The top 5 waste recovery concepts in Wallonia

In autumn 2020, 5 companies from the Liège region were selected to take part in an online bootcamp aimed at developing original value-adding concepts based on challenges specific to their activities or sector.

  • JDC Innovation : Innovative SME active in the manufacture of carbon fibre composite parts, using autoclave moulds and intended for the aeronautical and defence sectors.
  • Ahlstrom-Münksjo : a world leader in fibre-based materials such as non-woven paper, fibreglass cloth, filters, etc.
  • Pacarbel: design and manufacture of paper and non-woven tablecloths for the world of table decoration.
  • Les Ateliers Jean Del’cour : An adapted work company offering its skills in services as diverse as packing and packaging, cabling, machining, welding and maintenance of green spaces.
  • L’Atelier Les Gaillettes : Adaptive work company offering services in packaging, woodworking and carpentry, metal and plastic work and epoxy applications.

La méthode de travail proposée à ces entreprises s’est appuyée sur la formation d’équipes multidisciplinaires, composées d’étudiants en design industriel (ESA St Luc Liège) et en entrepreneuriat (HEC Advisory), sous la supervision de designers et avec les apports ponctuels d’experts en technologies et business development.

©Yellow Window, facilitator of the bootcamp

Teams that distinguished themselves over a 3-day course interspersed with design thinking tools and methods (co-creation and collective intelligence), which enabled them to identify the needs and challenges specific to SMEs and to rapidly transform ideas into concrete solutions (creativity with purpose). The concepts resulting from the teams’ intensive work over 3 full days were presented to an external jury of circular economy experts.

5 concepts sur les 10 formulés dans le cadre du bootcamp ont été sélectionnés pour être développés en prototypes, sur base de leur faisabilité technique, de leur potentiel commercial et de l’intégration du design.

JDC Innovation’s carbon fibre waste becomes the base material for a modular medical orthosis concept proposed by the students of the team challenged by Bryan Stepien, industrial designer and director of Relab in Liege.

Using the non-woven paper waste generated by Ahlström-Munksjo, the team led by Jean-Michel Denis, industrial designer at tds, proposed a Thermofloc® insulation solution.

Avec la sciure de bois produite par L’Atelier Les Gaillettes, l’équipe accompagnée par Simon Frémineur, designer produit chez SF Design Studio, propose de développer un concept d’allume-feu pouvant être fabriqué par le personnel de cette entreprise de travail adapté grâce à un process adapté et low tech. Particularité de ce projet : il recourt également aux déchets issus de 2 autres entreprises : des déchets de papier compressé et de papier paraffiné.

Using waste paper from Pacarbel’s activities, the team led by Jean-François Parisse, industrial designer at Ideasign, has developed a concept for tableware. This concept needs to be reoriented and other applications (without food contact) need to be identified.

The green space maintenance activity of Ateliers Jean Del’cour generates a large quantity of green waste, in addition to cardboard waste from the packaging activity. At the same time, the considerable needs of SMEs for compost inspired the team accompanied by Romy Di Donato, industrial designer at Romy Design Studio, to develop a process for creating internal composts within companies. Reoriented with the help of UCLL students, the concept also aims to use the heat from the compost to heat a small infrastructure within the SME (biomeiler).

The selection… and after?

Once again, techno/business/design teams will accompany companies over a period of several months as part of an innovation process. Some concepts will be developed in collaboration with STEAM students.

In parallel, a new selection of companies will take place during September 2021 for a new bootcamp cycle (innovation pathway 2021-2022). If you are interested in this approach, please contact Wallonie Design or fill in this online form so that our partner Eklo can contact you.