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iFixit EU researchers win the Ralf Dahrendorf Prize for their contributions to a more sustainable world of electronics

iFixit EU researchers win the Ralf Dahrendorf Prize for their contributions to a more sustainable world of electronics
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Sleek looks are the norm for mobile electronics, but their cost is high. Glue and non-removable components make repairs unnecessarily difficult, and citizens are flooded with short-lived devices. How can we do better? Could we define new baselines for future product designs? A consortium of European organisations including iFixit's European advocacy team set to work to find answers to these and other pressing questions. The team's contribution to the research project sustainablySMART, and the work of its partner organizations from eight European countries, has now been awarded with the Ralf Dahrendorf Prize for outstanding collaborative research at the European level.

iFixit believes in the importance of maintaining repair knowledge, in local neighbourhoods and in worldwide communities. “With our website, we have created a place on the web where people can share and exchange their repair knowledge”, says Matthias Huisken, Managing Director of iFixit Europe. “Making progress in this regard is vital. Only when many minds work together across countries, can we find answers to societal challenges—to the smaller ones, like mending stuff we already own, or to bigger challenges, like improved repairability and sustainable product design. This is why we've engaged in several EU-funded research projects over the years.”

From 2015 to 2019, the team participated in the European research partnership sustainablySMART which is gathered under the leadership of the Fraunhofer Institute for Reliability and Microintegration. sustainablySMART advocates for repair- and reuse-friendly product design, and its goal was to create demonstrable solutions in sustainable electronics. iFixit Europe’s research team contributed by creating a validated scoring method that allows to reproducibly rank smartphones and other mobile devices—for example based on how accessible critical components are, or whether spare parts and repair information are available.

The method is a scientifically substantiated set of criteria that can help to incentivize and support product design for repair, reuse and remanufacturing. “Guidelines like this are crucial for accelerating the EU’s innovation process towards Green Tech and climate neutrality”, Huisken adds. “The outcomes of sustainablySMART deliver valuable input, and it’s an honor to be rewarded with the Ralf-Dahrendorf-Prize—especially considering its noble basic idea: a person with knowledge should share it. We really couldn’t agree more.”

About iFixit

iFixit is the go-to online community for repair, showing millions of people around the globe how to repair things as diverse as phones, laptops, consoles, or coffee makers. More than 70,000 step-by-step guides are freely available on ifixit.com—alongside specialty tools and spare parts for common electronics repairs. The platform was founded by Kyle Wiens and Luke Soules in 2003, and while dedicated techwriting teams at iFixit write many of the tutorials, its wiki-based structure also allows hobby tinkerers and community fixers to share their repair knowledge.

Contact for inquiries:

Dorothea Kessler | Communications Manager

iFixit Europe | Tränkestr. 7 | 70597 Stuttgart, Germany

E-Mail: eupress [at] ifixit.com

Website: ifixit.com