

Vigga.us Showcase LAUNCH Circular Innovation Summit. Photo: Ben Mund

Vigga.us joined LAUNCH in 2014 for the Textiles Challenge with the innovative solution based a concept of a innovative business model that combines sustainability and fashion consumption, and makes them work together instead of against each other.

”In my work on sustainable business models, Vigga is without any doubt one of the absolute best examples I have seen of a new business model which is both environmentally and socially sustainable, and at the same time has huge potential for up-scaling and for creating substantial profits.”
– Lars Mortensen, Head of Sustainable Consumption and Production European Environment Agency

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