AkzoNobel launches global chemicals start-up challenge Imagine Chemistry

AkzoNobel launches global chemicals start-up challenge Imagine Chemistry

AkzoNobel has launched Imagine Chemistry, a start-up challenge that will partner with start-up firms, students, research groups and career scientists from across the world to support its growth ambitions.

The program will see companies take part in a five-step challenge in a bid to sign an agreement to officially collaborate with the chemicals maker. The move hopes to help the company and the participants ‘jointly exploit the knowledge of chemistry and solve several real-life chemistry-related challenges,’ with the company stating that there is tremendous potential even in mature chemistries, and the challenge aims to tap into that as well as uncover new opportunities.’

Peter Nieuwenhuizen, RD&I Director for AkzoNobel’s Specialty Chemicals business, said, “Our world is made of molecules and we believe that chemistry, mastering the elements, is essential to making the world a better place.
“To get there, we believe open innovation will be vital, seeking ideas both internally and externally to advance our technology and mutually gain from creative thinking. Imagine… with all of our knowledge of chemistry, we can work together to solve some of life’s biggest problems. It’s a great opportunity for everyone to get involved.”

A dedicated online platform has been opened for participants to submit their ideas, operated by KPMG, with those ideas then being assessed and successful entries going on to work with the company.

Imagine Chemistry is focusing on finding solutions in five areas; revolutionizing 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 “open challenges” for broad ideas in two further areas: Highly reactive chemistry and technology and Sustainable alternatives to current technologies.

Winners will then get to see their ideas achieved, with a scale of three to five years for them to go commercial.