ABB accelerating creation of circular innovations through startup challenge

ABB's commitment to fostering a low-carbon society and preserving natural resources is evident in its 2023 ABB Accelerating Circularity Challenge.

This initiative invites startups to propose innovative solutions that align with circular economy principles, focusing on waste reduction, extending product lifecycles, and rejuvenating natural systems.

“By 2030, ABB aims to innovate toward new circular business models, covering all stages of the product life cycle,” said Panu Virolainen, Chief Technology Officer at ABB Motion. “The ABB Accelerating Circularity Startup Challenge is an opportunity to attract startups who want to work together with us to lead the way to a circular economy. Together, with their talents and our industry knowledge and domain expertise, we can make a meaningful impact to help preserve the earth’s resources for future generations.”

The challenge encompassed various categories, with awards given to startups offering outstanding solutions:

  • ABB Motion Drive Products Challenge: Molg, a United States-based company, won this challenge with its approach to e-waste. Molg's robotic microfactory autonomously assembles and disassembles complex electronics, with a focus on designing products for reuse. Rob Lawson-Shanks, CEO and Cofounder of Molg, expressed excitement about collaborating with ABB and applying their technology to ABB Motion Drive products.
  • ABB Motion Services Challenge: Minespider from Switzerland received recognition for its blockchain-based traceability platform. This platform enhances transparency and circularity in supply chains through digital product passports. Nathan Williams, Founder & CEO of Minespider, remarked on the honour of participating and winning in such a competitive environment.
  • ABB Electrification Services Challenge: The Netherlands' Excess Materials Exchange (EME) was awarded for its digital platform that facilitates the exchange of excess materials and products. "We are honored to be recognised by ABB in the Circularity Challenge. This achievement reaffirms our commitment to driving the circular economy forward. By transforming excess into opportunity, we are not just reimagining waste, but also reshaping the future of sustainability. Waste, often seen as a liability, can become a platform for innovation. Together with ABB, we're proving that a greener, more resource-efficient world is not just a vision, but an achievable reality." Christian van Maaren, Founder Excess Materials Exchange.

Since its inception, the ABB Startup Challenge, in collaboration with Microsoft and SynerLeap, has provided a platform for over 125 startups, with more than ten winners progressing to commercialise their offerings in partnership with ABB. The challenge not only recognises winners but also fosters a network of collaboration among participants, leading to further progress in their ventures.

This initiative exemplifies ABB's dedication to promoting sustainable and innovative solutions in the industry, aligning with the global shift towards a more sustainable and circular economy.