Tuesday - June 26, 2018

Five start-ups honored at Berlin Raw Materials Summit

“Resource Innovators 2018” awarded

Business ideas for alternative raw materials in the chemical industry / Signal for more cooperation with founders
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The winner of the Resource Innovator Award 2018 is Sophia Hamblin Wang, COO of the Australian company Mineral Carbonation International. Dr. Markus Steilemann, CEO of Covestro, presents the winner's premium.

Five young companies from Australia, the USA, Great Britain, Latvia and Germany are the “Resource Innovators 2018” of the chemical industry. The start-ups were honored on Monday at the Raw Materials Summit in Berlin for ideas on the use of sustainable sources such as plants and CO2 instead of oil. The summit was held under the auspices of the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research and called for chemistry to be made more sustainable and climate-friendly. The event at the Technical University of Berlin (TU Berlin) thus set a signal for more cooperation with start-ups in the chemical industry. The aim is to promote the use of non-fossil raw materials.

The five start-ups competed against each other in an ideas competition and presented their projects to the 200 guests of the second Summit organized by TU Berlin, DECHEMA Gesellschaft für Chemische Technik und Biotechnologie and material manufacturer Covestro.

Winning start-up comes from Australia
The top three winners received prize money donated by Covestro. First place went to the Australian company Mineral Carbonation International and Dr. Markus Steilemann, CEO of Covestro, handed over a check for 5,000 euros. The young company takes carbon dioxide from waste gases as an alternative feedstock and transforms it together with minerals into building materials and other valuable industrial products.

The five-member jury also included DECHEMA CEO Professor Kurt Wagemann and Professor Reinhard Schomäcker from the Institute of Chemistry at the TU Berlin. Other members of the jury were Erika Bellmann, Policy Advisor WWF Germany, and Professor Dieter Jahn, Advisory Board member of High-Tech Gründerfonds.

The jury voted PolyLabs from Latvia for second place, endowed with 3,000 euros. The start-up company produces bio polyol, a component for the insulation foam industry, from renewable material such as rapseed and waste wood oils. Nano-Join, based in Berlin, came third (1,000 euros). The Start-up produces and sells innovative silver sinter material solutions for electronical high-performance parts in batteries.

Companies Battery Nano Technologies and Mayasil, both from Great Britain and the United States, followed in fourth and fifth place. Dozens of international start-ups had applied to take part in the ideas competition. The organizers selected the five finalists from among them.

In addition to the start-up competition, lectures and a panel discussion were the focal points of the Raw Materials Summit. The lecturers underlined that there are already numerous promising approaches to producing chemical products largely without petroleum. Germany could expand its pioneering role. Now the cooperation of many protagonists and their projects must be intensified.

About the Technical University of Berlin:
With around 34,500 students, around 120 courses of study and 40 institutes, the Technical University Berlin is one of the largest, internationally renowned and traditional technical universities in Germany. Outstanding achievements in research and teaching, the qualification of very good graduates and a modern, service-oriented administration characterize the university in Germany's capital – in the center of Europe. The range of services offered by its seven faculties represents a unique combination of natural and technical sciences with planning, economic, social and human sciences at a technical university. The Technical University of Berlin is the only university in the capital region where you can study engineering.

DECHEMA Gesellschaft für Chemische Technik und Biotechnologie e.V. brings together experts from various disciplines, institutions and generations to promote scientific exchange in chemical engineering, process engineering and biotechnology. DECHEMA searches for new technological trends, evaluates them and accompanies the implementation of research results in technical applications. More than 5,800 engineers, scientists, students, companies and institutions belong to the non-profit association. Together with DECHEMA Ausstellungs-GmbH, it is the organizer of ACHEMA.

About Covestro:
With 2017 sales of EUR 14.1 billion, Covestro is among the world’s largest polymer companies. Business activities are focused on the manufacture of high-tech polymer materials and the development of innovative solutions for products used in many areas of daily life. The main segments served are the automotive, construction, wood processing and furniture, and electrical and electronics industries. Other sectors include sports and leisure, cosmetics, health and the chemical industry itself. Covestro has 30 production sites worldwide and employs approximately 16,200 people (calculated as full-time equivalents) at the end of 2017.

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