InnoCentive partners with Habitat for Humanity to find innovative solutions for sustainable construction and demolition waste management

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Global nonprofit uses open innovation firm to proactively address the estimated 2.2 billion tons of debris the construction industry will generate by 2025

London, United Kingdom. 17 November, 2020 – Open innovation firm InnoCentive is supporting global housing nonprofit Habitat for Humanity in a new challenge that will run until 25 January 2021. The goal of the Improved Construction and Demolition Waste Management challenge is to find solutions to drive widespread re-use and recycling of construction and demolition (C&D) waste.

The challenge focuses on the first steps of utilising C&D waste, which includes estimation and segregation of waste material and the initial logistics of waste utilisation in the construction supply chain. Proposals to manage this process will be sought from InnoCentive’s global network of nearly 500,000 registered expert problem ‘solvers’, comprised of engineers, PhD students, CEOs, start-ups, material experts, scientists and business leaders.

"This challenge has immense potential to reduce the use of natural resources, keep large volumes of waste from entering the environment, and generate new sources of income for housing from the creation of green building material," said Patrick Kelley, vice president of Habitat for Humanity’s Terwilliger Center for Innovation in Shelter. "Finding new ways to re-use and recycle construction waste is an economically viable way to help communities become more sustainable and we are excited to see all of the innovative ideas the 'solvers' suggest to achieve this."

A recent study revealed that the construction industry will produce 2.2 billion tons of construction debris by 2025. India, where the primary focus for this challenge is, contributes a significant volume of this waste, an amount expected to grow exponentially over time due to rapid urbanisation and the resulting construction of urban housing. India’s rapid urbanisation has led to a shortfall of 10-12 million homes in urban areas, with an additional 26-37 million urban households living in informal, inadequate housing. Using the construction and demolition waste as a potential source for building materials felt like a natural step to address these deficiencies, Kelley said.

This challenge is the second in a series of four. The first challenge in the series– Increasing Resilience to Earthquakes and Typhoons for Homes with no Foundations– which seeks innovative and cost-effective ways to retrofit houses with weak foundations in the Philippines, is still live and will run until 05 January 2021.

InnoCentive’s partner SeaFreight Labs, the crowdsourcing consultancy delivering solutions to the global seafreight community, is supporting each of the four challenges. This is the result of SeaFreight Labs’ decision to join the Pledge 1% movement, in which organisations commit 1% of product / profit / employee time / equity to help the nonprofit organization of their choice.

"Crowd-solving can be used on a tremendous range of problem types, can be used to generate new thinking about long-standing issues that have had little R&D focus and is well suited to helping Habitat with this challenge," said Harry Sangree, Founder and CEO of SeaFreight Labs. "We are excited to do an ideation challenge with Habitat. Their prior challenge was a 'Reduce-to-Practice', so this one will highlight the full range of value found in crowd-solving."

In July 2020 InnoCentive was acquired by UK idea management firm Wazoku, creating the world’s most comprehensive and powerful innovation platform and global Solver community.

"This is another highly significant challenge for Habitat for Humanity and one that will have a vast and positive impact on both the environment and construction industry in India," said Simon Hill, CEO, Wazoku. "The InnoCentive crowd has a proven track record in finding solutions to such challenges and it’s a privilege for our crowd and platform to be used in such a way."

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For further information about Wazoku, please visit https://www.wazoku.com

For further information about InnoCentive, please visit https://www.innocentive.com/

For further information about SeaFreight Labs, please visit https://www.seafreightlabs.com/

For further information about Habitat for Humanity, please visit https://www.habitat.org/

PR Contact:

Paul Allen – Rise PR

+ 44 (0) 7515 199 487 / paul@risepr.co.uk

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