NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory will host the LAUNCH: Beyond Waste forum on July 20-22 in Pasadena, California. LAUNCH: Beyond Waste is part of an initiative to identify, showcase and support innovative approaches to sustainability challenges through a series of forums. These forums showcase nine pre-selected innovators who will present their solutions to a group of 50 thought leaders from varied fields and disciplines. It is the fourth forum in the series.
The public can access and engage in the Launch: Beyond Waste conversation online through MindMapr at:
A link to live video of the conference will be on UStream at 10 a.m. PDT (1 p.m. EDT) July 20 at:
LAUNCH allows NASA to make connections between resource challenges humans face onboard the International Space Station and those on Earth. No natural resources exist in the hostile environment of space, forcing NASA to generate, collect, store, conserve, recycle, and manage resources wisely — just like citizens of Earth.
LAUNCH offers NASA's problem-solving expertise to crucial conversations on sustainability-related topics with innovative problem solvers from around the world. Through LAUNCH, NASA can promote emerging, transformative technology to sustain and enrich the quality of life on Earth. Engineering approaches needed to solve many of the development challenges facing our planet mirror those needed to overcome the challenges of long-duration human missions beyond low-Earth orbit.
NASA selected LAUNCH challenges to tell the space station sustainability story: the life support systems that sustain our astronauts aboard the station are the same as those that support inhabitants of Earth. Previous LAUNCH forums investigated challenges our planet faces relating to Water, Energy, and Health.
LAUNCH: Beyond Waste forum organizers meet with sustainability experts in San Francisco, Calif. on March 1, 2012.
NASA, USAID, the U.S. State Department and Nike Inc. are LAUNCH founding partners. The Office of Naval Research; Vestergaard Frandsen; IDEO, and Architecture for Humanity are partners for LAUNCH: Beyond Waste.
Nine innovators will present their solutions to a group of 50 thought leaders from varied fields and disciplines during the two and a half day forum.
Attero: Attero is India's first low cost, efficient metal extraction technology for e-waste. With an integrated recycling and refurbishing facility and proprietary metallurgical processes (patent pending), Attero is the only end-to-end e-waste recycling company in India.
Company: Attero Recycling
Market of Operation: India
Sector: eWaste, Metal Recycling/Reclamation
Principal: Rohan Gupta, COO
Attero Recycling is a clean technology company and a leading provider of "end-to-end" electronic and electrical goods e-Waste management services. Attero runs India's first & only pan-India, international standards, integrated used electronics refurbishing and recycling plant which was inaugurated by former President of India, Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam. Attero is backed by leading investment firms like World Bank (IFC), DFJ, IUVP and Granite Hill and is the only e waste management firm in India which has taken environmental clearance from Ministry of Environment & Forests (MoEF).
With extremely low level of awareness and even lower sensitivity towards the issues, Attero is fulfilling a significant environmental responsibility by extending a helping hand to companies struggling with their high e-waste volumes, responsibilities, refurbishing and recycling needs. We provide a complete green solution which includes awareness and training programs, pan India collection network, reverse logistics, refurbishing and recycling, backed by an IT system which helps us in being efficient and transparent. Our efforts have been appreciates by UN and we have been chosen as the top technology pioneers of 2012 by World Economic Forum and have won the prestigious Golden Peacock award for Innovation for year 2011.
Goonj: Using urban waste streams as a powerful development resource in rural India, Goonj is dedicated to saving lives, empowering people, and ensuring dignity for the underserved poor in rural India. Through its activities, Goonj helps to create a parallel economy that is not 'cash based', but 'trash based'.
Market of Operation: India
Sector: Cloth Waste to Cloth Products
Principal: Anshu Goonj, Founder
The biggest problem in India is access to food, clothing and shelter. Goonj was established to focus exclusively on clothing, the lack of which is a primary cause of sickness and death.
Goonj volunteers collect, sort and distribute cloth products to needy areas in India. Goonj transports over 5000 kilograms of clothes per month to many historically neglected areas across the country, with help its dedicated team of volunteers. All types of clothing are accepted, from spaghetti-strapped tops to tattered lungis, for Goonj is able to find an ingenious way to make use of them. Goonj, through cooperatives of unemployed urbanites or villagers, produces an array of products from donated cloth.
Kiverdi: Kiverdi offers a proprietary bioprocess that recycles waste carbon from a number of waste streams, including syngas (from forestry residue and landfills), stranded natural gas or agricultural residue, to produce drop-in fuels, oils and custom chemicals. Kiverdi's industrial scale bioreactor allows the company to transform biomass into high value industrial products.
Market of Operation: USA
Sector: Waste to Oleo/Waste to Fuel
Principal: Lisa Dyson, CEO
Kiverdi converts waste carbon into high-margin, sustainable oils and chemicals for a wide variety of product applications such as biomaterials, detergents, and fuel additives. Kiverdi's proprietary bioprocess recycles waste carbon from a number of sources including industrial flue gases, crude glycerol or syngas from forestry residue, landfills, flared natural gas or agricultural residue. Our feedstock flexibility and proprietary high-yield bioprocess enables us to produce targeted drop-in and custom chemicals at a fraction of the cost of currently available alternatives. Our technology offers downstream customers predictably higher margins and supply certainty while offering greater value creation for upstream partners.
re:char: re:char's technology allows farmers worldwide to convert their waste into biochar, a carbon-negative soil amendment to grow more food and fight climate change.
Market of Operation: Kenya
Sector: Waste to Fertilizer/BioChar
Principal: Jason Aramburu, Founder
re:char is a leader in the development of waste to biochar technologies. Biochar is a carbon-negative charcoal produced at high temperatures (400 C+) which can be used as a replacement for wood charcoal or a powerful soil amendment. Biochar can improve crop yield up to 200% while sequestering up to 12% of global CO2 emissions. re:char is engaged in projects at several ends of the biochar value chain including the development of small-scale kilns for farmers in the developing world, human waste-to-biochar systems for sanitation and a retail biochar soil amendment product. We are funded by Echoing Green, DOEN Foundation, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Hitachi Foundation and The ConocoPhillips Foundation.
RecycleMatch: RecycleMatch is the first global on-line marketplace for recycling that connects waste generators, recyclers, and manufacturers. The RecycleMatch platform finds the 'highest and best use' for recyclables and 'waste' byproducts in the market.
Market of Operation: USA
Sector: Waste Generator/Waste Recycler Platform
Principal: Brooke Farrell, Founder
RecycleMatch's long-term vision is to be the global marketplace for recyclables and waste byproducts bringing more trust, data transparency and market access to the $500 Billion+ global market for materials trading. As the first step towards that vision, RecycleMatch provides a subscription based platform used by major waste generators and aggregators to find the highest and best use of all of their materials. Benefits for companies like Shaw Industries and Progressive Waste who are using the platform include capturing true market value (often 20% more) for valuable commodities, accelerating zero waste efforts, streamlining and formalizing the workflow within their organization and supply chain, creating an auditable system of record and automating economic and environmental reporting related to waste and material recovery.
Pylantis: Pylantis is a bioplastics company with a proprietary process that combines organic fillers (waste) with plant plastic resins to create high waste content injection molded products capable of withstanding temperatures up to 140C. Pylantis produces a wide variety of products that provide a commercially viable alternative to environmentally unsustainable traditional petroleum-based plastic products.
Location: USA, Japan
Market of Operation: USA, Japan
Sector: Waste to BioPlastics
Principal: Jeff Toolan, Founder and CEO
Pylantis is an advanced biomass-based materials manufacturing company. We can replace traditional plastics in a variety of applications. We have the ability to create both single use biodegradable items, as well as long lasting durable goods (microwaveable, dishwasher safe) all using earth friendly materials and manufacturing processes. We have a number of key patents covering advanced injection molding machines and molding technologies, which allow us to create products out of a number of innovative new resins that traditional machines cannot handle.
Our bioplastics are specifically designed to properly function in closed-loop recycling systems. They do not add to the world's growing waste issues, and help address the environmental problems created by current petroleum-based materials. Our non-toxic, biomass-based materials are plastics without compromise.
Sanergy: Sanergy provides quality sanitation facilities, efficient and effective waste collection services, and proper waste treatment in the slums of Kenya.
Location: USA, Kenya
Market of Operation: Kenya
Sector: Waste to Energy
Principal: Joseph Atnafu, CTO
2.6 billion people do not have access to adequate sanitation. The resulting disease and water pollution cause 1.7 million deaths & loss of $84 billion in worker productivity each year. In Kenya's slums, 8 million people lack access to adequate sanitation. Sangery was formed to address this problem and to provide a The long term objective lf Sanergy is to build and scale viable sanitation infrastructure in the slums of Nairobi. The model involves four parts: (i) building a network of low-cost sanitation centers in slums, (ii) distributing them through franchising to local entrepreneurs, (iii) collecting the waste produced, and (iv) processing it into electricity and fertilizer. At each step, this model creates jobs and opportunity while simultaneously addressing serious social needs.
SEaB Energy: SEaB provides companies a turn-key waste to energy product which uses micro anaerobic digestion to convert organic waste into energy on-site at the source of the waste generation where the energy can be utilized continuously.
Market of Operation: UK/Global
Sector: Waste to Energy/Anaerobic Digester
Principal: Sandra Sassow, CEO
SEaB Energy Limited is an international specialist, UK based company, working in the renewable energy and energy from waste sectors. The company is located at the University of Southampton Science Park in Chilworth on the outskirts of Southampton. SEaB Energy has developed Muckbuster(TM) and SEaB MB400 as compact easy to install turnkey Anaerobic Digestion (AD) systems in shipping containers. The systems are modular, easily configured and scalable to address food waste and other bio wastes directly at the sites of smaller waste producers who typically generate between 200 and 1000 tonnes of waste per year.
SIRUM: SIRUM disrupts the pharmaceutical supply chain by redistributing unused, unexpired medicine that would otherwise be destroyed.
Market of Operation: USA
Sector: Medical Waste
Principal: Kiah Williams, CEO
In the U.S., a staggering $5 billion in unused medicine is destroyed every year while nearly one-third of the nation's uninsured forgo filling their prescriptions due to the costs. Born out of a desire to reconcile unnecessary waste with a dire need for medication, SIRUM is the only non-profit that spurs medical waste reduction by transforming medicine destroyers into medicine donors. SIRUM's novel technology platform catalyzes the donation of surplus medicines by connecting health facilities and pharmaceutical manufacturers to community clinics in California.
Over the past two years, we have facilitated 100 donations worth $600,000 wholesale and diverted over 230,000 pills from incinerators and our water supply. These efforts have contributed to reducing the $100 million of usable medicine in California that is destroyed annually while simultaneously stimulating the sustainable use of pharmaceuticals providing medicines to thousands who need but could not otherwise afford. The scalable nature of our technology will enable us to rapidly expand within California and across then nation as we strive to prevent excess pharmaceutical production and promote zero medical waste.