As part of an open innovation challenge, the innovation unit of a big Austrian company is looking for technology partners to co-create a new recycling system for the decentralised collection of e-waste. Requested topics are the design of the e-waste box using new technologies that enable a first-class user experience with a digital interface (customer motivation) and streamlined operations (fill-level etc.). Commercial agreements with technical assistance or technical cooperations are proposed.
Austria produces over 200,000 tons of electronic waste every year. Only about 50% of this is currently recycled. The rest often ends up in residual waste where it causes problems (e.g. risk of fire from batteries) or is shipped to developing countries. Either way, it is not returned back into the system the way it should be to close the loop. Most people want to act sustainably but also look for convenient solutions. A trip to the next recycling drop-off point can be a hurdle and not everyone knows that they can return old devices to their retailer when they buy a new one.
The innovation unit of a big Austrian company, which is providing waste management as one of their services, now wants to reduce the e-waste in residual waste and to increase the recycling rate through proper disposal.
In the framework of an innovation challenge they are calling all creative thinkers, designers, developers, start-ups and companies to work with them on the design of a new recycling system for the decentralised collection of e-waste "as a service".
They are looking for a new solution that can be placed in well-frequented locations, such as supermarkets or offices. Ideas for this novel "e-waste box" can address the creative design of the box, the user experience for a digital interface (contained in the outer part of the box), innovative materials for the construction of the box and new technologies that simplify the operations behind the e-waste box.
IMPORTANT: This technology request refers to an innovation challenge published as part of an open innovation community format. If an organization expresses interest before 30 April, it will be guided towards this open innovation platform. After registration via the platform participants will be contacted by the Austrian company to organize an initial meeting where they can discuss goals and expectations. Expressions of interest submitted after 30 April will be directly sent to the Austrian company.
The deadline for expressions of interest is 30 June 2021! However, it is highly recommended to express interest until 30 April, because team building and concept development will already start in May!
The whole co-creation program will run until October 2021. Ideation, team building and concept development are planned for April-June. The Austrian company will then select 1-3 concepts. The prototyping and presentation phase is planned for July-October. The Austrian company is interested in a long-term cooperation. This might take place in the frame of a commercial agreement with technical assistance or a technical cooperation agreement but other cooperation agreements could also be discussed later.
- Type of partner sought: The ideas for this novel "e-waste box" can address different aspects or ideally combine them all:
- The creative design of the box: it may include a stationary outer part that offers space for a standard, movable waste bin inside (e.g. 240 liter bin)
- The user experience for a digital interface (contained in the outer part of the box), which should increase recycling motivation and positively influence consumer behaviour (e.g. giving recycling instructions, using gamification or incentives and visualising the environmental impact)
- Innovative materials for the construction of the box (e.g. think about fire protection, sustainability)
- New technologies that enable a five star customer experience and simplify the operations behind the e-waste box (e.g. device recognition, weight measurement, fill-level sensor, theft protection and maybe also sorting, shredding, tracking)
- Specific area of activity of the partner: The Austrian company is looking for creative thinkers, designers, developers, start-ups and companies for the co-creation of a novel "e-waste box" in the frame of an innovation challenge.
It will support participants with their recycling expertise and will organise workshops and meetings as required. At the end of June, the Austrian company will select 1-3 concepts and will agree with the partners on the financial support they can provide for the development of a physical prototype (e.g. by purchasing necessary components and materials, machine hours in a maker space, etc.).
At the end of the program, the Austrian company would like to have a functional, physical prototype for the overall concept of the e-waste box that they can test and develop further. The goal of the Austrian company is to work together on a solution that ultimately can be implemented within their respective business area and with partners as required. This means they are interested in a long-term cooperation as well as the use of new technologies in their products and services more generally.
Cooperation might take place in the frame of a commercial agreement with technical assistance or a technical cooperation agreement but other cooperation agreements could also be considered.