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Imagine Chemistry

Nouryon launches third ‘Imagine Chemistry’

Nouryon, the former AkzoNobel Specialty Chemicals, has launched the third edition of its ‘Imagine Chemistry’ collaborative innovation challenge, under which start-ups, scale-ups, university spin-outs and other potential partners are invited “to tackle chemistry-related challenges and uncover new ways to create value for customers”.


Participants can submit their ideas via the dedicated website ( until 8 March. In May, 20 finalists will be invited to an intensive three-day event at Nouryon’s RD&I centre at Deventer, Netherlands, to work with experts and business leaders to further develop their ideas into a joint value case. The 2019 edition features five programmes:

  • Sustainable bio-based surfactants for everyone (in partnership with Unilever): novel bio-based, non-hazardous surfactants and building blocks for new surfactants 
  • Performance-boosting nanoparticles: small-particle means to make products more sustainable, durable, and/or functional
  • Sensing in demanding chemical environments: innovative sensing systems to help Nouryon’s own chemical processes approach 100% resource efficiency
  • Label-free chemistries: products with ingredients that require no chemical warning labelling and which can 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

The programme partners have also been expanded to include: Unilever; seed investor High-Tech Gründerfonds; the Green Chemistry & Commerce Council (GC3), which seeks to drive the commercial adoption of green chemistry; venture capital firm Icos Capital; research and advisory firm Lux Research; UK innovation agency Knowledge Transfer Network; Dutch accelerator StartupDelta; the European Commission’s Enterprise Europe Network; and S/park, the chemical technology-focused open innovation centre at Deventer.


Separately, Nouryon has opened a new headquarters office in Mumbai that brings together research, sales and business support functions as it expands in India. The company is currently upgrading an organic peroxides facility in Mahad and a monochloroacetic acid plant in Gujarat, the latter being a joint project with local chemicals manufacturer Atul.

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