Circular Design Challenge Competition teams selected

The Circular Design Challenge Competition launched by Aalto University, Geological Survey of Finland GTK, Natural Resources Institute Luke, Finnish Environment Institute SYKE and VTT in May collected altogether 26 cross-organizational ideas. Nine teams received funding to develop their idea into a concept or proposal.
Photo Valeria Azovskaya: Wood based material

“We received concrete product ideas to meet the needs of today as well as ideas that will need time and wide collaboration in the value chain to mature to practical concepts. We hope to attract the interest of the stakeholder collaborators,” says Executive Vice President Jussi Manninen from VTT.

The chosen Circular Design Challenge teams are:

  • Stack2Recycle (Aalto University, SYKE and VTT) will develop a packaging concept designed from polymer to customer to recyclable material for minimized CO2 emissions.
  • Hopsista (Luke, VTT) is developing the brewing side stream of hops into packaging and other applications.
  • The Birkewolle (Aalto University, Luke, VTT and SYKE) will work on a solution for a transparent textile value chain.
  • The DOOMED (GTK and VTT) will develop a concept for mine waste utilization mimicking the natural mineral weathering process.
  • The Circular Indicators Toolbox (VTT, Aalto University and SYKE) will work on a digital toolbox for extended life cycle designs.
  • The Virtual Zero Waste Agrofood System (VTT, Luke and SYKE) will work on a system outlook to identify resource leakage and new circular opportunities.
  • The Clothing Circulator (Aalto University and VTT) will develop a concept towards a data driven service platform for consumers that want to dress sustainably.
  • The High Purity Metal Extraction Using Plasma and Magnetic Spectrometry (Aalto University, GTK VTT and SYKE) will develop a solution for metals recovery from a wide variety of wastes.
  • The Sustainable Growing Medium for Global Greenhouse Production (GTK, Luke, VTT and SYKE) will work on a compostable growth medium based on secondary fiber and a mineral side stream. 

The teams will now start developing the ideas to concepts and proposals with the support of the funding. They will pitch their proposals based on the ideas to interested stakeholders on 26th November 2020 in a hybrid event.

“In the next development phase towards circularity, we need to understand the system level gaps and needs and build new approaches that hit these spots. Stakeholders are warmly welcome and needed in the work and to join the event,” says the competition lead, Co-Creation Manager Inka Orko from VTT.

The purpose of the idea competition is to encourage co-innovation towards multidisciplinary and cross-sectoral circular-by-design ideas and concepts, combining business, technology, sustainability and regulatory aspects. With the competition, the partners aim to identify disruptive and holistic circular business opportunities and practices and invite the stakeholders to co-create.

The thematic areas of the competition are packaging, textiles, minerals and metals, food systems, batteries, and construction. The competition is part of the organizations’ joint Circular Design network initiative.

The winning ideas were selected by an internal cross-organizational jury. The criteria included feasibility of the idea, novelty and disruption potential, circular design elements, and potential to create new collaboration.

To follow the cases, save the date for Circular Innovation Fair pitching and networking event on 26th November, 2020 at 13.00-17.00. The event will be organized as a side event of Sitra's World Circular Economy Forum 2020, in Helsinki:

See also:


Further information:

Aalto University: Virve Karttunen, [email protected]

Geological Survey of Finland GTK: Asko Käpyaho, [email protected]

Natural Resources Institute Finland Luke:  Anu Kaukovirta, a[email protected]

Finnish Environment Institute SYKE: Tuuli Myllymaa, [email protected]

VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland: Jonne Hirvonen, [email protected]

General info: Inka Orko, [email protected]

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