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24/04-15   -   Press releases

Cross sector collaboration aims to revolutionize sustainable materials

NASA, IKEA Group, Novozymes, Nike Inc., Kvadrat, Nordic Government Institutions, leading scientists, designers and materials innovators join the LAUNCH Nordic Summit April 28 in Copenhagen, to shape a better world of materials.

Materials have a significant impact on the planet. We globally produce 8 tons of plastic per. second, that is enough material to wrap up Sweden in plastic every 8 minutes. Only 1% of this is bio-plastic. Imagine a world where the raw materials for your t-shirt were grown in the ocean. Where microorganisms from food waste and fungi were being turned into packaging or furniture. Where your bed actively helped clean the air in your bedroom. And imagine that instead of owning everything around you, you leased it, keeping products and materials in the loop.

The LAUNCH Nordic Summit April 28, will gather key industry players, policy makers, material innovators, designers, pioneering researchers who will join forces to reimagine a greener value chain for materials. The Summit will unite representatives from organisations like Nike Inc., NASA, USAID, U.S. State Department, IKEA, Novozymes, Kvadrat, LEGO, H&M, Carlsberg, Haldor Topsoe, Ellen MacArthur Foundation and several Nordic gov. officials.

"The greatest challenges we face as societies, are global and demands solutions reaching across borders. They cannot be solved by nations or politicians alone. Collaboration like LAUNCH Nordic between American and Nordic institutions, governments and some of the largest companies, is the way forward if we want to find and accelerate sustainable solutions.

Morten Østergaard, Minister of Economic Affairs and the Interior.

During the Summit, the LAUNCH Nordic Innovation Challenge 2015 will be announced. The challenge will be open to individuals and teams, start-ups and established companies. Deadline for applications will be August 12, 2015. In October 2015 the top 10 innovations will be selected and participants will take part in a unique acceleration program that provides support, networking, and mentoring from influential business and government leaders.

"As NASA continues to develop the next-generation spacecraft astronauts will use to travel beyond low-Earth orbit on their way to an asteroid and eventually Mars, we are very interested in advancing our understanding of the system of materials. The Nordic region has been a pioneer when it comes to sustainability, and we look forward to gaining insights from the Nordic organizations and innovators who will take part in LAUNCH Nordic."

Dr. Catherine Coleman, NASA Astronaut & PhD in Chemistry.

LAUNCH Nordic will search for innovations with the potential to go to scale globally, as well as game"changing early stage technologies and prototypes. Innovations can be business models, financial instruments, technologies or programs that have the potentials to shape a more sustainable world of materials and manufacturing.

LAUNCH Nordic is a partnership between IKEA Group, Novozymes, Kvadrat, Vinnova, The Capital Region of Denmark, Region Skåne, The Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, The Danish Ministry of the Environment, and Malmö Stad. What unites the partners in LAUNCH Nordic is a commitment to help green the value chain of materials, initiate industry collaborations, and scale sustainability innovations in materials.

"We are working to make our whole product range more sustainable, including developing and expanding our use of materials that are better for people and the planet and playing an active role in the transition to a circular economy. LAUNCH Nordic is a collaboration of organisations committed to scaling up new sustainable materials and innovations and we are delighted to be involved."
Håkan Nordkvist, Head of Sustainability Innovation, IKEA Group

LAUNCH Nordic is a part of LAUNCH - a global innovation platform founded by Nike Inc., NASA, The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), and The U.S. Department of State. LAUNCH aims to move beyond incremental change to identify and accelerate innovations that will help revolutionize sustainable materials.

"What is special about LAUNCH Nordic is the strong partnership of both government, academic and industry. Public Private Partnerships is exactly what we need to help sustainable innovations go to scale. We look forward to help shape a more sustainable world of materials.

Claus Stig Pedersen, Senior Director, Sustainability, Novozymes.

Among participants at the LAUNCH Nordic Summit will be: Catherine Coleman, NASA Astronaut & PhD in Chemistry, Håkan Nordkvist, Head of Sustainability Innovation, IKEA Group, Andrew Morlet, CEO of Ellen MacArthur Foundation, Nelleke van der Puil, VP Materials, LEGO Group and Ida Auken, Member of Danish Parliament & Young Global Leader WEF.

"We are excited to see the number and reach of the companies present at this year's LAUNCH Nordic Summit. LAUNCH Nordic is a great example how partners on an international scale by joining forces can drive sustainability thus making a real impact. We are welcoming all our international partners in Greater Copenhagen to help us drive green growth by developing tomorrow's solutions for production methods and new materials".

Sophie Hæstorp Andersen, Chairman Capital Region of Denmark.

For more information about the Summit please contact Sofus Midtgaard, LAUNCH Nordic: +45 30220111 - or For more about LAUNCH Nordic partners please contact:


- NASA: Joshua Buck:
- IKEA Group: Jamie Rusby:
- Novozymes: Debbie Spillane:
- Capital Region of Denmark: 70 20 95 88
- Danish Ministry of the Environment: +45 40859405
- Danish Ministry of Economic Affairs and the Interior: Philip Flores +45 72282400
- LAUNCH Nordic: Sofus Midtgaard: + 45 30220111

About LAUNCH Nordic
LAUNCH Nordic is a public-private partnership by IKEA Group, Novozymes, Kvadrat, The Ministry of The Environment, The Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, VINNOVA, Region Skåne, Malmö Stad, The City of Copenhagen and The Capital Region of Denmark. The initiative to introduce the Nordic region in the global LAUNCH collective was taken by a project group consisting of Copenhagen School of Design and Technology, Danish Fashion Institute, Danish Design Center and Leaderlab.

Relevant information

Read more about LAUNCH Nordic Summit


Press contacts

Sofus Midtgaard
  +45 30 22 01 11


Trangravsvej 8
1436 Copenhagen, England

  +45 30220111
  +45 30220111

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