10 INNOVATIONS THAT COULD CREATE A BETTER WORLD OF MATERIALS

October 29, 2015

IKEA GROUP, NIKE INC., NASA, NOVOZYMES, KVADRAT, LEADING SCIENTISTS, INVESTORS, NORDIC AND U.S. GOV. REPRESENTATIVES WILL TEAM UP IN MALMÖ NOV. 4-5 TO SUPPORT 10 INNOVATORS IN SHAPING A MORE SUSTAINABLE WORLD OF MATERIALS.

LAUNCH Nordic is a global innovation platform tackling sustainability challenges related to how we produce and use materials today. In an effort to green the value chain of materials, to initiate industry collaborations, and to scale sustainability innovations LAUNCH Nordic has identified 10 innovations that can change the system of using materials to a better one.

A public call for innovations was released at the LAUNCH Nordic Summit, April 28, resulting in 97 applications from over 35 countries covering six continents. A panel of subject matter experts has carefully reviewed the applications. The LAUNCH Nordic partners selected the ten top innovators, who are now invited to participate in the LAUNCH Nordic Forum in Malmö, Sweden.

“This year we have seen strong innovators from all over the world, and I am happy to see a highly competitive Nordic field of innovators. The unique thing about LAUNCH Nordic is the public and private sector collaboration to create the right conditions to scale such new sustainable solution. We look very much forward to meet the innovators at the Forum in Malmo.”
-- 
Claus Stig Pedersen, Head of Sustainability, Novozymes

At the LAUNCH Nordic Forum in November, 35 industry executives, materials experts, government officials and investors will gather, to offer insight and guidance to help scale the ten innovations.

“I am exited to join the LAUNCH Nordic Forum again this year. LAUNCH Nordic have received a record number of applications from innovators around the world, and I am looking forward to work with this year’s ten selected innovators on how to take them to scale.“
-- 
Håkan Nordkvist, Head of Sustainability Innovation, IKEA Group

Each year LAUNCH Nordic puts focus on a specific theme. In 2015, the focus is on alternative raw materials and cultivation, sustainable design and manufacturing, and better design tools for a circular economy.

The 10 LAUNCH Nordic innovators are all selected based on their positive environmental or social impact. Their respective innovations have the potential to significantly increase sustainability in production, manufacturing, and recycling by introducing new types of materials, or alternative ways of using known materials.

The top 10 LAUNCH Nordic innovators 2015 are (in alphabetic order):

  • AVESPA, Blue Wolf - Production of algal biomass (US)
  • EKOBALANS - Natural fertilizers from residues (SE)
  • MODTI - Electronically shapable hardware (FI)
  • NIL TECHNOLOGY - Nano imprinted plastic surfaces (DK)
  • POND - Bio-based polymer resin (DK)
  • PAD HEAVEN - Sanitary pads made of banana stems (KE)
  • PAXYMER - Green flame-retardant (SE)
  • SAPROGLUE - Bio-based glue from lake sediments (LV)
  • SVENSKA AEROGEL - New production method for Aerogel (SE)
  • WET-GREEN - Natural leather tanning (DE)

Ranging from start-ups to established companies, the selected innovators will present their ideas and technologies to the LAUNCH Nordic Council that is comprised by leading global companies, ministries, research institutions - and even astronauts.

“To look beyond borders and co-innovate with unconventional partners is key, if we want to achieve great things on Earth and beyond. The Nordic region has a strong tradition and so much potential when it comes sustainable solutions to global challenges. That is why I look forward to the LAUNCH Nordic Forum.”  
-- 
Dr. Catherine Coleman, NASA Astronaut & PhD in Chemistry.

Following the LAUNCH Nordic Forum, innovators will take part in an accelerator program to help them bring their innovations to scale. One of the Innovators who has been through the LAUNCH Nordic 2014 Accelerator is the Swedish company Re:Newcell, who has developed a methods for efficient recycling of waste textiles;

"At the LAUNCH Nordic Forum we not only got in contact with some of the most important actors on the market, we got a chance to develop our business plan in co-operation with both our future customers as well as our future suppliers. This was a true accelerator!” 
-- 
Henrik Norlin, Re:Newcell (Sweden), LAUNCH Nordic Innovator 2014

The LAUNCH Nordic Council participants include: Håkan Nordkvist, Head of Sustainability Innovation, IKEA Group, Anders Byriel, CEO Kvadrat, Geert Aagaard Andersen, Ambassador & Head of Secretariat (3GF), Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mikkel Stenbæk, Deputy Head of Division, Danish EPA, Carin Daal, Head of Department, Region Skåne, Mike van der Zanden, Sustainability Director, Supply Chain Innovation Europe, Nike, Kira Blackwell, Program Executive, Office of the Chief Technologist, NASA - together with more than 25 other industry representative, entrepreneurs, scientist and investors. They will provide access to capital, credibility and capacity to help the ten innovators scale globally.

LAUNCH invites you to follow the hashtag #LAUNCHNordic on Tuesday November 3, 2015 from 5:30-6:00 CET (12:30 EST & 9:30 PST) for a social storytelling event on Twitter and Periscope. NASA Astronaut Cady Coleman will be joined by three LAUNCH innovators for a conversation on sustainability and materials innovation. We encourage you to follow along and add your voice to the conversation using #LAUNCHNordic. The main Twitter handles for this event will be: @Astro_Cady @LAUNCHorg and @LAUNCHNordic

For more information on the challenge please go to:
http://www.launch.org/challenges/nordic-challenge-materials

For more information about Innovators and the Forum please contact Sasha Beckmann, Lead Project Manager LAUNCH Nordic: +45 40156483 - or sasha@launch.org.

For more about LAUNCH Nordic partners please contact:

  • IKEA Group: Jamie Rusby, ‎Head of Sustainability Communications: jamie.rusby@ikea.com
  • Danish Ministry of the Environment: Mikkel Stenbæk: +45 40859405, mshan@mst.dk
  • Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs: Geert Aargaard Andersen, Ambassador & Head of Secretariat (3GF),
  • Novozymes: Debbie Spillane, Corporate Press Officer: DbSp@novozymes.com
  • LAUNCH Nordic: Sofus Midtgaard: +45 30 220 111, sofus@launch.org

Background

LAUNCH Nordic is a global innovation platform by: IKEA Group, Novozymes, and Kvadrat, as well as the Global Green Growth Forum (3GF), The Danish Ministry of the Environment, Region Skåne, Malmö Stad, VINNOVA, and The Capital Region of Denmark. LAUNCH Nordic was created in collaboration with LAUNCH founders NASA, NIKE, The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) & The U.S. Department of State.