Fabric

SYSTEMS CHALLENGE STATEMENT

Forum Dates: 
September 26-28, 2013

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

Summary

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.

Specifically, LAUNCH System: Fabric seeks innovations in: 

  • The materials of which fabrics are made with a focus on positive social and environmental impact:
Multi-purpose synthetic and bio-synthetic materials
Multi-purpose synthetic and
bio-synthetic materials.
Smart and/or self-healing materials
Smart and/or self-healing
materials.
Technical fabrics with novel or surprising attributes
Technical fabrics with novel or
surprising attributes.
Fabrics that efficiently and effectively enable recycling
Fabrics that efficiently and
effectively enable recycling.
Applications that eliminate toxins in fabrics
Applications that eliminate
toxins in fabrics.
Low or positive environmental impact feedstocks
Low or positive environmental
impact “feedstocks.”
Models that accelerate the development of low or positive environmental impact fabrics
Models that accelerate the
development of low or positive
environmental impact fabrics.
 
Data generation and capture technologies and mechanisms that enable traceability across a product or fabric’s lifecycle
Data generation and capture
technologies and mechanisms
that enable traceability across
a product or fabric’s lifecycle.
Decision support and educational tools that guide positive impact design and inform better choices of chemistries and materials
Decision support and educational
tools that guide positive impact
design and inform better choices
of chemistries and materials.
Open technology platforms to enable sharing, collaboration, contribution and unlimited accessibility to data that improves the analysis of sustainability impacts and stimulates an open data ecosystem
Open technology platforms to
enable sharing, collaboration,
contribution and unlimited
accessibility to data that improves
the analysis of sustainability
impacts and stimulates an open
data ecosystem.
  • The “making” or manufacturing of fabrics utilizing low or positive environmental impact approaches, with a bias toward inclusive business models that positively develop human capital, respect rights and deliver shared value:
Solutions that increase energy, water, and raw material efficiency in the manufacturing process
Solutions that increase energy,
water, and raw material efficiency
in the manufacturing process.

Scalable innovative business models that are sustainable and equitable
Scalable innovative business
models that are sustainable
and equitable.

Programs that support local Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise inclusion across the system of fabrics
Programs that support local
Micro, Small and Medium
Enterprise inclusion across
the system of fabrics.
Zero waste or closed loop systems that eliminate waste and create equitable, empowered workforces
Zero waste or closed loop
systems that eliminate waste
and create equitable,
empowered workforces.
Solutions that put workers at the heart of the innovation process
Solutions that put workers at the
heart of the innovation process.


Manufacturing processes that reuse waste
Manufacturing processes that
reuse waste.


Manufacturing processes and technologies that enable maximum conversion of materials and minimum consumption of natural resources
Manufacturing processes and
technologies that enable
maximum conversion of
materials and minimum
consumption of natural
resources.
Information and data exchanges that build entrepreneurial capacity & worker inclusion, enabling greater participation in value chains
Information and data exchanges
that build entrepreneurial
capacity & worker inclusion,
enabling greater participation
in value chains.

Data generation and capture technologies and mechanisms to increase transparency across the value chain
Data generation and capture
technologies and mechanisms to
increase transparency across the
value chain.


Please note that innovation submissions need only match one of the points of interest described above, although submissions that match multiple points are also welcome.  

For more information on this challenge, download the LAUNCH SYSTEM: Fabric Challenge Statement  (Full Version, PDF) or go to the challenge submission website.  You do not have to be a US citizen to apply.

Read More: 

LAUNCH Systems Innovation Map

Material Patterns: Considering the Economic, Environmental, and Social Impacts of the Global Textiles Industry

The Fabric Council

Alphabetical List:

MICRO-CHALLENGE

LAUNCH is hosting its first micro-challenge, directed at university students, to help us uncover game-changing innovations that can unlock the barriers to the system of materials and the ways in which they are made. Congratulations to CapX team from the Indian School of Business, the 2013 finalists for the Open Data Micro-Challenge.

CapX helps fabric manufacturers enhance their viability through collaboration. Fabric manufacturing units can trade their excess and insufficient production capacities through CapX’s online platform, thus overcoming the serious viability challenges arising from periodic fluctuations in product demand and labor supply.

The CapX team is looking for partners to prototype and pilot the online platform in a textile manufacturing hub.
 
Stage of innovation: Concept
 

Open Data Micro-Challenge

The absence of information and tools can slow down accurate and timely decision-making. It can also prevent the system from identifying better ways of operating. A lack of data increases risk. Access to data can unlock new opportunity. It can change the way things are made. It can change what materials things are made from. Both for the better. We believe new ways of capturing and using data can uncover opportunities and enable innovation within the materials supply chain. LAUNCH is looking to positively impact the materials supply chain by harnessing new, innovative solutions for:

  • Capturing data in new and different ways
  • Generating new data, ripe for analysis
  • Analyzing data to deliver greater insight

Our goal is to increase appreciation for and understanding of data in the materials system. We are working to enable better decisions throughout the materials supply chain – raw materials suppliers, materials processors, scientists who imagine new materials, creators who design products with materials, consumers who buy and use products, and innovators who close the chain through recycling and reuse.

Challenge Status: