Media release

AkzoNobel announces finalists for Imagine Chemistry start-up challenge

21 Apr 2017 - News

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 Deinking Spain
Emile Clement, FiliGrade B.V The Netherlands
Jack Buffington, University of Denver USA
Waste water-free chemical sites
Steve Furlong, Drystill Canada
Steven De Laet, InOpSys Belgium
Guido Mul, University of Twente – Enschede The Netherlands
Cellulose-based alternatives to synthetics
Lindy Hensen, PeelPioneers The Netherlands
Gertjan de Jong, MISCQ The Netherlands
Andrew Mwangi , Aquabax Enterprises Kenya
Charles Sanderson, Renmatix USA
Bio-based and biodegradable surfactants and thickeners
Dan Derr , Logos Technologies USA
Jeremy Minty, Ecovia Renewables Inc. USA
Ben Dolman, The University of Manchester UK
Bio-based sources of ethylene and ethylene oxides
Derek Greenfield, Industrial Microbes USA
William Mackintosh, RISE Sweden
Highly Reactive Chemistry and Technology
Mark Mascal, University of California Davis USA
Sustainable alternatives to our current technologies
Sasa Marinic, ANTECY The Netherlands
Brian Miller, uFraction8 UK
Mark Randall, T2 Energy USA
Christoph Winkle, University of G27raz Austria

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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