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Challenge Deconstruction of Textiles

Deconstruction of Textiles

STATUS: Awarded
Active Solvers: 199
Posted: Mar 14 2019
Challenge ID: 9934234
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Textile waste is a worldwide problem and textile recycling has increased dramatically, but there is still a large area for improvement if waste and costs can be reduced and recycled materials can more closely mimic the original virgin material. The Seeker is soliciting new ideas for processes and textile materials that are more easily deconstructed during recycling such that quality of the recycle is improved and total costs of recycling are reduced. 

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


Recycling of textiles mostly consists of either mechanically chopping/shredding the material and reforming the fibers by spinning, or chemically/thermally breaking down the fibers and spinning. Polymeric materials can be recycled and re-extruded as well. In most cases, the resulting fibers are generally shorter than the starting material making it of a lesser quality. For polymeric materials, the extruded material can be very similar to the virgin material, but these recycling processes also use a lot of energy, water and chemicals driving up the cost close and even above the cost of the starting material. This Challenge is looking for new ideas on ways to “deconstruct” textiles such that they are closer to the starting materials in quality and lower in overall costs. Approaches could be to come up with a new starting materials that have deconstruction “built in” or new processes that can easily deconstruct the textiles with higher quality and less costs. All new and unique ideas are welcome.

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 $20,000, with one award being at least $5,000 and no award being smaller than $2,500.
  • The Solvers are not required to transfer exclusive intellectual property rights to the Seeker.  Rather, by submitting a proposal, the Solvers grants to the Seeker a royalty-free, perpetual, and non-exclusive license to use any information included in this proposal.

Submissions to this Challenge must be received by 11:59 PM (US Eastern Time) on April 14, 2019.  Late submissions will not be considered. 

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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