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LAUNCH System Challenge: Green Chemistry Seeks Innovations for Materials and Manufacturing

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LAUNCH is an open innovation platform that was founded by NASA, NIKE, The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and The U.S. Department of State to identify and foster breakthrough ideas for a more sustainable world. LAUNCH aims to move beyond incremental change and make an impact at a system-wide level.


LAUNCH is currently focused on positively transforming the system of materials and manufacturing, which can have dramatic social, environmental and economic impacts on the world. In order to harness the innovation needed to advance this system, LAUNCH has issued a series of global challenges to address key barriers. The current LAUNCH challenge focuses on green chemistry, a crucial component in a sustainable materials and manufacturing system.

With this LAUNCH System Challenge: Green Chemistry, LAUNCH is seeking 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 LAUNCH uses the 12 Principles of Green Chemistry, the definition which the Environmental Protection Agency also uses, in order to provide a common framing.

This challenge is specifically focused in the following areas with preference for projects that support local, Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprise inclusion that also create equitable, empowered workforces:

  • Solutions that reduce the use of hazardous chemicals in materials and processes
  • Solutions that enable the use of low environmental impact, renewable feedstocks
  • Chemistry that enables end-of-life recycling or maximize the potential for closed loop systems while minimizing hazard
  • Solutions that increase energy, water, and raw material efficiency, minimizing the use of constrained resources
  • Solutions that maximize community, worker, consumer, and environmental safety from hazardous chemicals
  • Enabling models, education, and tools to help industry and consumers select greener chemistry alternatives

This Challenge is currently open for submissions and will close September 24th, 2014. Innovations can be technical, processes, business models, enabling platforms, relevant data capture and assessment, and capability building.

A portfolio of approximately 10 innovators will be selected for support, networking, and mentoring from influential business and government leaders. On being selected as a LAUNCH innovator, you will become part of the LAUNCH Network, not only for the duration of the current challenge cycle, but beyond. When you join LAUNCH, you will become an active participant in a growing network of the most disruptive thinkers. You will receive visibility for your own work, exposure to new ways of thinking and access to key experts and stakeholders across the materials and manufacturing system that can accelerate the trajectory of your innovation into the marketplace.

For more information or to submit your innovative idea, visit:

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