WOW! 125 innovators from 36 countries!

This year 125 innovators from 36 different countries have applied to become on of this year 10 LAUNCH Circular innovators. Thank you all for your help this year – and for your applications!

Since 2014 Leaderlab has been leading the LAUNCH Circular program on behalf of the partners.

This year we have been exited, thrilled and even a bit nervous about this year’s LAUNCH Circular challenge. Would there be enough innovators out there working with New Circular Business Models and Customer Engagement?

By the deadline September 1st we had received applications from 125 innovators from 36 countries. Are you curious about how we will select the top 10? Read more here

In the following video, Natasha Frank (LAUNCH Innovator 2017) explains what she have gained from being part of the LAUNCH community.

Read more about this years challenge here.


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

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.

Fremtidens produkter skal redesignes nu

Tænk hvis din IKEA box-madras nemt kunne ombetrækkes eller skilles og genanvendes? Tænk hvis vi ikke alle havde 5-10 ubrugte power-tools liggende, men delte dem med de andre beboere i opgangen eller baggården? Og tænk hvis du i stedet for at eje – lejede en smartphone, hvor man let kunne udskifte batteriet og som en robot kunne skille ad og sikre at alle komponenter blev genanvendt? Vi inviterer forbrugere, politikere, designere og virksomheder til at skille produkter og gentænke fremtidens bæredygtige og cirkulære produkter og services. Det sker til workshoppen: Du har guld i garagen på Deleøkonomisk Folemøde i Aarhus d. 21. August fra 15.00-17.30.

Hvordan skaber vi produkter, der egner sig til genbrug og deling?

I dag er mange af de produkter vi omgiver os med – computere, mobiltelefoner, boremaskiner, og selv møbler og hårde hvidevarer – ikke designet til at kunne repareres, genanvendes, genbruges eller deles. Nogle produkter er tilmed designet til at have en kort levetid. Derfor skal vi tænke anderledes i måden hvorpå vores produkter er designet.

“I IKEA ønsker vi at medvirke til at skabe en ny type dialog og partnerskab på tværs af designere leverandører og forbrugere, alt sammen med henblik på, at sikre, at vores produkter bruges og genbruges så længe som muligt. Vi arbejder hele tiden på, at designe og udvikle produkter, services og forretningsmodeller, som understøtter en højere grad af cirkularitet i vores forretning og i samfundet generelt”, udtaler Jonas Engberg, Sustainability Manager, IKEA

Jonas Engberg Ikea

Jonas Engberg, IKEA

Design- og krav til æstetik samt produktionsomkostninger driver produktdesign i en retning, hvor produkterne bliver sværere at adskille, reparere og genbruge.

“For Dell er den cirkulære tankegang ikke noget nyt. Vi har arbejdet med bæredygtigt design i hele produkternes livscyklus i mange år. Vi har en meget seriøs plan, og har allerede implementeret en række tiltag. Eksempelvis kan 90% af materialer i en computer recycles. Vi anvender genbrugsmaterialer i vores produkter, hvor 35% af plastik i en typisk Dell computer nu er genbrugsplast fra vandflasker. Vi hjælper også vores kunder med at genanvende deres IT-udstyr i 83 lande over hele verden. Det er en lang innovationsrejse, hvor vi hele tiden kan løfte barren. Hvis vi for alvor skal lykkes med en omstilling til et mere cirkulært og bæredygtigt system er det afgørende, at vi får alle aktører med om bordet, så vi sammen kan tegne det store billede og hver især gøre vores del – producenter, politikere, kunder og genindvindingsindustrien”, udtaler Louise Koch, Corporate Sustainability Lead for EMEA, Dell

Louise Koch, Dell

Med ‘Circular By Design’ samler vi dem, der kan gøre noget ved det: Virksomhedsledere og designerne der skaber produkterne, borgerne der køber dem, politikerne der sætter retningslinjerne, og affaldsselskaberne der i sidste ende håndterer produkterne. Det gør vi for at udforske, lære, forstå og påvirke, hvilke krav vi sammen skal stille til designet af fremtidens produkter og for at skabe et mere bæredygtigt samfund.

”I LAUNCH arbejder vi sammen med organisationer som Nike, IKEA, Kvadrat, Novozymes, eBay om at hjælpe start-ups med cirkulære innovationer løsninger. Med Circular by Design og workshoppen: ”Du har guld i garagen” ønsker vi at starte en samfundsbevægelse mod længere holdbarhed af vores produkter. Vi glæder os til at se virksomhedsledere, designere, politikere og forbrugere i øjenhøjde omkring en fælles udfordring: at skabe en ny generation af cirkulære produkter”, udtaler Sofus Midtgaard, Nordic Lead,

Sofus Midtgaard

Sofus Midtgaard,

Cirkulær økonomi kræver folkeligt engagement

Cirkulær økonomi har efterhånden opnået stor politisk engagement med blandt andet EU kommissionens Cirkulær Økonomi pakke og senest den danske regerings vision for Danmarks omstilling til cirkulær økonomi med fem konkrete målsætninger, fire overordnede pejlemærker og 27 anbefalinger til konkrete indsatser, der skal styrke omstillingen til en cirkulær økonomi.

”Gennem arbejdet i regeringens Advisory Board for Cirkulær Økonomi, hvor jeg var formand, er vi kommet med 27 anbefalinger til, hvordan vi kan accelerere den cirkulære omstilling. En overgang til en mere cirkulær økonomi byder på gyldne muligheder for danske virksomheder og for det danske samfund, og vil samtidig bidrage til den danske strategi for løsning af  FN’s 17 verdensmål. Det helt afgørende er nu, at vi får gjort cirkulær økonomi til noget de danske virksomheder, det offentlige og den enkelte dansker kan engagere sig i. Jeg ser frem til at tale på Deleøkonomisk Folkemødet den 21. august og til workshoppen ”Du har guld i garagen”. Folkemødet er et godt eksempel på, hvordan vi bringer cirkulær økonomi i øjenhøjde”, udtaler Flemming Besenbacher, bestyrelses formand for Carlsberg og Carlsbergfondet


Flemming Besenbacher, bestyrelses formand for Carlsberg og Carlsbergfondet

Deleøkonomisk Folkemøde August 21st 2017I denne sammenhæng kan også byerne spille en aktiv rolle i omstillingen til en cirkulær økonomi.

“Aarhus Kommune gør rigtig meget for at støtte en bedre udnyttelse af ressourcer. Det gælder både deleøkonomi og cirkulær økonomi. I fremtiden skal vi bruge de ressourcer, vi har til rådighed igen og igen, hvis vi skal blive ved med at kunne skabe værdi i vores samfund. Det handler basalt set om sund fornuft, når vi designer, producerer, forbruger og skaffer os af med det, vi ikke skal bruge længere. Jo bedre vi er til at udnytte ressourcer og potentialer, jo bedre er vi til at fastholde og udvikle et bæredygtigt velfærdssamfund. Bæredygtighed og vækst behøver ikke være hinandens modsætninger”,  udtaler Jacob Bundsgaard, Borgmester Aarhus.

Forretningsområder som service-, reparations- og reservedelsindustrien kommer derfor til at vokse og overtage en stor del af markedet fra nye produkter:

”Hos PlanMiljø arbejder vi aktivt med den cirkulære agenda sammen med affaldsselskaberne og gennem partnerskabet for offentlige indkøb kigger vi på hvordan offentlige indkøb kan være med til at accelerere omstillingen til Cirkulær Økonomi og bedre ressourceanvendelse. Workshoppen i Aarhus bliver startskuddet til at engagere forbrugere og drøfte hvilke krav man som forbruger kan stille til de produkter der omgiver en”, udtaler Rikke Fischer-Bogason, Chefkonsulent, PlanMiljø


Workshoppen: Du har guld i garagen d. 21/8 i Aarhus bliver kick-off på CIRCULAR BY DESIGN der vil blive fulgt op af andre events i regionen og i Hovedstadsområdet blandt andet en seminarrække på KADK i efteråret med cirkulære innovatører og designere. Ambitionerne er over et kommende år at skabe en folkebevægelse for mere cirkulære og bæredygtige produkter.

Deleøkonomisk Folkemøde, 21. august 2017

Tilmeld dig på Facebook:

Dato: 21/8
Tid: Kl. 15.00-17.30
Sted: Konferencescenen, Givismevejen

Presse kontakt:
• Leaderlab og LAUNCH: Sofus Midtgaard, Managing Partner | | +45 30220111
• Deleøkonomisk Folkemøde: Kontaktperson Arhus Kommune
• Plan Miljø: Rikke Fischer-Bogason, Chefkonsulent, Planmiljø | +45 17 281 550 |
• Dell: Christian Riise, Kommunikations- & Marketingdirektør, Dell EMC | +45 4139 7776 |
• Carlsbergfondet: Jane Benarroch, Presse og Kommunikationsansvarlig | | +45 33 43 53 87
• IKEA: Rikke Andersen | | +45 4186 5425

(Photo credit: Todd McLellan, “Things Come Apart”)

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 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



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


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