FEATURES AkzoNobel Chemicals Startup Challenge Creating a more sustainable and liveable world through chemistry To help drive innovation and tackle some of our most urgent chemistry-related problems, our Specialty Chemicals business is launching the global AkzoNobel Chemicals Startup Challenge this January. "We are looking for ways to create a more sustainable and liveable world through chemistry" Chemicals Startup Challenge The aim of the AkzoNobel Chemicals Startup Challenge, launched in conjunction with KPMG, is to identify interesting startups and solutions that have a strategic fit with AkzoNobel’s businesses and develop partnerships with them. The challenge will give the winners the chance to see their ideas become a commercial reality. “We are looking for ways to create a more sustainable and liveable world through chemistry,” explained Peter Nieuwenhuizen, RD&I Director for AkzoNobel’s Specialty Chemicals business. “We believe that, with all of our shared knowledge of chemistry, we can work with startups to solve some of life’s biggest problems.” “That’s why we believe so strongly in open innovation, seeking solutions both internally and externally to advance our technology and mutually gain from creative thinking. It’s a great opportunity for everyone with good ideas to get involved.” The challenge focuses on finding solutions within the following areas: Highly reactive chemistry and technology Sustainable alternatives to our current technologies Bio based sources of ethylene and or ethylene oxides Bio based and biodegradable surfactants and thickeners Cellulose based alternatives to synthetics Revolutionizing plastics recycling Wastewater-free chemical sites How will the challenge work? A dedicated online challenge platform has been launched, operated by KPMG, where participants can submit their solutions and detailed information on the challenge can be found. Once solutions have been submitted, special challenge teams comprised of subject matter experts will work with participants through the platform to enrich and validate their solutions and determine if they are a good fit for AkzoNobel’s business. A jury made up of AkzoNobel business and R&D leaders and prominent international experts will then select the 20 most promising ideas to participate in a three-day event (all expenses covered) at AkzoNobel’s Open Innovation Center in Deventer, the Netherlands, from June 1 to 3. During this event, shortlisted entrants will work closely together with AkzoNobel experts and partners in R&D, finance, innovation and marketing – as well as senior management and potential investors – to further develop their concepts and solutions. The winners will receive the customized support they need to scale up their solutions and bring them to market. Added Nieuwenhuizen: “We will provide access to customers, investors, subject matter experts, mentorship and an accelerator program, along with additional support. The collaboration could take on many forms: a joint development agreement, having AkzoNobel as a launch customer, organizing partnerships, or investing in your startup. Our ultimate goal is to innovate together.” For more information and to participate in the challenge, visit our Imagine Chemistry page.