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Partner with  AkzoNobel to solve industry challenges and create sustainable business opportunities

Posted on 06/02/2018

Startup & scale-up businesses and researchers from various sectors are invited take part in the  AkzoNobel Startup Challenge.

The Imagine Chemistry programme provides an outstanding opportunity for innovators from various sectors to work as equal partners with AkzoNobel Specialty Chemicals and make the chemicals industry more sustainable. This competition is part of a series of activities by AkzoNobel to increase its focus on open innovation and form links with startups to identify new opportunities for growth.

Their 2018 challenge areas may be addressed by technology / innovators from the following sectors:

*    Sustainable small particle technologiesChemistry, Biotechnology, Manufacturing, Sustainability
*    Wastewater-free chemical sites – Biotechnology, Infrastructure, Sustainability
*    Intelligent chemical plantsDesign, Digital, Emerging & Enabling Technologies, Infrastructure, Manufacturing
*    Revolutionising chlorate production – Chemistry, Biotechnology, Emerging & Enabling Technologies, Sustainability
*    Sustainable powder technologies – Formulation
*    Zero footprint surfactant platforms – Chemistry, Biotechnology, Sustainability

Imagine Chemistry is open for submissions from January 10th to March 10th, 2018.

Creating a more sustainable world through chemistry

One of last year’s ten winners were FiliGrade, a Netherlands-based company making innovative watermarks, which they incorporate into all kinds of product packaging. Their innovation fitted the 2017 criteria of “Revolutionizing plastics recycling” via unique watermarks which could be detected by digital cameras above waste plant conveyor belts, allowing rapid identification and sorting of plastics for recycling. They received dedicated support from startup specialists ICOS Research and the innovation team of KPMG to help bring their product to market.

Renmatix was one of three teams to receive the top prize in the 2017 competition – a joint development agreement aimed at incorporating their products into AkzoNobel’s products or product portfolio. They specialise in converting plant materials into building blocks for cost effective and sustainable fuels, chemicals, and materials.

You can see more examples of the range of winners from last year’s competition here.

Find out more and discuss your ideas

KTN hosted a webinar about the 2018 Imagine Chemistry Startup Challenge at the end of last year, with representatives from AkzoNobel answering participant’s questions, and uFraction8 – winners from the 2017 competition – reporting on their experience of taking part in the programme. You can access the recording of this webinar here.

KTN’s Dr Peter Clark will be happy to discuss opportunities for your business to take part in the 2018 Imagine Chemistry programme, and can also provide advice on other opportunities for innovation in chemistry.

For more information and to participate in the challenge, please visit