AMSTERDAM - AkzoNobel has teamed up with two organizations focused on supporting start-ups, Lux Research and StartupDelta. The partnerships will focus on developing business opportunities stemming from the company's Imagine Chemistry start-up challenge. Designed to solve real-life chemistry challenges, the initiative has attracted more than 200 submissions.
AkzoNobel will contribute to the mission of StartupDelta, a public-private partnership established to strengthen the Dutch start-up ecosystem. The parties are working together to support start-ups in the chemical industry. AkzoNobel will also be a founding partner in StartupFest Europe, an event organized by StartupDelta to connect European start-ups with investors, scientists and corporate organizations.
"When start-ups and multinationals like AkzoNobel team up, they can play a decisive role in solving societal challenges and contribute to building a sustainable world," explained Constantijn van Oranje, envoy for StartupDelta, who will attend the Imagine Chemistry finals in June. "Initiatives like Imagine Chemistry also help to strengthen the position of the Netherlands as an international hub for innovation."
Added Thierry Vanlancker, AkzoNobel's Executive Committee member responsible for Specialty Chemicals, "We are committed to developing new solutions through a model of open innovation, based on cooperation with like-minded partners and start-ups. We are honored that Constantijn van Oranje and StartupDelta recognize these efforts and we can collaborate to accelerate the success of start-ups in chemistry."
U.S.-based Lux Research will support AkzoNobel in its evaluation and development of start-ups taking part in the Imagine Chemistry challenge, as well as helping to strengthen ties with the international start-up scene.
Commenting on the initiative, Mike Holman, VP Intelligence of Lux Research, said, "AkzoNobel has demonstrated its effectiveness in developing large-scale solutions for sustainable chemistry, ranging from the joint development of wind parks to finding new bio-based sources for raw materials. Lux Research is delighted to support the Imagine Chemistry initiative to unlock the potential of this industry for international start-ups."
The partnerships will further strengthen AkzoNobel's approach to open innovation, highlighted by the Imagine Chemistry challenge, which was established by AkzoNobel Specialty Chemicals in cooperation with KPMG. Earlier this year, AkzoNobel also announced its participation in a €50 million collaborative venture capital fund, run by Icos Capital, focused on early stage chemical and clean technology start-ups.