media release

AkzoNobel announces finalists for Imagine Chemistry start-up challenge

Today AkzoNobel announces the 20 finalists for its Imagine Chemistry initiative, which was launched earlier this year to help solve real-life chemistry-related challenges and to uncover sustainable opportunities for the company’s Specialty Chemicals business.

“We’ve received so many great ideas from all across the globe for novel chemistries and business concepts, ranging from new sources of bio-based products to potential breakthrough ideas for the circular economy,” said Peter Nieuwenhuizen, Global R&D Director for AkzoNobel Specialty Chemicals.

“It has been a challenge making a selection but we believe these final 20 all hold great potential to address customer needs and contribute to a safer, more sustainable world.  This shows that there is tremendous innovation potential, even in seemingly mature chemistries. We look forward to working with the eventual winners to turn their ideas into a commercial reality with real global impact.”

The finalists for the five Imagine Chemistry and two “open challenge” categories are:

Revolutionizing plastics recycling
Adriana Pineda, Cadel DeinkingSpain
Emile Clement, FiliGrade B.VThe Netherlands
Jack Buffington, University of DenverUSA
  
Waste water-free chemical sites
Steve Furlong, DrystillCanada
Steven De Laet, InOpSysBelgium
Guido Mul, University of Twente – EnschedeThe Netherlands
  
Cellulose-based alternatives to synthetics
Lindy Hensen, PeelPioneersThe Netherlands
Gertjan de Jong, MISCQThe Netherlands
Andrew Mwangi , Aquabax EnterprisesKenya
Charles Sanderson, RenmatixUSA
  
Bio-based and biodegradable surfactants and thickeners
Dan Derr , Logos TechnologiesUSA
Jeremy Minty, Ecovia Renewables Inc.USA
Ben Dolman, The University of ManchesterUK
  
Bio-based sources of ethylene and ethylene oxides
Derek Greenfield, Industrial MicrobesUSA
William Mackintosh, RISESweden
  
Highly Reactive Chemistry and Technology
Mark Mascal, University of California DavisUSA
  
Sustainable alternatives to our current technologies
Sasa Marinic, ANTECYThe Netherlands
Brian Miller, uFraction8UK
Mark Randall, T2 EnergyUSA
Christoph Winkle, University of G27razAustria
  

The finalists will now participate in a three-day event starting June 1 at AkzoNobel’s research facility in Deventer, the Netherlands, where they will be supported by RD&I and business development experts to further develop their business ideas and concepts.

The challenge, organized in partnership with KPMG, is the latest in a series of efforts by AkzoNobel to focus on open innovation and startup firms. The company recently announced cooperation with start-up organizations Lux Research and Start-up Delta focused on developing new business opportunities stemming from the challenge.

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