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The digital marketplace: Atkins

The idea is a public digital platform for the lending, leasing, giving and exchange of products free of charge.

The platform would be accessible from a smartphone application, a mobile web page as well as from the internet through a computer.

The idea was the result of brainstorming activities and discussions at Atkins’ Stockholm office. It took a while before we realised this was the idea to work on. What we finally realised was that, when implemented, people will think “why didn’t I come up with this idea?”

In order to make it commercially viable, strategic and ambitious, efforts must be aimed at different target groups. Samsa members – the clients – can use their own staff to market it through social media, or place advertisements in the press, information at events and posters at schools, markets, waiting rooms and so on. Campaigns can also be made for marketing the platform during seasonal holidays. One fun idea is to market ‘the big toy exchange day’ the day after Christmas Day, for example.

When using the platform, people will be able to put up adverts, respond to adverts and search for products. The first hit in the results list will show the geographically nearest available product to the user, based on co-ordinate positions.

Through communication channels, the parties may then agree to, for example, exchange products and decide on how to meet to make the exchange.

The effect it would have is that more products would be available for people with different needs, and our vision is that this can lead to more integration between people in different neighbourhoods. People would be aware that they do not have to buy new things in every given situation.

In the long run, such recycling would lead to less waste and a reduction in production and use of raw materials. Ultimately it would contribute to a better environment. This platform could be implemented globally for use in every country where the public use the internet and smartphones.

Next stage: If Samsa believes the second phase has resulted in a pilot/prototype that has commercial potential, it will start a new procurement process where others can bid for a contract to deliver the final product, the digital platform.

Samsa will own the pilot version, and Atkins has recommended that Samsa is the owner of the final platform to ensure that it is used for its original purpose.

For the second pilot phase, Atkins has asked Samsa to help with the costs of maintaining and developing the platform. Samsa is planning to have a project organisation team to help with this, including marketing skills.

If taken forward after the pilot and the platform is up and running, Samsa may choose to include maintenance/operation of the platform in the procurement; this means the winning bidder develops the final product (the platform) and maintains/ operates it or Samsa may to choose to do so.

The platform could potentially be sponsored by or sold to a private company. 

Johan Olsve, environmental consultant, Atkins

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