AkzoNobel launches chemicals challenge

Article by Staff Writer

AKZONOBEL has launched a chemical challenge and is inviting scientists, students and start-ups to pitch their ideas for how chemistry might be used to address key societal challenges.

The challenge – called Imagine Chemistry – has been launched in partnership with KPMG and is focussed on five areas: revolutionising plastics recycling; wastewater-free chemical sites; cellulose-based alternatives to synthetics; bio-based and biodegradable surfactants and thickeners; and bio-based sources of ethylene.

There are also broader categories for ideas related to highly reactive chemistry and technology, and sustainable alternatives to current technologies. The company wants any ideas to be commercial within three to five years.

Would-be partners have been invited to submit their ideas to a dedicated Imagine Chemistry platform. Selected participants will then be invited to brainstorm their ideas in closed groups. In early April, the 20 most promising candidates will then be invited to an all expenses paid, three-day event where they will receive expert feedback and given a chance to pitch their idea. In June, the winning teams will sign an agreement to officially collaborate with AkzoNobel to make their idea a commercial reality.

“We will provide access to customers, investors, subject matter experts, mentorship and an accelerator programme, along with additional support. The collaboration could take on many forms – a joint development agreement, having AkzoNobel as a launch customer, organising partnerships, or investing in your start-up. Our ultimate goal is to innovate together,” said Peter Nieuwenhuizen, research, development and innovation director for AkzoNobel’s specialty chemicals business.

“Our world is made of molecules and we believe that chemistry, mastering the elements, is essential to making the world a better place,” Nieuwenhuizen added.

Visit bit.ly/2iJCyZX for more information and to enter the competition.

Article by Staff Writer

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