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.

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