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Nouryon starts with new partners into innovation challenge

Peter Nieuwenhuizen, CTO at Nouryon
Peter Nieuwenhuizen, CTO at Nouryon

Nouryon (formerly AkzoNobel Specialty Chemicals) has officially launched the third edition of its Imagine Chemistry collaborative innovation challenge. Through this program, the company invites startups, scale-ups, university spin-outs, and other potential partners to tackle chemistry-related challenges and uncover new ways to create value for customers. 

To increase the focus on developing business opportunities from this year’s edition, Nouryon has expanded the number of Imagine Chemistry partners to include Unilever; seed investor High-Tech Gründerfonds; and the Green Chemistry & Commerce Council (GC3), a collaboration that drives the commercial adoption of green chemistry. “Innovative solutions that help our customers improve their products, become more competitive and sustainable, and uncover new business opportunities are central to how we work,” said Charlie Shaver, CEO of Nouryon. “As partnership is the key to success, we are very pleased to add more organizations to our Imagine Chemistry network, including Unilever, one of our key customers.” 

Searching for 20 finalists

For the 2019 edition of Imagine Chemistry, Nouryon is looking for solutions in the following five areas: 

  • Sustainable bio-based surfactants for everyone (in partnership with Unilever): Novel bio-based, non-hazardous surfactants, as well as building blocks for new surfactants 
  • Performance-boosting nanoparticles: Small-particle solutions that can make customers’ products more sustainable, durable, and/or functional 
  • Sensing in demanding chemical environments: Innovative sensing solutions to help Nouryon’s chemical processes approach 100% resource efficiency 
  • Label-free chemistries: Products with ingredients that require no chemical warning labeling that can safely and simultaneously control interface and fluid properties 
  • Pushing the frontiers of chemical innovation: An open challenge for innovative ideas on developing more sustainable chemistry 

Participants can submit their ideas via a dedicated online community and receive expert feedback until March 8, when submission closes. In May 2019, 20 finalists will be invited to an intensive three-day event at the company’s RD&I center at Deventer, the Netherlands, where they will work with experts and business leaders to further develop their ideas into a joint value case. 

Peter Nieuwenhuizen, Chief Technology Officer at Nouryon said: “Imagine Chemistry stands out in the industry due to its collaborative approach. It is a platform that helps bring great innovative solutions to the next level, contributing to our customer needs. One of this year’s challenge areas is what we called ‘Sensing in demanding chemical environments’. This challenge is at the interface of chemistry and hardware solutions and we believe it’s highly interesting for startups, scale-ups, university spin-outs and more established companies active in the field of process control, automation or instrumentation.” 

Nieuwenhuizen explains: “In this area we are looking for innovative sensing solutions to help our chemical processes approach 100% resource efficiency. So probes and instrumentation that can deal with highly demanding conditions, like corrosive chemistries, high pressures and temperatures, and which enable us to generate data for machine learning and AI. This will allow us to become more effective in generating more valuable products and less waste.”
 
For more information visit the Imagine Chemistry website.

Posted on January 16, 2019 - (146 views)
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