The challenge listed below is the current LAUNCH Challenge Cycle. We have chosen to focus on green chemistry as this is an important part of the system of materials and manufacturing. To learn more about our systems approach go to our About page.

At LAUNCH we see a future where the making of things has a positive impact on human prosperity and planetary sustainability.

With this LAUNCH System Challenge: Green Chemistry, LAUNCH seeks innovations that leverage or advance ‘green chemistry’ to transform the system of materials and manufacturing to one that advances global economic growth, drives human prosperity and replenishes the planet’s resources. When referring to green chemistry we are using the 12 Principles of Green Chemistry, the definition which the Environmental Protection Agency also uses, in order to provide a common framing.


The challenges listed below are from prior LAUNCH cycles. Although we are no longer accepting applications for these types of innovations they continue to be an important part of our LAUNCH Network. By clicking on the links below you can read more information about the challenge itself as well as take a look at our top 10 innovators and council members.

LAUNCH Nordic is an attempt to scale our LAUNCH model to other regions of the world. IKEA, Novozymes, Kvadrat and The Danish Government have joined forces to spearhead the Nordic effort in collaboration with LAUNCH Global partners to drive system innovation and help scale sustainable innovations in materials.

LAUNCH Nordic Challenge 2014 seeks innovations that will transform the system of textiles, fabrics and fibers to one that has a minimal environmental impact and/or drives social equality.

At LAUNCH we see a future where the making of things has a positive impact on human prosperity and planetary sustainability.

Founding partners NASA, NIKE, the US Agency for International Development (USAID) and the US Department of State formed LAUNCH in an effort to bring collective genius, unprecedented networks, and new resources to overcome some of humanity’s toughest sustainability challenges. 

With this LAUNCH System Challenge: Fabric, LAUNCH seeks innovations that will transform the system of fabrics to one that advances equitable global economic growth, drives human prosperity and replenishes the planet’s resources.

We are interested in innovations with potential to scale in 2 years, as well as game-changing early stage technologies and prototypes. Innovations can be business models, financial instruments, technologies and programs that accelerate research, education and capacity building.

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.

In light of increasing global demands, more efficient use of staple resources and the creation of complementary options are vital to our ability to provide a better quality of life for all the world’s citizens. The planet is reaching a critical juncture that requires leadership and a coordinated response. Essential resources, including water, health and energy, must be efficiently utilized and innovatively enhanced to meet our needs and ensure a sustainable future.

Sustaining quality of life on Earth and in space requires transformative advances in science and technology, along with new models, policies and behaviors that will guide human development. The search for innovative technology solutions to ensure healthy astronauts orbiting the planet mirrors healthcare challenges faced by providers throughout the world. The same requirements for simple, rugged, ultra portable, low power devices to provide remote diagnostic capability serves dual needs for humans living within the extreme environments on and off the planet. Targeting preventative health measures within the first twenty years of life offers a unique opportunity to change the human condition for this and future generations.

The inaugural LAUNCH: Water was held at NASA Kennedy Space Center.  There the selected 10 Water Innovators presented their innovations which included transformative ideas, technology and research which addressed water sustainability challenges in areas that included water efficient vertical farming systems, low cost bacterial water testing, water contaminant floating sensor network, carbon credit financed water purification system, electro-chemical arsenic removal system and evaporation-based underground irrigation technology among others.