Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.
As a consequence of frequent flooding issues (due to natural disasters, high population density and geographical situation), the Bangladeshi flotilla is the biggest in the world. Recently, safer boats made out of imported fiberglass have replaced less resistant traditional wooden boats,a change which impacts the local economy and the environment. In 2013, we produced the FIRST100% natural fibers boat “Gold of Bengal”, with a team of 20 people in a local shipyard! Inaugurated in the Jute Minister's presence, it has been tried outduring an expedition to Indonesia. Apart from its huge promotion impact (thanks to the awarded movie we made), this innovative prototype showed the viability of the material.
Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Also describe the projected future impact for the coming years.
Thanks to our involvements during international trade shows, conferences, TV-program (5M audience), and to partnerships set up with university programs to introduce the jute fiber in scientific research, GOB’s work has already significantly improved public awareness on the jute sector and agro-composites. Our activities have launched two businesses, and about 20 have been made by international clients, apart from our own prototypes.
We have launched three innovative reinforcements with 2 Jute mills and we are currently transferring one of the technologies to a new local business. Our future activities will allow new business opportunities in the jute sector, strengthening existing ones while facilitating the access to more appropriated and responsible products. Finally, the introduction of a natural alternative to synthetics fibers will lead to a lower global ecological footprint!
Spread Strategies: Moving forward, what are the main strategies for scaling impact?
The full impact will expand correlatively with the share of natural fibers in the composite market, which is to reach 22% (11% today, $2,1b) in 2020 according to the JEC group because of energetic industrial challenges and new environmental regulations. As a highly resistant, cheap and abundant material, the jute fiber has a great potential to become a big share of this emerging market.
GOB's applied R&D and innovative products development could be replicated in other areas where ancestral fibers, such as abaca, coco, flax, sisal, kenaf .are grown, in order to provide sustainable outlets.