Sustainable Chemistry Start-up Aid — Sustainability Required

Editor: Anke Geipel-Kern

Chemicals shall become grenner, more sustainable and carbon neutral - but how? Enter the International Sustainable Chemistry Collaborative Center (ISC3), a new independent, international institution promoting and developing sustainable chemistry solutions worldwide.

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Andreas Förster, Friedrich Barth & Tony Bova (l-r) after yesterday's press luncheon.
Andreas Förster, Friedrich Barth & Tony Bova (l-r) after yesterday's press luncheon.

Established in May 2017 by the German Government (BMU) and hosted by the German Development Cooperation (GIZ), the ISC3 aims to go worldwide to advance sustainable solutions to the challenges facing the world today, said ISC3 managing director Friedrich Barth.

The increase in urbanization, for example is a big challenge for the construction industry, with products used for buildings, furniture and flooring. Finding sustainable products requires innovations, and chemistry is at the heart of the solution, Barth said. But new business models are necessary to enable innovative products to enter the market, he said. The center manages a network of experts, promotes collaboration in the value chain, offers training and support — especially for developing countries — and carries out innovation scouting activities to discover new technologies, processes and business models.

“Due to the lack of global support for startups and SMEs that promote sustainable chemistry innovation, many innovative products do not reach the markets,” said Andreas Förster, director of the ISC3 Innovation Hubs. The ISC3 will act as a multiplier and global supporter of entrepreneurs in this area,” he said.

“Customers are very hard to find.” Tony Bova, CEO and co-founder of Grow Bio Plastics (Tenn.) agreed, that this is one of the biggest challenges facing a new start-up like his own. “The challenge is to gain access to networks,” Bova said. This is where ISC3 can help.

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