Pictured above: Elena Dieckmann and Ryan Robinson, co-founders of AEROPOWDER
IMAGINE A WORLD WHERE YOU RATHER THAN OWNING ALL OF YOUR FURNITURE JUST HAD IT DELIVERED AS A SERVICE? OR A WORLD WHERE SMARTPHONES WERE MODULAR AND YOU COULD EASILY REPLACE THE BATTERY OR THE SCREEN? OR WHAT ABOUT A WORLD WHERE YOUR JEANS OR T-SHIRT COULD HAVE A SECOND LIFE DUE TO AN RFID CHIP?
This is exactly what three of this year’s eight selected LAUNCH Circular Innovators are now working on making a reality. To help them succeed and scale, LAUNCH partners IKEA Group, Nike Inc., Kvadrat, eBay, Novozymes, as well as leading companies, Scientists, Investors, and Government Representatives will team up with the innovators at Kvadrat HQ in Ebeltoft, Denmark Nov. 29-30, 2017.
“This year’s LAUNCH innovators represent a new age of manufacturing for a circular economy. From innovations in textile dyeing to RFID threads, these companies inspire us at Kvadrat to continue to keep sustainability at the forefront of our decision making. I look forward to hosting this year’s LAUNCH Forum at Kvadrat’s HQ in Ebeltoft.”
Anders Byriel, CEO, Kvadrat
THE 2017 CHALLENGE
How do we start to design and manufacture for a circular economy? How do we shift to new business models that support durable products and re-use? These questions have been at the center of this year’s LAUNCH Innovation Challenge on Design & Manufacturing for a Circular Economy, which received 112 applications from innovators from 39 countries covering six continents.
“We are constantly looking for new ideas and innovation that can help make our business more sustainable. I’m happy to see the large global interest in the LAUNCH program and look forward to working with new partners and this year’s 8 selected innovators with disruptive ideas and fresh mindsets.”
Håkan Nordkvist, Head of Sustainability Innovation, IKEA Group
The 2017 LAUNCH Circular innovators are:
· AEROPOWDER – A sustainable insulation material created from waste feathers
· Circular Devices – PuzzlePhone is a modular smartphone designed for longevity and circularity; it is customizable, repairable, and upgradable
· Colorifix – Converting agricultural residues into pigments and dyed textiles using no acids or solvents – just sugar and biology
· EON ID – The industry’s first RFID tag in the form of a thread that can integrate with textiles to power recycling
· Living Ink Technologies – Making renewable and biodegradable printing ink from algae
· Recircular – A brokering platform that proposes alternatives for a given waste stream and connects the generator with potential consumers
· STRATA – Modular designed furniture that changes according to life scenarios
· University College London – A new policy that companies only sell the lifetime services of their products but retain ownership of the materials
Through a careful review process by a panel of 42 subject matter experts, eight innovators were selected and invited to participate in the LAUNCH Forum. Each innovator was chosen based on their positive environmental or social impact potential.
LAUNCH Innovator Alejandro Santacreu comments on his expectations for the LAUNCH Forum:
“We are eager to discuss with public bodies and conscious corporates how our vision on how Designing for Longevity enables the re-shoring of critical IT solutions, and how this impacts national security in its most broader definition, beyond privacy and up securing long term welfare.”
Alejandro Santacreu, Founder of Puzzlephone and LAUNCH Innovator 2017
LAUNCH Innovator Natasha Franck is also excited about working with industry pioneers:
“A circular fashion industry requires industry wide-collaboration across technology and material science. Our technology and concept is a piece of this ecosystem. The industry partnerships through LAUNCH present an opportunity to move this concept from success to significance.”
Natasha Franck, Founder of EON.ID, and LAUNCH Innovator 2017
Following the LAUNCH Forum, innovators will take part in an accelerator program to help them bring their innovations to scale.
Flemming Besenbacher, Chairman of the Carlsberg Foundation and Chair of the Danish Government’s Advisory Board for Circular Economy will be joining the Forum too:
“LAUNCH is a great example of how global companies, governments and investors can work with circular entrepreneurs and start-ups. I look forward to joining and speaking at the forum and meeting the partners and 8 selected innovators.”
Flemming Besenbacher, chairman of Carlsberg Group, the Carlsberg Foundation, deputy chairman of Innovation Fund Denmark, and the Chairman of the Advisory Group on Circular Economy to the Danish Government
The LAUNCH Council participants include Håkan Nordkvist, Head of Sustainability Innovation, IKEA Group; Anders Byriel, CEO, Kvadrat; Mike van der Zanden, Sustainability Director, Supply Chain Innovation Europe, Nike; Ben Maxwell, Circular Economy Lead, eBay; Markus Stutz, Director Environmental Affairs, Dell; and Mikkel Stenbæk, Deputy Head of Division, Danish EPA.
Along with more than 25 other industry representative, entrepreneurs, scientists, and investors, they will provide access to capital, credibility, creativity, connectivity, and capacity to help the eight innovators scale globally.
This year, we will be providing live updates from the Forum, so do not miss out! Make sure to connect with us on Facebook for live videos and interviews, and follow us on Twitter with the hashtag #LAUNCHCircular for highlights. We encourage you to follow along and add your voice to the conversation using #LAUNCHCircular.
For more information on the challenge, please visit our challenge page.