Science and Technology News

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Beyond Waste

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 invites 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.

LAUNCH was formed to address large, sustainability-related challenges that no single government or commercial entity can solve alone. LAUNCH searches for, showcases, and supports transformative innovations and connects LAUNCH Innovators to a collaborative and engaged group of thought leaders and experts. Most importantly, LAUNCH Innovators have the unique opportunity to accelerate their innovations for greater impact and scale by leveraging the advice, networks, and resources of this esteemed group and the global stage LAUNCH provides.

With increasing global population growth and escalating demands on the planet’s limited resources, the world needs to find ways to design for zero waste, and reduce and/or eliminate the waste left at the end of a product or a process’s full life cycle. Current practices pertaining to waste are not sustainable from economic, societal, cultural, and environmental perspectives, damaging the planet and its populations. LAUNCH: Beyond Waste is designed to address this global challenge.

Can we design and implement new models across the waste hierarchy, value chains and life cycles of products and processes to dramatically reduce waste generated in both the developing and developed worlds? Can we develop and deploy data architectures to make waste and waste streams universally visible to public and private sector actors and citizens across the globe? Can we transform the concept of waste from one of resource abandonment to a model where all elements along the waste value chain create economic, societal, cultural and/or environmental value?

Want to learn more or enter the challenge?

This Challenge will be posted and open for submissions beginning April 1, 2012 and will close May 15, 2012.

Please visit  to view former Innovators’ presentations and comments about their experiences at LAUNCH.

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