Closing the Loop - how do we create a more sustainable society?

May 31, 2016

Imagine a world where instead of owning everything you leased it. We know it sounds a bit crazy. But what if it wasn’t? What if it was the birth of a sustainability revolution, where waste is turned into resources and kept out of landfill? What if it was the starting point of an age of keeping products and materials in the loop? An age of products designed to last, be repaired, to be disassembled and to be recycled?

Everybody is talking about the potentials in the circular economy. But how do we create closed loop systems and material streams? How do we design and manufacture for disassembly and recycling? And how do we shift to new business models that stimulate the design of durable products and re-use?

These questions are at the center of this year’s LAUNCH Nordic Innovation Challenge that will be announced June 1 in Copenhagen. IKEA, Novozymes, Kvadrat and several Nordic Ministries and public institutions have joined forces to accelerate a more circular economy.

“We are working to make our whole product range more sustainable, including playing an active role in the transition to a circular economy. We are looking for innovators with disruptive ideas and fresh mindsets who can help us on this journey. I’m looking forward to help select and interact with this years five selected innovators.”

Håkan Nordkvist, Head of Sustainability Innovation, IKEA Group (pictured above)

This year LAUNCH Nordic offer five selected innovators the opportunity to join a coalition of companies, government institution and innovators, committed to accelerate the shift to a circular economy. We are looking for game changing ideas and innovations for this year’s challenge: Closed Loop Solutions and Recycling Technologies.

"What is special about LAUNCH Nordic is the strong partnership of both government, academic and industry. Public Private Partnerships is exactly what we need to help sustainable innovations go to scale. We look forward to help this year’s innovators and shape a more sustainable society."

Claus Stig Pedersen, Senior Director, Sustainability, Novozymes.

The LAUNCH Nordic challenge 2016 will be open to individuals and teams, start-ups and established companies. The deadline for applications will be September 1, 2016. In October 2016 the top 5 innovations will be selected and the teams will take part in a unique program that provides support, networking, and mentoring from influential business and government leaders.

"Being partners in LAUNCH Nordic has been highly inspirational for us. We are looking forward to helping this year’s innovators, but we learn a lot from them as well. We look forward to share knowledge and hopefully find meaningful and relevant technologies and innovation suitable for co-investment."

Anders Byriel, CEO, Kvadrat

LAUNCH Nordic will search for innovations with the potential to go to scale globally, as well as game-changing early stage technologies and prototypes. Innovations can be business models, design tools, materials, manufacturing processes, technologies or systems or programs that have the potentials to shape a more sustainable society.

“Region Skåne is a partner in LAUNCH Nordic because of the strong commitment from both Nordic and Global partners like IKEA, Nozozymes, Kvadrat, Nike, USAID and U.S. State Department. LAUNCH Nordic offers a unique platform to identify and collectively scale innovations with a positive impact of people and society.”

Carin Dahl, Head of Innovation & Entrepreneurship, Region Skåne (not pictured)

Hosting the event June 1st will be Vigga Svensson (above) – a 2014 LAUNCH Nordic Innovator, who herself is pioneering circular economy with her start-up Vigga.us - delivering subscription based baby-clothing.