Global Call for Innovators in Design and Manufacturing for a Circular Economy

The LAUNCH Nordic Innovation Challenge 2017 is now open and we are seeking innovators around the world with the potential to create a shift in the way we design and manufacture for a circular and inclusive society. The goal of this challenge is to help accelerate these innovators’ businesses, so we are looking for innovations that are anywhere from pilot-stage to ready-for-market.

This year, LAUNCH Nordic invites up to 10 innovators to join a design revolution to help grow the circular economy. So this is your unique opportunity to join and gain access to the LAUNCH eco-system of industry pioneers, government, investors and previous innovators to collectively work to build and accelerate your innovation. This will include receiving personal mentoring and help to test, pilot and scale.

We urge innovators to apply as soon as possible, but final deadline for applications will be September 1, 2017. In October 2017 the top 10 innovations will be selected and participants will take part in this unique acceleration program. Submit your innovation via our website today.

At the World Circular Economy Forum (WCEF) in Helsinki on June 5th 2017, LAUNCH partners announced this year’s Innovation Challenge: Design & Manufacturing for a Circular Economy. As part of the announcement, we had a session together with Erik Zappalorto from Nesta and Erik Bang from H&M Foundation about how innovation challenges can help accelerate the circular economy. The room was filled with people who engaged themselves in the discussion and helped us spread the innovation challenge by nominating innovators and networks for us to spread the message. We are currently reaching out to these nominations and still searching for more in hopes of finding the most impactful innovations.

Please help us spread the message by following us on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook and sharing our updates with your network. You are also welcome to email us at Nordic@launch.org and receive further information on how to spread the message.

If you have questions about this year’s innovation challenge or know of an innovator that should apply please contact the LAUNCH Nordic team at Nordic@launch.org

 

ABOUT LAUNCH

LAUNCH Nordic is a partnership between IKEA GroupNovozymesKvadratThe Danish Ministry of Foreign AffairsThe Danish Environmental Protection Agency and Region Skåne. LAUNCH Nordic seeks to accelerate the transition to a more sustainable society through open innovation, industry collaboration, and global systems mobilization. It was founded in 2014 in collaboration with LAUNCH, a strategic partnership between NIKE, NASA, The U.S. Department of State and The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), with the goal of harnessing the strengths of the Nordic region to accelerate innovation in sustainable materials.

Read more about LAUNCH Nordic at http://www.launch.org/nordic

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.

10 RULES FOR SUSTAINABILITY PARTNERSHIPS!

Collaboration and partnerships play a critical role when companies, governments and cities wish to drive sustainable growth. But establishing and running partnerships is a new leadership dicipline. Leaderlab Founder & Managing Partner Sofus Midtgaard was in Istanbul this week to give a keynote on the topic.

In a 2015 survey by MIT Sloan Management Review, The Boston Consulting Group and the United Nations Global Compact, 90% of executives state that collaboration is important to address sustainability challenges while only 47% are actively engaged in sustainability collaboration and partnerships.

Over the last five years partnerships to drive sustainable growth have become increasingly important. Systemic challenges – i.e. unaware investors, disengaged citizens, lack of enabling policy or introduction of new standards throughout a supply chain – are all issues that no-one company can address on its own.

With the Sustainable Development Goals it was outlined that multi-stakeholder partnerships are fundamentally necessary and should encourage and promote effective public, public-private and civil society partnerships.

Paul Polman

“When you look at any issue, such as food or water scarcity, it is very clear that no individual institution, government or company can provide the solution”

Poul Polman, CEO, UNILEVER

Collaboration and partnerships play a critical role in addressing systemic barriers, driving collaborative innovation and sharing risk. But like most complex projects, partnerships have a failure rate of about 50 % (Harvard Business Review, 2004). Here are 10 rules for successful sustainability partnerships that will help you avoid the most common pitfalls and help you build partnerships that last and will drive change.

Cyrus Wadia opening Summit Nike HQ

Cyrus Wadia opening Summit Nike HQ

”These are massive problems of scale. they are going to require an ecosystem of thinkers and solvers and creative minds.”

Cyrus Wadia, VP, Nike

 

Haakan Nordkvist, IKEA opening the LAUNCH Circular Innovation Summit at Nike HQ

Håkan Nordkvist, Head of Sustainability Innovation IKEA Group.

“Collaboration can bring great results, for example we work closely with Nike to pioneer new techniques for textile dyeing that dramatically reduce the use of water, energy and chemicals”

Håkan Nordkvist, Head of Sustainability Innovation, IKEA Group

 

Here are the slides from the presentation:

 

 

10 Rules for Sustainability Partnerships

 

hands

 1. PARTNER WITH PURPOSE

Partnerships should make you able to achieve something you can not achieve on your own. Partnerships should never be the parking lot for difficult CSR-agendas better solved alone
.

 

sweet-spot2. FIND THE SWEET SPOT

Senior leadership support might give you a head start – but unless you find a sweet spot for the participating managers you will fail. Make sure to find a sweet spot/overlap between core strategic priorities of the partners.

 

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3. SET FEW BUT AMBITOUS GOALS

Many stakeholders often result in cluttered goals and reporting. Agree on a moonshot, or at least set a few but ambitious goals, that will aspire people for change.

 

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4. CONTRIBUTE WITH MORE THAN MONEY

No partnership can run on money alone. Only by leaning in you will harvest the real benefits of a partnership.

 

 

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5. PASSION IS KEY

You can prepare, make strategies and plans – but in the end it always comes down to people. A partnership needs champions who would die in a ditch for what the partnership is trying to achieve.

 

 

people

6. DEDICATE THE RIGHT PEOPLE

If a partnership is strategic, staff it like it is strategic! Include people from relevant business units – not just the CSR department.

 

 

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7. GET BEYOND THE USUAL SUSPECTS

Unconventional partners will bring new perspectives and spur innovation. Watch out for the usual suspects when forming partnerships.

 

 

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8. BE A CATALYST

Some of the most effective partnerships are the ones that map, connect and embrace existing initiatives – rather than conquer them. This is especially true when it comes to systemic challenges.

 

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9. BE OPEN FOR SURPRISES

Even a focused partnership with few and clear goals will produce unexpected value for partners. Be open for surprises and calibrate your measures of success.

 

 

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10. SHARE THE LOVE

You can achieve amazing things if you are able to step back and let other people step into the limelight.

 

Haakan Nordkvist, IKEA ad Cyrus Wadia, Nike

Haakan Nordkvist, IKEA and Cyrus Wadia, Nike on stage at LAUNCH CIRCULAR INNOVATION SUMMIT, March 2017.

Up to 50% of all partnerships fail to deliver value and are terminated before time (HBR, 2004). Try to think about these 10 rules in relation to your existing partnerships or next time you consider entering a new partnership.

If you have reflections or suggestions to this list please feel free to contact us.  If you need help shaping a new partnership, mapping potential partners or focusing and energizing an existing partnership, do not hesitate on contact us:

Sofus Midtgaard, Managing Partner & Toke Sabroe, Partner, Leaderlab.

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