News - September 2, 2020

The Solar Impulse Foundation and its partners launch the Innovation Challenges

Written by Tristan Lebleu 5 min read

A new initiative to support our community of innovators and help our partners achieve their environmental targets. 

Since the launch of Solar Impulse Efficient Solutions Label, the Solar Impulse Foundation has been building a portfolio of innovative technologies that protect the environment in a profitable way. Since then, over 680 solutions have been granted the award for their positive ecological and economic impact. Our goal is to show the profitability of clean technologies to decision-makers in business and government and urge them to adopt more ambitious environmental goals. But urging is not enough. Our mission statement - “Boosting the adoption of profitable solutions to protect the environment” - encourages us to go beyond promoting these technologies, and making sure they’re implemented and scaling their impact.

This is why we are launching the Innovation Challenges together with our corporate partners.

What are the Innovation Challenges?

In an open letter published in June 2020, the Solar Impulse Foundation Partners committed to a clean economic recovery. “We, the Solar Impulse Foundation and the corporations who support it, do not simply wish for a more sustainable world; we commit to implementing it ourselves through very concrete actions” said the CEOs of 12 major businesses from around the world. The Innovation Challenges are part of such concrete actions.

Whether they need to reduce the use of single use plastics, implement more circularity in their industrial processes, or reduce their carbon emissions, partners of the Solar Impulse Foundation are turning to the innovation ecosystem to support their environmental targets. 

Through this collaborative approach, our corporate partners are looking for solutions which they can implement in their operations and/or with whom they will form technological partnerships. New challenges will be unveiled approximately every month and will be targeted on very specific aspects of the partners’ activities (see a full list of our partners) 

How can solutions apply to the Innovation Challenges?

Solutions will:

  • express their interest by registering to the selected challenge;

  • apply to the Solar Impulse Efficient Solutions Label;

  • (If labelled) be introduced to the corporate partner;

  • (If selected by the partner) have the opportunity to work with the partner on a POC (Proof of Concept) or a pilot project.

What is the first Innovation Challenge?

The first Innovation Challenge is "Continuing the adoption of single use plastic alternatives" launched with Air France, one of the world's leading air carriers.

Air France is committed to reducing its environmental impact and limiting the use of single use plastic on board their flights.This initiative is already well on its way as Air France has already replaced all plastic cutlery, water and soft drinks cups and stirrers with cellulose based materials. 

So far the french airline has replaced 210 millions items previously made out of single use plastic.

As part of Air France objective to eliminate 80% of SUP on board flights by 2025, there is still the challenge of finding a bio-based alternative to the plastic glasses still used to serve wine and champagne in economy class. Are you up for solving this single use plastic challenge!

Do you have an alternative to replace a single use plastic product found on board an aircraft?


Written by Tristan Lebleu on September 2, 2020

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