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Nouryon Partners with Unilever for Third Annual Innovation Challenge

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Nouryon has teamed up with Unilever—along with investment companies and start-up networks—for the third edition of its Imagine Chemistry collaborative innovation challenge.  

The program sees the company inviting start-ups, scale-ups, university spin-outs and other potential partners to take on chemistry-related challenges and discover new ways to create value for customers.  

Related: AkzoNobel Becomes Nouryon

This year, to increase the focus on developing business opportunities, Nouryon has expanded the number of partners. They include Unilever; seed investor High-Tech Gründerfonds; and the Green Chemistry & Commerce Council (GC3), a collaboration that drives the commercial adoption of green chemistry.

The 2019 edition of Imagine Chemistry is seeking solutions in the five following areas:

  • Sustainable bio-based surfactants for everyone (in partnership with Unilever)—Novel bio-based, nonhazardous surfactants and building blocks for new surfactants.
  • Performance-boosting nanoparticles—To make 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 labels, which can be 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.

Ideas can be submitted until March 8, 2019; in May, 20 finalists will be invited to an intensive three-day event at Nouryon’s RD&I center at Deventer, the Netherlands, where they will work with experts and business leaders to further develop their ideals into a joint value case.

“Imagine Chemistry stands out in the industry due to its collaborative approach,” said Nouryon chief technology officer Peter Nieuwenhuizen. “It is a platform that helps bring great innovative solutions to the next level, contributing to our customer needs. I’m looking forward to seeing who we might be working with this year.”