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LAUNCH Seeks Sustainable Technologies Through New Innovation Challenge

LAUNCH, a global initiative dedicated to identifying innovative approaches to making society more sustainable, has unveiled LAUNCH Nordic, a new collaboration aimed at revolutionizing sustainable materials.

Existing members of LAUNCH–Nike, Inc., NASA, U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the U.S. Department of State– joined forces with Nordic-based companies IKEA, Novozymes, Kvadrat, Arla and several government institutions on the LAUNCH Nordic initiative. Together, the team plans to use its collective global intelligence to continue uncovering best practices in sustainability.

Hannah Jones, Nike VP of Sustainable Business and Innovation, said, “The LAUNCH approach has been successful in identifying and supporting powerful innovations.” She continued, “By bringing LAUNCH to the Nordic region, which is a hub for sustainability and design, we believe we can unlock new ideas and technologies that will revolutionize sustainable materials and manufacturing systems.”

The team launched the Nordic initiative last week during a summit in Copenhagen. At the summit, the LAUNCH Nordic Challenge 2014 was also opened to individuals, teams, start-ups and established companies to submit innovations and ideas that, according to LAUNCH, “will transform the system of textiles, fabrics and fibers to one that has a minimal environmental impact and/or drives social equality.”

Innovators can submit their technologies until June 1, 2014. A panel of subject matter experts will review the submissions and select the top ten innovators in August. Those named will invited to participate in the LAUNCH Nordic Forum where they can present their ideas to industry stakeholders, innovators, business and government leaders and investors. All innovators will then get support and guidance to aid them in bringing their innovations to scale.

HÃ¥kan Nordkvist, IKEA’s head of sustainability innovation, said, “At IKEA, we know first-hand how important collaboration can be in bringing new innovations and technologies to scale.” He added, “Together with our partners from LAUNCH and LAUNCH Nordic, we can participate in the identification and development of transformational innovations that can help solve global sustainability challenges.”