ABB contributes to accelerating the creation of circular innovations through its startup challenge


    With a focus on developing customer solutions that help preserve the earth’s natural resources and contribute to a low-carbon society, ABB launched the 2023 ABB Accelerating Circularity Challenge seeking innovative ideas that design out waste and pollution, keep products and materials in use for as much as possible and regenerating the natural system.

    “By 2030, ABB aims to innovate toward new circular business models, covering all stages of the product life cycle,” said Panu Virolainen, Chief Technology Officer at ABB Motion. “The ABB Accelerating Circularity Startup Challenge is an opportunity to attract startups who want to work together with us to lead the way to a circular economy. Together, with their talents and our industry knowledge and domain expertise, we can make a meaningful impact to help preserve the earth’s resources for future generations.”

    1.ABB Motion Drive Products Challenge

    • Take back care of a Variable Speed Drive: enabling effortless upcycling and recycling of ABB drives that meet circularity principles.

    Awarded to Molg from the United States. Molg tackles the growing e-waste problem by making manufacturing circular. The company’s robotic microfactory can autonomously assemble and disassemble complex electronic products like laptop PCs, servers, and industrial electronics. Molg also partners with leading electronics manufacturers to design new products with reuse in mind, ensuring that one product’s end is another’s beginning.

    “Being selected as the winner of the ABB Accelerating Circularity Startup Challenge 2023 for Motion Drive Products thrills us. We look forward to working with the talented and mission-aligned team at ABB as we collectively progress the transition to a more circular economy,” said Rob Lawson-Shanks, CEO and Co-founder of Molg. “The opportunity to bring our Design for Circularity and Molg Microfactory automation technology to leading ABB Motion Drive products is a fantastic chance to work with a great partner and drive impact at scale.”

    2.ABB Motion Services Challenge

    • Keep the track on circularity: Developing a reliable circularity certificate management tool.

    Awarded to Minespider from Switzerland. Minespider, a blockchain traceability platform designed for the green transition, creates greater transparency and circularity in supply chains. By using interactive digital product passports, Minespider facilitates consumer access to comprehensive product lifecycle and environmental impact information.

    In expressing his enthusiasm, Nathan Williams, Founder & CEO of Minespider, highlighted the truly inspiring quality of the competition and emphasized that being recognized among them is a testament to the transformative potential of leveraging emerging technology for a circular economy. He conveyed their thrill at the acknowledgment of their solution and expressed eagerness to commence this collaboration.

    3.ABB Electrification Services Challenge

    • Closing the Loop: Generating Value from Power Distribution End-of-Life was awarded to Excess Materials Exchange by ABB Electrifications Services.

    Awarded to Excess Materials Exchange from the Netherlands. The Excess Materials Exchange (EME) is a digital platform where companies can exchange excess materials and products, aiming to create a more circular and sustainable economy. It functions much like a dating site, matching waste or surplus materials from one company with another company that can use them, thus helping to reduce waste and promote recycling and reuse. By connecting different industries and sectors, EME facilitates the transformation of waste into valuable resources, supporting environmental goals and potentially leading to cost savings for businesses.”

    “We are honored to be recognized by ABB in the Circularity Challenge. This achievement reaffirms our commitment to driving the circular economy forward. By transforming excess into opportunity, we are not just reimagining waste, but also reshaping the future of sustainability. Waste, often seen as a liability, can become a platform for innovation. Together with ABB, we’re proving that a greener, more resource-efficient world is not just a vision, but an achievable reality.” Christian van Maaren, Founder Excess Materials Exchange.

    About ABB Startup Challenge

    Now in its fourth year, the ABB Startup Challenge in collaboration with Microsoft and SynerLeap, has provided a platform for more than 125 starts ups to showcase their innovations. More than 10 winners have gone on to work with ABB to commercialize their offerings, with many of whose who didn’t win still going on to progress their offerings, or working with fellow challengers who they met on their Startup Challenge journey.

    ABB is a technology leader in electrification and automation, enabling a more sustainable and resource-efficient future. The company’s solutions connect engineering know-how and software to optimize how things are manufactured, moved, powered and operated. Building on more than 140 years of excellence, ABB’s ~105,000 employees are committed to driving innovations that accelerate industrial transformation.

    ABB Electrification

    Electrifying the world in a safe, smart and sustainable way, ABB Electrification is a global technology leader in electrical distribution and management from source to socket. As the world’s demand for electricity grows, our 50,000+ employees across 100 countries collaborate with customers and partners to transform how people connect, live and work. We develop innovative products, solutions and digital technologies that enable energy efficiency and a low carbon society across all sectors. By applying global scale with local expertise, we shape and support global trends, deliver excellence for customers and power a sustainable future for society.

    ABB Motion 

    ABB Motion keeps the world turning – while saving energy every day. We innovate and push the boundaries of technology to enable the low-carbon future for customers, industries and societies. With our digitally enabled drives, motors and services our customers and partners achieve better performance, safety and reliability. We offer a combination of domain expertise and technology to deliver the optimum drive and motor solution ​for a wide range of applications in all industrial segments.​Through our global presence we are always close to serve our customers. Building on over 140 years of cumulative experience​ in electric powertrains, we learn and​ improve every day.

    source: ABB



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