"We've received so many great ideas from all across the globe for novel chemistries and business concepts, ranging from new sources of bio-based products to potential breakthrough ideas for the circular economy," said Peter Nieuwenhuizen, Global R&D Director for AkzoNobel Specialty Chemicals.
"It has been a challenge making a selection but we believe these final 20 all hold great potential to address customer needs and contribute to a safer, more sustainable world. This shows that there is tremendous innovation potential, even in seemingly mature chemistries. We look forward to working with the eventual winners to turn their ideas into a commercial reality with real global impact."
The finalists will now participate in a three-day event starting June 1 at AkzoNobel's research facility in Deventer, the Netherlands, where they will be supported by RD&I and business development experts to further develop their business ideas and concepts.
The challenge, organized in partnership with KPMG, is the latest in a series of efforts by AkzoNobel to focus on open innovation and startup firms. The company recently announced cooperation with start-up organizations Lux Research and Start-up Delta focused on developing new business opportunities stemming from the challenge.