Growth Garage Challenge 2022

The Circular Economy

Discover the complete guide for all entrepreneurs who want to join the challenge and bring their idea to the next level!
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Circular Economy Challenge 2022

The Opportunity

Growth Garage is a business accelerator program from the Advanced Materials Division of Mitsubishi Chemical Group (MCG). Our mission is to support and grow new ideas using our technologies and advanced engineering materials to help tackle some of today’s most significant engineering challenges.

 

Growth Garage - in partnership with Wevolver - is inviting engineers, designers, entrepreneurs, innovators, start-ups, companies and students to submit their ideas, technologies, products and services as part of the 2022 Circular Economy Challenge. 


In our current Economy, we take materials from the Earth, make products from them, and eventually throw them away as waste – the process is linear. In a Circular Economy, by contrast, we stop waste being produced in the first place. A Circular Economy decouples economic activity from the consumption of finite resources. It is a resilient system that is good for business, people and the environment.” https://ellenmacarthurfoundation.org/

 

We are looking for innovators throughout the plastics circular economy who want to make use of advanced low carbon footprint engineering plastics or have developed innovative recycling technologies for advanced engineering plastics.

The winners of the challenge are invited to participate in a pilot program with Mitsubishi Chemical Advanced Materials to take their idea to the next level. The total value of this program is $25,000. 

 

The challenge is looking for participants in two key areas: 

1. Recycling Technology

2. Products & Parts. 

Category 1

Recycling Technology

Mechanical and/or chemical recycling is key to produce sustainable thermoplastic polymers, minimize landfill, close-the-loop, and facilitate the implementation of the Circular Economy.

Are you an innovator that has developed technology that enables the recycling of engineering plastics or improves their recycling process?  Does your technology improve the efficiency of mechanical recycling (collecting, identification, sorting, cleaning, grinding, regranulation, etc), or is a novel chemical or physical recycling technology?

Submission requirements:

  • Are you able to test materials provided by Mitsubishi Chemical Advanced Materials?
  • Have you previously tested customer materials?
Category 2

Parts and Products

Are you a product designer that works within or wants to join the circular economy? Have you designed, developed, or manufactured products or parts with low carbon footprint engineering plastics for the circular economy?

Submission requirements:

  • Do you have parts or applications that are manufactured from thermoplastic polymers via CNC machining, injection molding, or 3D Printing (FFF) and have the intention to reduce the carbon footprint of the products/parts?
  • Secondly, you have (or intend to) implement a circular business model and are looking for a partner that supports the recycling of the thermoplastic polymer waste from production (cut-offs, swarfs, runners, etc.) or even after recollecting your products/parts end-of-life. 
Our Judging Criteria

Find out what we're looking for

These are the main criteria each jury member focus on when judging each submission. All ideas are objectively analyzed and carefully considered.

Feasibility

While we applaud imaginative thinking, your idea needs to also be a realistic proposal that makes the most innovative use of our materials and technologies.

feasibility

Scalability

We're looking for fresh ideas from entrepreneurial businesses that are ready to scale up but may still need some support.

scalability

Circularity

Our commitment towards circular economy means that every entry will be judged on how much of a positive impact it can make on the environment.

circular economy
What's in it for the winners of the challenge

Winner categories

Challenge winners program

Challenge Winner

(Valued at $ 25,000)

As a winning Growth Garage challenger, our engineers will work in collaboration with you to: 

  • Help you access and select the right materials
  • Assist in designing and prototyping your parts
  • Guide you through the testing and production of a functional prototype 
  • Advise you on production planning and how best to scale up your ideas
  • Assess and improve the sustainability and recycling potential of your project to help create zero waste
  • Help you scale up your idea with potential future co-branding activities and access to our wider partner ecosystem
  • Raise additional funding through our VC investment partner, Diamond Edge Ventures

Wevolver Community Winner

(Valued at $ 10,000)

As the Wevolver community winner, our engineers will work in collaboration with you to: 

  • Help you access and select the right materials
  • Assist in designing and prototyping your parts
  • Guide you through the testing and production of a functional prototype 
  • Advise you on production planning and how best to scale up your ideas
  • Assess and improve the sustainability and recycling potential of your project to help create zero waste
  • Help you scale up your idea with potential future co-branding activities and access to our wider partner ecosystem
  • Raise additional funding through our VC investment partner, Diamond Edge Ventures

Student Award Winner

(Valued at $ 5,000)

The winning student will receive mentoring and support from MCAM engineers and business leaders.

The student prize package includes:

  • Designer profile on the MCAM Growth Garage site.
  • Profile on Wevolver.com
  • Design feedback and suggestions
  • Material selection support.
  • Mentoring to create a viable business plan
  • Official certificate from Mitsubishi Chemical Advanced Material.

Practical Information

We compiled for you assets and feedback moments to better understand the challenge requirements. Feel free to download the entry pack and join the webinars. It's easy, simpel and totally free.

Challenge Entry Pack

To better understand if this challenge is for you we have compiled an Entry Pack that goes deeper into the requirements of the challenge, provides entry checklists to ensure a strong submission as well as feedback and tips from previous challenge winners.

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Circular Economy Challenge Webinar

ON-DEMAND WEBINAR

This on-demand webinar will provide a deeper overview of the Circular Economy Challenge including details on the role of Growth Garage, Mitsubishi Chemical Europe and Wevolver. It will also include an introduction to Circular Economy as well as hints and tips on putting together a strong submission.

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The Circular Economy Webinar

ON-DEMAND WEBINAR

In this webinar, Dr. Lisa Weigand from Mitsubishi Chemical Europe will outline the importance of the circular economy and how the company is working to accelerate its implementation.

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Early bird submissions

Submit to the challenge before Sunday 22 April 2022 midnight, and Growth Garage engineers will review your entry for feedback and direction. You can then adjust your design and re-enter your submission.
Of course you still can submit at any other moment as the final closure date for this challenge is 22 May 2022.

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experts panel and jury members

Get to know the jury team

Dr. Lisa Weigand.jpg
Dr. Lisa Weigand Advisor Circular Economy Mitsubishi Chemical Europe
Bram Geenen.JPG
Bram Geenen CEO and Co-founder WeVolver
Dr. Peter Walde.jpg
Dr. Peter de Walde Founder & CEO, Empowering innovators to stay ahead of the curve in a fast-paced world MAPEGY
LR-Jules Harings.jpg
Jules Harings Associate Professor & Group leader Macromolecular Physics & Technology at AMIBM / Maastricht University Maastricht University
Henning Bloech.jpg
Henning Bloech Global Director Sustainable Solutions Mitsubishi Chemical Advanced Materials
Tim Vorage Innovation.jpg
Tim Vorage Founder and Manager Growth Garage Mitsubishi Chemical Advanced Materials
Randy White MCAM.jpg
Randy White Chief Innovation Officer Mitsubishi Chemical Advanced Materials
Simon McEvoy.jpg
Simon McEvoy UK Head of Strategy & UX // Marketing Academy Alumni Council // B Corp B Leader // Speaker & Author Omobono
Photo Mark Geljon.jpeg
Mark Geljon Customer Experience leader, change maker and social entrepreneur GRIDD
Andy Rudd.jpg
Andy Rudd Global New Business Development Manager Mitsubishi Chemical Methacrylates
Stefan Schnippering.jpg
Stefan Schnippering Venture Associate, PHD Diamond Edge Ventures