Israel’s UBQ Materials has won an innovation award at this year’s South by Southwest (SXSW) event, an annual conference and festival that celebrates progressive and transformative projects in technology, film, education, and culture.
The waste conversion tech firm was selected as a winner in the Speculative Design category at the 24th annual SXSW Innovation Awards, which took place at the Austin Convention Center in Austin, Texas last week. The category weighs design solutions that address challenges and opportunities in the future. The SXSW Innovation Awards highlight the world’s most exciting and promising technological developments.
UBQ Materials won for its signature waste-based 3D filament made with UBQ, the company’s climate positive thermoplastic, which was developed in partnership alongside Plastics App, an R&D company specializing in “tailor-made applicative innovation” for polymers and plastics. Filaments used in 3D printing are thermoplastics, which are plastics (aka polymers) that melt rather than burn when heated, can be shaped and molded, and solidify when cooled. UBQ’s filament brings sustainability to the manufacturing space by substantially reducing the carbon footprint of 3D printing––a space that has typically relied on oil-based thermoplastics.
Founded in 2012, UBQ Materials specializes in converting unsorted landfill-destined waste, including discarded organic matter, into a fully recyclable thermoplastic, effectively closing the loop on municipal and household waste. UBQ is also a recognized climate tech company and currently has partnerships with giants such as Mercedes-Benz, global retail solutions provider Mainetti, PepsiCo, and Arcos Dorados, the world’s largest franchisee of McDonald’s restaurants across Latin America.
“3D printing enables manufacturers across industries the option to design complex products with near-immediate customizations that otherwise might be impossible to produce using conventional manufacturing methods,” said Tato Bigio, co-CEO and co-founder of UBQ Materials. “The use of UBQ™ in the printing filament offers manufacturers the ability to gain the benefits of 3D printing while capitalizing on the reduced carbon footprint enabled by UBQ™. With this innovation, 3D printing may become the most environmentally conscious means of production available. We are thrilled that the SXSW Innovation Awards judging panel recognized this significant achievement and are incredibly proud to have been named the winner in this category.”
Other finalists in the category included Biometric Ignited Solo Blade from SOLO Secure; Coldsnap’s Flash Freeze Premium Ice Cream On-Demand; Katalyst Training System by Katalyst Interactive, Inc; and XEDEC Tri-Screen 2, by Xebec.