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by نادي اسكندرية للفنون والحرف اليدوية و التراثية
Do you have innovative methods to process paper, to become as hard as cardboard and malleable plastic, to be used in decorative products and other applications? Can you provide an economic and environment-friendly alternative?
A call for chemists, material science engineers, paper technology and recycling specialists to provide new, low-cost and environment-friendly methods for ordinary paper treatment to be used in ornamentation and decorative products.The winning solution will be awarded 12,000 EGP, offered by the Academy of Scientific Research and Technology, to apply the method in collaboration with the Solution Seeker.
In recent years, the prices of cardboard and plastic have significanlty increased leading to an increase in the cost of products depending on them as raw materials. In addition, plastic causes many environmental problems, so it became necessary to find suitable alternatives at a lower cost and matching quality. Many countries started using paper leftovers to produce a material with similar properties to cardboard and some types of plastic thus providing an eco-friendly alternative  .
Egypt, like many countries, faces the same problem of finding alternatives to cardboard and plastic that are eco-friendly and affordable at the same time . In addition, this challenge negatively affects many econmic activities that depend on such raw materials and thus reduce the income of many indviduals.
This challenge was raised by Alexandria Club for Arts, Hand Crafts and Heritage, which supports women working from homes and people with special needs, through marketing the products they make out of cardboard such as decorative pieces, accessories and ornamentation. However, the increased cost of raw materials led to a decline in the sales of their products, many times forcing them to use cheaper raw materials which affects the overall quality of their products.
The challenge is to find an innovative and affordable alternative to cardboard and some types of plastic that combines the characteristics of both, in terms of, hardness, water resistance and the ability to be cut, folded, shaped and colored . The winning solution will contribute to reducing the cost of the products using cardboard or plastic as a raw material, thus increasing their competitive advantage in the local market and abroad, providing great economic opportunities and at the same time avoiding many environmental issues over the long term.
The alternative may be in the form of a method of treating ordinary paper, creating a new material from paper leftovers or providing another alternative so that the final product achieves the following conditions and characteristics:
- Can be cut and folded;
- It maintains its shape and cohesion even after being colored or manipulated;
-It does not absorb the colors used, e.g. water-based colors, and keeps them bright;
- Compatible with different coloring tools;
- Thickness and weight are proportional to its use in the decoration and accessories prodcution (thickness from 237 to 342 microns, weight: 300 grams per square meter);
- The cost of a sheet of the final prodcut does not exceed 9 EGP;
- The final product is biodegradable (prefered).
A winning solution will be awarded 12,000 EGP, provided by the Academy of Scientific Research and Technology, according to the following conditions:
The solution should meet the aforementioned criteria;
Provides a detailed description of the product in terms of components, production method, shape, etc.;
The solution should include a clear plan of action including implementation stages, timeline, required tools/materials, estimated budget, and technical support required (if applicable);
The reward will be given in installments, in accordance to milestones set by the innovator(s) according to their plan of action;
Part of the reward will be dedicated to perform different tests to ensure the quality of the final product such as the Tear-Resistance test, the Dynamic Absorption test, the Double Folding test etc,
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