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The Cathode Ray Tube Challenge: New Uses for Recycled Glass

STATUS: Awarded
POSTED: Nov 11 2011
SOURCE: InnoCentive

The Consumer Electronics Association® seeks to identify financially viable, environmentally-beneficial business models based on the repurposing of recycled CRT glass from used televisions and computer monitors. 

This is an Ideation Challenge with a guaranteed award for at least one submitted solution.


Challenge ID: 9932968
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Challenge Overview

As CRT (Cathode Ray Tube) displays are replaced with newer TV and display technologies, there is a short-term, but immediate environmental need to create new markets for recycled CRT glass. In the past, most used CRT glass collected for recycling was recycled for use in new CRT displays; however, the demand for glass-to-glass recycling of CRT glass has diminished. Many recyclers now have growing stockpiles of CRT glass, and to date no truly feasible market for it has emerged.  In the U.S. alone several hundred million pounds of CRT glass will be collected for recycling in 2012. In California this issue has resulted in a proposal to allow landfilling of the units, a result that would obviate the more environmentally-preferable use of recycled CRT materials. 

The Seeker, the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA)®, is the preeminent trade association promoting growth in the consumer technology industry through technology policy, events, research, promotion and the fostering of business and strategic relationships.CEAalso coordinates the eCycling Leadership Initiative (, the first-ever industry-wide initiative to recycle one billion pounds of electronics annually by 2016 - a more than threefold increase over 2010. In order to deal with the large number of CRTs entering the recycling stream during the coming decade, they are asking Solvers for viable and environmentally sound business models that involve the reuse of used CRT glass. 

This is an Ideation Challenge, which has the following unique features:

  • There is a guaranteed award.  The awards will be paid to the best submission(s) as solely determined by the Seeker. The total payout will be $9,000, with at least one award being no smaller than $5,000 and no award being smaller than $1,000. 
  • The Solvers are not required to transfer exclusive intellectual property rights to the Seeker.  Rather, by submitting a proposal, the Solver(s) grant(s) to the Seeker a royalty-free, perpetual, and non-exclusive license to use any information included in this proposal.

After the Challenge deadline, the Seeker will complete the review process and make a decision with regards to the Winning Solution(s).All Solvers that submitted a proposal will be notified on the status of their submissions; however, no detailed evaluation of individual submissions will be provided.

What is InnoCentive?

InnoCentive is the global innovation marketplace where creative minds solve some of the world's most important problems for cash awards up to $1 million. Commercial, governmental and humanitarian organizations engage with InnoCentive to solve problems that can impact humankind in areas ranging from the environment to medical advancements.

What is an InnoCentive Ideation™ Challenge?

An InnoCentive Ideation™ Challenge is a broad question formulated to obtain access to new ideas, similar to a global brainstorm for producing a breakthrough idea or market survey which may include ideas for a new product line, a new commercial application for a current product, or even a viral marketing idea to recruit new customers. Ideation™ Challenge submissions are typically about two written pages, and Seekers receive a non-exclusive, perpetual license to use all submissions.

In an Ideation™ Challenge, Solvers may:

  • Submit ideas of their own
  • Submit third party information that they have the right to use and further the authority to convey that right and the right to use and develop derivative works to Seekers
  • Submit information considered in the public domain without any limitations on use

Solvers should not reveal any confidential information in their submissions. Often the Ideation™ Challenge will be followed by one or more of the other three Challenge types to further develop the ideas and gain Intellectual Property protection when the concept has been well-defined.

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