Photo: Nordic Surface
The winner chosen in an innovation competition for sustainable alternatives to artificial turf
Yesterday, the winner was named in IVL's innovation competition, which has aimed to find sustainable and natural alternatives to artificial turf used in school and preschool yards. It was the company Nordic Surface with its product "Corkeen Play Original" consisting of a cork-based material that took home the profit.
– The win is proof that we thought right when we chose to develop products for sustainable playgrounds, says Erik Wallén-Widell, CEO of Nordic Surface.
The innovation competition has been arranged by IVL with funding from the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency and is part of the work with sustainable plastic use. The final itself was held at a live webinar where the three finalists previously nominated by a review group participated and presented their ideas to a jury.
The finalists – Nordic Surface, Capillary Concrete and Turfs – had to answer questions about their solutions; a cork-based material, a rubber granulate-free solution that uses capillary force for irrigation from below and a modular system solution that captures microplastics through smart drainage systems.
The winning contribution from Nordic Surface consists of cork where the company takes advantage of what is left over from other types of cork production and thus reduces waste and waste in cork production.
The jury's motivation for the win was “A very good presentation of a solution that can solve the challenge of moving away from microplastics. For playgrounds, it is an exciting material both visually but also tactilely. We look forward to following a further development to take the solution with a natural material to the next level ”.
The jury consisted of Marie Fossum Strannegård, CEO of IVL Swedish Environmental Institute, Åsa Stenmarck, national plastics coordinator at the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency, Johan Almesjö, CEO of Allmännyttan's purchasing function HBV and Erik Borälv, administrator at Vinnova.
– We hope that this competition and the final seminar have shown that there are good nature-based solutions for playgrounds and that these ideas can come out and have an impact on the market, says Mikael Olshammar, project manager at IVL.