Join the design revolution to enable Circular Economy

Imagine a world where every product was a service. A future of zero ownership. A future where all products were designed to last, to be reused, repaired and recycled keeping products and materials in the loop. It sounds amazing, right? This year LAUNCH invites up to 10 innovators to join a design revolution to help make Circular Economy a reality.

Cady Coleman

At the World Circular Economy Forum (WCEF) in Helsinki June 5th 2017, LAUNCH  partners will be announcing this year’s Innovation Challenge: Design & Manufacturing for a Circular Economy. We seek innovators globally with the potential to create a shift in the way we design and manufacture for a circular and inclusive society. We urge individuals, teams, start-ups and established companies and organisations to apply, and help us find the answers to this year’s challenge.

Joining us for the announcement of this years LAUNCH Innovation Challenge will be WCEF 2017 Keynote Speaker Dr. Cady Coleman, former NASA Astronaut and polymer chemist.

“Never before has international collaboration been more important to accelerate our transition to a more sustainable way of life on earth. I look forward to joining the World Circular Economy Forum in Helsinki to help connect businesses, governments, cities and innovators who are working to enable this transition”, says Dr. Cady Coleman, former NASA Astronaut.

This year LAUNCH offers up to 10 innovators the unique opportunity to join and get access to the LAUNCH network of industry pioneers, government, investors and previous innovators to collectively work to build and accelerate the innovations. This will include receiving personal mentoring and help to test, pilot and scale the innovations.

The LAUNCH partners look forward to this year’s innovators and their solutions and how they can help create new joint ventures and accelerate the circular economy even further:

Håkan Nordkvist IKEA opening

“At IKEA Group we want to play an active role in the transition to a circular economy. This year we are looking for innovators, disruptive ideas and fresh mindsets who can inspire the whole industry to design products and services for a circular economy”, says Håkan Nordkvist, Head of Sustainability Innovation, IKEA Group.

One critical component in enabling a Circular Economy is that we start designing and manufacturing products in new ways. If products are to last, reused, repaired and recycled we need to empower designers and manufacturers to make better choices regarding materials, binders, coating and manufacturing technologies:

“New design and manufacturing processes are critical to accelerate the transition to a Circular Economy. At Novozymes we look forward to work with and help innovators from around the world, who can help inspire and lead this transition”, says Claus Stig Pedersen, Head of Corporate Sustainability, Novozymes.

Vigga Svensson is a 2014 LAUNCH Nordic Innovator, who recently won the Design Design Award 2017 on best customer experience. Design is at the heart of her success and to this she says:

vigga svensson launch nordic

“To go from selling products to delivering a circular subscription service, you need to rethink how you design both the products, the customer journey and your service. I believe that rethinking design is at the heart of enabling Circular Economy and I hope that we see a lot of great innovators joining LAUNCH this year”, says Vigga Svensson, Founder, Vigga.us – LAUNCH Nordic Innovator 2014

Deadline for applications will be September 1, 2017. In October 2017 the top 10 innovations will be selected and participants will take part in a unique acceleration program that provides support, networking, and mentoring from influential businesses and government leaders.

“Circular Economy is on everybody’s lips these years. But action rather than talk and reports will drive the transition. That’s why I love working with pioneering partners and innovators through LAUNCH. I look forward to hosting this years LAUNCH Forum at Kvadrat in November where we will meet with the selected innovators and help them go to scale”, says Anders Byriel, CEO, Kvadrat

This year’s LAUNCH Innovation Challenge on Design & Manufacturing for Circular Economy will be announced June 5th at 15.00 (CET) at the WCEF in Helsinki (Finlandia Hall) and online at launch.org


Contact information

Download this press release as PDF – Press release LAUNCH Innovation Challenge 2017 For more information about LAUNCH or this year’s Innovation Challenges please contact Sofus Midtgaard, LAUNCH Nordic: +45 30220111 – or sofus@launch.org

For more about the participating LAUNCH partners and innovators please contact:
IKEA Group: Corporate Communications – +46 (0)72 886 57 81 or communications.gl@ikea.com
Novozymes: Rene Tronborg: retr@novozymes.com
Kvadrat: Alice Rasmussen: +45 8953 1862 or ar@kvadrat.org
vigga.us: Peter R. Svensson:+45 22665595 or  peter@vigga.us

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. In 2016, LAUNCH ran multiple challenges focusing on Food, Smarter Chemistry and on Closing the Loop.

LAUNCH Nordic is a partnership between IKEA Group, Novozymes, Kvadrat, Vinnova, The Capital Region of Denmark, Region Skåne, The Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, The Danish Ministry of the Environment, and Malmö Stad.
Read more about LAUNCH Nordic at http://www.launch.org/nordic

 

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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