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The Netherlands: Imagine Chemistry Challenge

Ideas for Tomorrows Chemistry Business

| Editor: Alexander Stark

"We believe that effective R&D aiming for breakthrough solutions requires collaboration across the value chain," says Peter Nieuwenhuizen, Chief Technology Officer of Akzo Nobel.
"We believe that effective R&D aiming for breakthrough solutions requires collaboration across the value chain," says Peter Nieuwenhuizen, Chief Technology Officer of Akzo Nobel. (Source: Akzo Nobel)

This year's Specialty Chemicals' Imagine Chemistry challenge conducted by Akzo Nobel has generated 150 innovative ideas submitted by chemistry startups, scale-ups, scientists and university teams. The company will now select 20 finalists to attend a three-day event in June at Chalmers University of Technology in Gothenburg, Sweden.

Amsterdam/The Netherlands — Imagine Chemistry was launched to help solve real-life chemistry-related challenges as well as uncovering sustainable business opportunities.

The challenge is a key part of Akzo Nobel Specialty Chemicals' innovation strategy, said Peter Nieuwenhuizen, the company's Chief Technology Officer. He added that the company believes that effective R&D aiming for breakthrough solutions requires collaboration across the value chain. In his opinion, Imagine Chemistry showed the value in that thinking, and the speciality chemicals producer would be looking forward to working with the eventual winners to turn their ideas into a commercial reality.

Fili Grade, one of the winners of last year's challenge, recently started supplying watermark technology to Akzo Nobel Specialty Chemicals. The technology provides an invisible watermark for packaging that identifies both the material used and details about the manufacturer and contents. This helps with the challenge of sorting of plastics and therefore enhances the recycling of packaging, and also to confirm the authenticity of the packaged product to prevent counterfeiting.

The 2018 edition of Imagine Chemistry set challenges in the following six areas:

• Sustainable small particle technologies

• Wastewater-free chemical sites

• Intelligent chemical plants

• Revolutionizing chlorate production

• Sustainable powder technologies

• Zero footprint surfactant platforms

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