The LAUNCH: Beyond Waste program cycle was focused on waste, and nine finalists were chosen for their groundbreaking technologies and programs that address a broad range of waste issues, including waste-to-energy, ‘eWaste’, ‘upcycling’ and recycling, agricultural waste and conservation, medical waste, sustainable chemicals and materials, and improved sanitation.
During the three day Forum at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, CA from July 20-22, LAUNCH innovators discussed their most pressing business and program issues with LAUNCH Council members, who represented the business, waste management, investment, international development, policy, engineering, science, communications and sustainability sectors. The sessions were designed to identify key challenges and opportunities for the entrepreneurs' innovations in an effort to more rapidly accelerate their solutions toward even greater real world impact.
LAUNCH: BEYOND WASTE CHALLENGE STATEMENT
The goal of the LAUNCH: Beyond Waste Challenge is to identify ten “game changing” innovations that have the potential to transform the current waste management systems and practices to ones focused on minimizing waste and/or transforming waste into new products. LAUNCH invited proposals for innovative design for zero waste solutions, waste elimination, waste transformation, and waste mitigation technologies, as well as waste reduction-focused education, business, and financial strategies that have the potential to reduce and/or eliminate waste at a household, community, office building, campus, or industrial level.
The Waste Hierarchy establishes a ranking of management options in context of increasing environmental impact, and is based on the simple premise that it is better to avoid generating waste than to treat or dispose of waste.
The ultimate goal of LAUNCH is a sustainable future for planet Earth and its inhabitants. The LAUNCH: Beyond Waste Challenge seeks to identify entrepreneurial efforts focused on the development of innovative products, services, and programs that can benefit from collaborating and networking with influential government and business leaders to accelerate their deployment and adoption in both the developed and developing worlds. This Challenge, as noted above, spans the full hierarchy of waste, as well as systems and practices of various levels. LAUNCH: Beyond Waste seeks to transform “waste” from a by-product with a negative impact to a resource and asset for society. LAUNCH: Beyond Waste seeks transformational solutions to the problem of waste through disruptive innovation, behavioral change, systems design, policy, and stewardship.
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