Growth driven by innovation

Our portfolio is rich with innovative products, we hold more than 5000 patents, and we are a leader in sustainable innovation. We invest over €100 million per year in R&D to drive growth through innovation, create safer and more sustainable products and processes, develop our own capabilities, and improve the way we work.

Collaborative Innovation

We believe that being open to the ideas and enthusiasm of outside collaborators will help our company achieve its maximum potential and lead the way to a more sustainable chemical industry. We therefore work closely with customers to develop solutions that meet their changing needs and forge partnerships with external parties such as startups whose unique ideas complement our experience, resources, and business needs.

Have a great idea? Go to our Open innovation idea space 

Activities we have in open innovation are:

  • Academic partnerships and programs (E.g. Impuls Program with the Technical University of Eindhoven, ARC-CBBC
  • Collaborative venture fund (ICOS)
  • Imagine Chemistry, our startup challenge
  • Screening, Scouting and Venturing, our global technology scouting team
  • S/Park, the open innovation campus at our Deventer research center
  • Initiatives driven by our business units, such as consortia

Getting ready for innovation's third era

A look back at the chemical industry in innovation terms clearly shows that there have been two significant eras of development. The first, which dates back to the early 1800s, involved the development of products such as paints or soaps that could be derived from natural oils and minerals. The second phase, which began in the early part of the 20th century, centered on the development of products from the petrochemical industry, such as synthetic plastics and fibers. We are now poised at the beginning of a third era, that of "circular chemistry."  Read the feature

Imagine Chemistry

Work with us as equal partners to take your ideas to the next level and help us make the chemical industry more sustainable.
We are looking for ways to create a more sustainable and liveable world through chemistry. In 2017, we launched the annual Imagine Chemistry Challenge to invite startups and academics to work with us as equal partners to bring their innovative ideas to market and find solutions to some of the most urgent challenges facing the chemicals industry today.

Find out more on the dedicated Imagine Chemistry website

In the video below, one of Imagine Chemistry’s 2017 finalists, FiliGrade founder and CEO Johan Kerver, shares how working with AkzoNobel has helped to bring his idea for making plastic more sustainable to reality.

Our innovation strategy

Much of our innovation efforts focus on three areas where we push the frontiers of chemical innovation and strive to remain a true sustainable innovation leader.

Biomass to chemistry
We have been using biomass for a long time and we are leveraging our heritage in surfactant and cellulose chemistry to create an industry independent of fossil feedstocks. We continue to develop novel bio-based solutions within our businesses and use partnerships to accelerate innovation and manage risk. For example, we work with the startup Enerkem to convert waste into raw materials like methanol and acetic acid.
Resource efficient polymer technologies
We are using our polymers expertise to drive the transition to circular chemistry. We do so through our own innovation programs on developing new, sustainable polymer solutions. In close collaboration we support our customers to produce polymers sustainably. For example, our CiD technology increases PVC production capacity by 20-40% while improving quality, reducing costs, and making production safer.
Green electrochemistry
We create sustainable raw materials using green energy. We do so by innovating traditional processes and exploring new businesses. Often these lead to new products and markets which are developed together with key partners. For example, our 'e-flex' technology automatically adjusts production in line with fluctuating supplies of renewable electricity.

Our approach to innovation is based on three key pillars:

We want to bring our products to market faster
We do this through a streamlined innovation process with an Agile project management approach.
We aim at better products and processes
By continuously improving our products and processes, we make them safer and more sustainable while at the same time increasing their value for the customer. This builds the foundation for our next generation technologies in both process and product development.
We create more impact by working with partners
Many of our products are co-created with our customers, ensuring maximum impact for our end users. Collaborative innovation with external partners as well as between our different businesses and functions also helps catalyze creativity.

R&D organization

The majority of our R&D budget is dedicated to growing our existing portfolio of innovative products and developing next generation products and technologies. This budget is managed by the individual Business Units and much of this work is done in collaboration with our customers. The deep knowledge of our customers' applications allows for focused, application-driven research and innovative customer support. To support these efforts our Expert Capability groups provide deep expertise and high-level facilities in the fields of process technology, measurement and analytical sciences, and molecules and materials technologies.

We also have several overarching corporate Research, Development, and Innovation programs that support and drive the developments in our three focus areas (Biomass to chemistry, Resource efficient polymer technologies, and Green electrochemistry).

We are Nouryon

Your partner in essential chemistry
for a sustainable future

Industries worldwide rely on our essential chemistry in the manufacture of everyday products such as paper, plastics, building materials, and personal care items. Building on the dedication of our employees and our shared commitment to safety, sustainability, and open innovation, we have established a world-class business and built strong partnerships with our customers. We operate in over 80 countries around the world and our portfolio of industry leading brands includes Eka, Dissolvine, Trigonox, and Berol.