AkzoNobel announced six winners of the first challenge of “Paint the Future”

07:16 | 18/05/2019

The Paint the Future startup challenge has accomplished after three exciting days of face-to-face collaboration with AkzoNobel experts. This programme has opened doors for international startups to “Paint the Future” with their innovations.

akzonobel announced 6 winners of the first challenge of paint the future
Representatives of six winners of the first challenge of “Paint the Future”

Concluding the industry - first challenge, five startups reward with Paint the Future Awards from AkzoNobel were SAS Nanotechnologies (the US), QLayers (the Netherlands), Interface Polymer (the UK), Apellix (the US) and Alucha Recycling Technologies (the Netherlands). In addition, challenge partner KPMG awarded Octo (the Netherlands) with the KPMG Scale - up Track Award to help them grow their business.

Launched in partnership with KPMG, the Paint the Future startup challenge was held in Amsterdam during May 14- 16 with many great solutions in building an incredible innovation ecosystem. The challenge focuses on five key areas: smart application, enhanced functionality, circular solutions, life science infusion and predictable performance. Over time of serious research with creative ability, not only the solutions of the winners, but other solutions in challenge are also remarkable.

Each award comes with a commitment to continue working with recipients on sustainable business opportunities. These developments will be the first to emerge from a new innovation ecosystem that will help AkzoNobel delight customers while further pushing the boundaries of the paints and coatings industry.

akzonobel announced 6 winners of the first challenge of paint the future
Representatives of startups are working with experts

“We’re very excited to continue our collaborative journey with the recipients of the Paint the Future awards,” said Klaas Kruithof, AkzoNobel’s chief technology officer and chairman of the Paint the Future jury. “Together with these startups, we’re going to drive innovation in paints and coatings beyond expectation, imagination and generations. With the power of an entire ecosystem behind us, big things are on the horizon.”

The solutions that captured the jury’s imagination were smart coatings from SAS Nanotechnologies; an automated printing head for coating large surfaces from QLayers; di-block polymers that tune surface functionality from Interface Polymers; the autonomous drone from Apellix; Alucha Recycling Technologies’ solution for turning waste into bio-oils and minerals; and Octo’s digital solutions for inspections.

“We’ve been working on this for close to three years now, and partnering with a company like AkzoNobel will only accelerate our success,” said Dr. Sumadh Surwade, founder and CEO of SAS Nanotechnologies. “The conversations we’ve had and the input on our technology, it’s fantastic.”

The challenge received 160 submissions from around the world. Of those, 21 startups from Canada, China, France, the Netherlands, Singapore, Spain, the UK and the United States were invited to Amsterdam, the Netherlands, to accelerate their solutions before making their final pitch to the jury. All challenge participants gained access to industry knowledge, expertise and contacts that will help them further their ideas.

“We worked hard for this, and this collaboration is just what we needed,” said Josefien Groot, CEO of QLayers. “We share the same customers with AkzoNobel, but by combining our application with AkzoNobel’s coatings we can generate more value.”

The success of Paint the Future marks an important milestone in sustainable development of AkzoNobel. These truly exciting innovations open a new opportunity for both AkzoNobel and startups to paint the future together.

“This is something that can make or break a company – and winning this award is just the best thing for our team,” said Dr. Tim Clayfield of Interface Polymers. “We want to go out now and get more funding with the power of this agreement behind us.”

akzonobel announced 6 winners of the first challenge of paint the future

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