Cradle to Cradle Product Innovation Challenge


Make It Right has partnered with the Cradle to Cradle Innovation Institute in announcing a competition to inspire product innovation. The $250,000 in cash prizes will be awarded to companies that are working on viable products in the realm of affordable building and construction products that are safe for human and environmental health.

To learn more, read the announcement from the Cradle to Cradle Innovation Institute below, and go to our Laboratory page on Cradle to Cradle to read FAQs relating to the challenge.

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

We’re looking to the manufacturing and 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 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 special event at Greenbuild 2013. 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—please check the website for registration.

Click here for contest details and official rules.

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  1. Hi, there seems to be a problem with the link above. When I clicked on it on my MacBook it took me to a page within the Make It Right website that said whoops this page doesn’t exist. I did find the right page by copying and pasting the link; but clicking on it didn’t work for me.

    Rob Wheeler
    Circular Economy Campaign
    robwheeler22 @