Who has a bio-based alternative for the raw material of our design flower pots?

Challenge info

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Dagen Uur Minuten

Deadline: 08 May 2020
Status: Deadline verlopen
Prijzen(geld): Pilot project + €10.000,- vouchers

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Pilot project + €10.000,- vouchers

deadline verlopen
We want to replace the raw material we use to produce design flower pots with a bio-based alternative. Currently, we use a blend of virgin PE and recycled PE or100% recycled material. With our current volume sitting at 1,200 tonnes per year, it is not cost-effective to use existing bio-based PE alternatives. We are able to make our flower pots from 100% sugarcane, but it is simply not affordable yet. Theoretically, we could turn virtually all bio-based materials into flower pots. We are looking for a more inexpensive solution that still allows us to produce flower pots from a bio-based material.

We have developed our own unique production process based on rotary casting and PE powder. The bio-based raw material will have to be compatible with this production process.

The final raw material must be a workable powder (bio-based PE), which our raw material supplier can process to make it suitable for our flower pots. Price-wise, the new material should be similar to the material we currently use, and it must also have similar properties as our current material, such as a low cycle time, a certain melt flow rate, melting temperature, etc, though certain deviations are permitted. The main requirement is that this new raw material must be 100% bio-based. 


What are we looking for?
A party that, in cooperation with our current raw material supplier, can provide us with a constant flow of an affordable bio-based raw material compatible with rotary casting.

A potential solution might be to extract the required bio-based fibres from (local) waste streams with a negative value, such as solid digestate or roadside grass.


What aren't we looking for?
We are not looking for standard bio-based PE, which is already produced on a large scale. We have already tried this approach, but it makes our product 60% more expensive, which consumers are not (yet) ready to pay.

The bio-based raw material must fit in our current production process, although some improvement of the process is possible. We are not looking to alter or outsource our production process. 

We are looking for a new bio-based PE that can be produced by our current raw material supplier: we are not looking for a new supplier. Collaboration/consultation with our current raw material supplier is required. In return, we can offer our knowledge and experience with regard to the workability of the raw material and our production process.


What's in it for you?
  • An opportunity to launch the solution on the international market. If it works, we could convert our collection to bio-based flower pots immediately.
  • We have a pilot budget (TBD).
  • We can offer a testing environment and technical knowhow (Tilburg plant). 
  • If the pilot works out well for us, we can put you in contact with various other major parties that may also be interested in your solution.
  • Interesting network of cooperation partners.
  • Chance of a follow-up project, opportunity to scale up the pilot, or a lasting partnership after a successful pilot
  • On top of that, you can count on the support of and cooperation with creative, inspiring specialists who will challenge you to keep improving your product.


How can BioVoice benefit you?
An Innovation Contract. After concluding an innovation contract, you can get started with the development process. You'll have access to:
  • funding (€10,000 vouchers, to be spend in the regional ecosystem on, for example, lab- and demo-facilities, NDA or IP advice, etc.)
  • (international) markets
  • knowledge and partners
  • resources and research facilities
  • business and upscaling opportunities
  • and: a launching customer!

The BioVoice programme
BioVoice is an initiative of REWIN West-Brabant, Green Chemistry Campus, the joint Rabobanks of Southwest Netherlands and the province of Noord-Brabant. Together, we want to give innovative entrepreneurs and up-and-coming bio-based/circular talents the space and opportunities to develop and market their idea/product in order to realise our common goal: accelerating the transition to a sustainable economy


Conditions for participation
  • The solution must comply with all applicable laws and legislation, including, specifically, GDPR.
  • Entrants must be able to immediately continue developing the idea if the pilot is successful. 
  • Entrants must be prepared to visit the BioVoice base in Bergen op Zoom, as well as our plant (Tilburg, 1 hour’s drive from Bergen op Zoom) and our raw material supplier (Belgium, 2 hours from Bergen op Zoom) when necessary during the process. 
  • Entrants must be willing to work with Capi and our raw material supplier. 

Your pitch (max 6 pages / 18 slides)
  • Description of the concept:
    Describe your concept as concretely as possible.
  • Description of the pilot:
    Give a short description of what will be needed to make a prototype/set up a pilot and what you will need from us.
  • Team description:
    Give a short description of the company and team that will be working on the pilot.

There are no requirements regarding the type of pitch (presentation/slide deck, letter), but it must be uploaded as a PDF file (landscape or portrait A4) and the file size may not exceed 30 MB). Videos, draft websites, etc. can be included as links. 
Pitches in English are allowed.


Challenge timeline - changed because of corona - read more
  • 2nd March 2020: Challenge launches - open for entries
  • 8th May 2020 - 17.00 uur: Challenge deadline - entries must be submitted before 5 am
  • 15th May 2020 at the latest: Shortlist announcement - Announcement of which start-ups/scale-ups will be invited to introduce and explain their solution 
  • Week of 25th May or 1st of June: Digital introduction talks challengers/entrants + information sessions on IP and NDA's
  • September ‘20: Work sessions, during which challengers & entrants seek to conclude innovation contracts + voucher granting
  • End of September 2020: Closing event - celebrating the innovation contracts and partnerships resulting from the challenge + voucher hand-outs
  • June 2020: Start of development & partnership (pilot)

Questions?
  • Questions regarding the content of this challenge can be asked via the discussion page.
  • More information on the BioVoice programme can be obtained through this pagina.


Background information on Capi Europe
Capi Europe is built entirely around sustainability. In our Dutch production facilities, we have taken the next step towards sustainability by developing our own, unique production process that lets us cut energy consumption by up to 80% compared to traditional rotary casting. We also use this method to produce sustainable flower pots made from recycled materials. These pots are 100% recyclable and have a long lifespan. 

The next step is to make the switch from recycled materials to bio-based materials, and though such a transition is supported by our rotary casting process, it is not yet affordable. SO far, we cannot match the social contribution we wish to make by producing 100% bio-based pots and economic interests. The cheapest/plastic way is bad for society and the environment, while sustainable solutions are not yet commercially viable. Sustainability is important to consumers, but they are not yet prepared to pay a lot more for sustainable products. That is why it is so important that such sustainable options, or bio-based flower pots in our case, are made affordable if we are to make a contribution to society today.

In addition to our dream and ambition to bring people and nature closer together, sustainability and the environment are a global theme that we cannot ignore. Companies play an important role in creating consumer awareness, as does the government. As an innovative company, we are more than happy to take the first step and implement the changes we need in order to contribute to sustainability and the circular economy is high on our agenda.
 
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COVID-19 update

06 April 2020

NL: De coronacrisis raakt de maatschappij en economie hard. Dat laatste geldt in het bijzonder voor mkb’ers en start-ups. We begrijpen goed dat velen van jullie op dit moment vooral bezig zijn met het overeind houden van je business. Omdat we graag zoveel mogelijk ondernemers de kans geven om na te gaan of een van onze challenges voor hen wellicht een extra ijzer in het economische vuur kan betekenen, passen we deze BioVoice ronde aan, waaronder een verlenging van de aanmeldperiode tot naar vrijdag 8 mei 17.00u. Lees meer over de maatregelen die we nemen.

EN: The corona crisis has a major impact on society and the economy, and especially on SMEs and start-ups. We understand that for many of you, your main concern will be to keep your business afloat. Because we would like to give as many entrepreneurs as possible the chance to find out whether our challenges may be just the opportunity they need in today’s challenging times, we have made changes to the current edition of BioVoice, including an extension of the deadline to Friday May 8th. Read more about all the adjustments.

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