Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute team up with Make It Right to issue a Product Innovation Challenge

Here’s a press release from the Institute about an exciting design challenge:

Design Challenge: Prize Offers $250, 000 to Spur Product Innovation

We’re looking to the design community to help make high-quality, healthy homes available for everyone.

To help inspire innovation in developing healthy building materials for communities in need, the Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute and Make It Right is issuing a Product Innovation Challenge. We’re encouraging manufacturers to design goods for the affordable housing market that are safe for human and environmental health and designed for re-use. And, we are offering $250,000 in prize money for the most innovative solutions, to be announced at Greenbuild 2013.

Here’s the problem: many commonly used building materials contain chemicals that have been linked to cancer, respiratory problems, hormone interference, reproductive and developmental harm. In fact, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that nearly 80,000 chemicals are used in the country today, many of which are unstudied and largely unregulated.

Consumer awareness is increasing and demand for healthier products is growing but often these options are not available for affordable housing and as a result, already economically disadvantaged populations find themselves at a health disadvantage as well.

A recent initiative led by Make It Right (founded by Brad Pitt in 2007), builds healthy homes, buildings and communities for people in need. All Make It Right projects are LEED Platinum certified and Cradle to Cradle inspired – meeting the highest standards of green building.

Because Cradle to Cradle principles are fundamental to Make It Right’s design process, building methods and product selection they select Cradle to Cradle CertifiedCM products whenever possible – but there aren’t enough Certified products to build an affordable house.

Enter the Product Innovation Challenge. The Challenge asks innovators to rethink common materials — such as PVC — and come up with revolutionary new products that can exceed their standards on the basis of price, performance, availability, and human and environmental health.

In addition to the $250,000 prize money, contest winners will receive extras including the support of a Dwell media partnership and special announcement at a Greenbuild 2013 event. Up to 20 runners-up will receive distinction at the event and benefit from a marketing/PR campaign supporting their work.

The application process is rigorous and submissions are due June 30, 2013 – start now – sign up for updates and additional resources or register for a live webinar to learn more:
• February 19, 12:00 pm eastern / 9:00 am pacific
• March 8, 3:00 pm eastern / 12:00 pm pacific
Additional dates will be added.