Vancouver, B.C., CANADA – November 4, 2020 — Today, Foresight Cleantech Accelerator Centre (Foresight) officially launched SDG (Sustainable Development Goals) Connect, an open innovation challenge for innovators across Canada to solve industry challenges from around the globe. Taking a market-driven approach, the first challenge, offered in partnership with Canada’s Trade Commissioner Service and Vestas Wind Systems — the world’s leading global wind turbine manufacturer — is an open call to technology innovators and startups, asking for innovative solutions that can usher in the next generation of fully-recyclable wind turbine blades.

As part of its sustainability strategy, entitled Sustainability in Everything We Do, Vestas has committed to achieve zero waste wind turbines by 2040, whereby waste production will be eliminated from its value chain. The inaugural SDG Connect challenge will align with this goal by addressing two key milestones in Vestas’ journey towards this goal, replacing unrecyclable blade composite materials, and blade decommissioning.

The challenge calls for innovators to address two key tasks:

Challenge 1 – Turbine Blade Circular Design, Materials

The first official SDG Connect challenge, Vestas’ “Turbine Blade Circular Design, Materials” challenge is an open call to technology innovators and startups to develop:
● advanced materials or design solutions that can be used in Vestas’ next-generation wind turbine blades that will be fully recyclable at end-of-life
● solutions that directly address the blade material milestone within Vestas’ journey towards achieving zero-waste wind turbines by 2040.

Challenge 2 – Turbine Blade Circular Design, Decommissioning

The second task, entitled “Turbine Blade Circular Design, Decommissioning” calls for innovators
to develop:
● solutions for separating materials in decommissioned wind turbine blades
● solutions for making the separated recycled materials applicable for relevant industry

“Addressing blade decommissioning, and the replacement of unrecyclable materials in current blade design are hugely significant milestones in our journey towards eliminating waste from our value chain,” said Lisa Ekstrand, Senior Director and Head of Sustainability at Vestas. “These milestones are indicative of current knowledge gaps across the wind industry, and it’s therefore incredibly exciting for Vestas to be part of the SDG Connect challenge, and to be working closely with Foresight. Pushing the frontiers of innovation is part of our vision at Vestas, and we look forward to working with the entrants to build the next generation of wind turbines.”

Intakes for the Vestas Challenges will be open from November 4, 2020, and close December 4th, 2020. Additional details about the challenge’s criteria, eligibility, and requirements, are available here.

SDG (Sustainable Development Goals) Connect – Solving Global Sustainability Challenges with Canadian Innovations

Foresight’s SDG Connect Challenge Program sources clean technology solutions that align industry innovation with UN Sustainable Development Goals. The SDG Connect program is a structured and simple open innovation challenge that introduces international businesses that are looking to address sustainability challenges to Canadian companies with cleantech solutions. The program is delivered in partnership with the Canadian Trade Commissioner Service.

“Foresight is committed to advancing solutions that align with the UN Sustainable Development Goals and Canada’s Climate Action Plan,” said Jacob Malthouse, Foresight’s VP, Business Development. “The SDG Connect Challenge program helps industry partners uncover bold and scalable industrial applications or solutions that fit into a circular economic model and align with their sustainability plans.”

“The Trade Commissioner Service is excited to partner with Foresight and Vestas to showcase Canadian clean technology expertise and demonstrate what Canada and Denmark can do together in pursuit of the Sustainable Development Goals. This initiative represents an excellent opportunity for Canadian innovators to introduce their solutions to a leading global company and help address its competitive needs in clean and sustainable growth,” said Michael Willmott, Senior Trade Commissioner, Embassy of Canada to the Kingdom of Denmark.

Upcoming Challenges
Details on upcoming challenges can be found here, or sign-up to receive challenge updates and Foresight news.

For more information, please contact:

Astrid Nunez
Foresight, Marketing & Events Manager
604-358-5079
[email protected]

About Foresight Cleantech Accelerator Centre
Foresight is Western Canada’s Cleantech Innovation Centre which supports the identification and validation of cleantech opportunities and the successful commercialization of solutions. We bring together industry, government, academia and technologists to innovate and enable a responsible, more sustainable tomorrow. Find out more at www.foresightcac.com and follow on Twitter @ForesightCAC.

About Vestas
Vestas is pioneering the energy industry on sustainable energy solutions. Vestas designs, manufactures, installs, and services wind turbines across the globe, and with +117 GW of wind turbines in 81 countries, they have installed more wind power than anyone else.

Through their industry-leading smart data capabilities and +104 GW of wind turbines under service, they use data to interpret, forecast, and exploit wind resources and deliver best-in-class wind power solutions. Together with their customers, suppliers and partners, Vestas’ more than 25,000 employees are bringing the world sustainable energy solutions to power a bright future. Find out more at https://www.vestas.com/

About Trade Commissioner Service (TCS)
The Trade Commissioner Service helps Canadian businesses grow by connecting them with its funding and support programs, international opportunities, and its network of Trade Commissioners in more than 160 cities worldwide. Learn more at www.tradecommissioner.gc.ca and follow on Twitter @TCS_SDC, on Facebook at @TCSSDC and on LinkedIn at @tcssdc.

This project has been made possible by the Government of Canada.

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