UCL Institute for Sustainable Resources


ISR Director's policy proposal chosen as LAUNCH innovator

17 October 2017

Policy proposal by ISR Director Professor Paul Ekins chosen as one of eight 2017 LAUNCH Innovators in Design and Manufacturing.


A proposal to improve resource management in business devised by Professor Paul Ekins has been chosen as a 2017 LAUNCH Innovator in Design and Manufacturing, in recognition of its transformative and disruptive potential for a more circular economy.

Chosen from more than 100 entries, Professor Ekin's proposal consists of a new policy that companies only sell the lifetime services of their products but retain ownership of the materials. The innovation would solve the following resource management problems:

  1. companies that put products on the market do not think about how the materials in them will be managed at their end of life;
  2. consumers have responsibility for disposing of these products but they know nothing about how they are constructed, what materials they contain or how these material can or should be recovered;
  3. no-one has the financial incentive to recover these materials and re-purpose them at least cost.

What happens next

The top eight innovators, including Professor Ekins, will present their innovation to members of the LAUNCH network at the LAUNCH Forum in November 2017. The Forum is a facilitated multi-day event connecting innovators with market leaders, technical experts, NGO’s, and public sector actors committed to accelerating the adoption and scale of solutions.

The acceleration includes one-on-one mentorship, access to market partners, and facilitated opportunities for investment with LAUNCH partners and others.


LAUNCH seeks to accelerate the transition to a more sustainable society through open innovation, industry collaboration, and global systems mobilization. To meet this goal, we support and engage a global eco-system of innovators and pioneering organisations with the potential to create the shift towards a circular economy.