Akzo Nobel's Imagine Chemistry initiative has resulted in more than 200 innovative ideas being submitted by chemistry start-ups, scientists, research groups and students around the world.
Arnsberg/Germany — Developed in conjunction with KPMG, Imagine Chemistry was launched to help solve real-life chemistry-related challenges — such as finding ways to revolutionize plastics recycling — as well as uncovering sustainable opportunities for the company's Specialty Chemicals businesses. From the 200 submissions received, the company will now select 20 finalists to attend a three-day event in June at the company's principal research facility in Deventer, the Netherlands.
"We have been very impressed by the number and quality of the submissions," said Thierry Vanlancker, AkzoNobel's Executive Committee member responsible for Specialty Chemicals. "This confirms our belief that there is tremendous potential even in mature chemistries. We are looking forward to working with the eventual winners to scale up their ideas and turn them into a commercial reality with real global impact."
The Imagine Chemistry challenge is focused on finding solutions in five areas:
• Revolutionizing plastics recycling
• Waste water-free chemical sites
• Cellulose-based alternatives to synthetics
• Bio-based and biodegradable surfactants and thickeners
• 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.
Recent innovations from Akzo Nobel's Specialty Chemicals business include Bolikel XP, a next generation, biodegradable micronutrient to efficiently combat iron deficiency in crops; and Berol DR-B1, a safe and sustainable surfactant for consumer and commercial cleaning applications that involve direct release.