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Enter 2019 World Materials Forum Start-up Challenge for a Chance to Win 50,000 EUR

Published on 2019-02-05. Author : SpecialChem

Following a successful partnership in 2018, SpecialChem & World Materials Forum (WMF) will collaborate again in 2019. In addition to being part of the Jury, SpecialChem will also accept applications on behalf of WMF for the 2019 Start-up Challenge.


What is the WMF Start Up Challenge & Award?

The WMF Start Up Challenge is an opportunity to present innovative and impactful solutions to use materials smarter, less and longer from all around the world in one of the following six domains:

  • New material composition
  • New product design
  • Internet Of Things & Artificial Intelligence
  • 3D manufacturing
  • Mobility services
  • Waste management

12 nominees will be designated by the jury beginning of April and each nominated company will receive a package including a free booth at Hôtel de Ville de Nancy during the three days of World Materials Forum 2019 and free transportation, accommodation and WMF registration for the company CEO. The package also includes the shooting of a professional one minute pitch video presenting the nominee's company and its breakthrough innovation.

Among the 12 nominees, a winner will be designated by the jury during WMF in June and the 50.000 euros Grand Prix award will be handed out to the winning company CEO by the Jury Chairman, Victoire de Margerie.

A second company will be designated by the jury and the Coup de Coeur award of 20.000 euros will be handed out to this other company by Stéphane Mangin.

The jury might decide to designate other companies for special mentions and additional awards in kind or in cash might be awarded by other jury members.

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Why submit your application through SpecialChem?

Submitting your application through SpecialChem will give you an additional exposure of your non-confidential presentation through our websites, in our newsletters, and through SpecialChem social media channels. Plus, we will give you the opportunity to host a short 3-minute video on our website to promote your non-confidential information. Further, should you win the challenge; we will publish an article or case study and even consider an online webinar promoting your technology in Q3 2019.

Am I eligible to apply?

If you are a start-up with less than 50 permanent staffs and a proven economic viability, seize your chance to win 50.000 euro prize for your breakthrough innovation in one of the above-mentioned areas.

How do I apply?

Applicants should submit a 5-page maximum PDF presentation that includes a description of their breakthrough innovation, a simplified three-year business plan, and information related to the company structure including capital and shareholding information.

Deadlines to keep in mind:

  • Opening: 1 December 2018
  • Deadline to apply: 28 February 2019
  • Selection of 12 nominees: Jury meeting to be held in Paris during the 2nd half of March
  • Announcement of nominees: to be made during the 1st week of April 2019
  • Presentation of 12 nominees and announcement of Awards: 13 June 2019 during WMF Gala Dinner

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Meet the World Material Forum Jury

  • Christophe Cabarry, CEO Special Chem (France)
  • Edith Coune, COO Innovation Fund (Belgium)
  • Prof. Reinhold Dauskardt, Stanford University (USA)
  • Joe De Simone, CEO & Co Founder Carbon 3D (USA)
  • Gervais Jacques, COO Rio Tinto Aluminium (Canada)
  • Prof. Stéphane Mangin, Institut Jean Lamour (France)
  • Prof. Victoire de Margerie, Vice Chairman World Materials Forum (France) - Chairman
  • Tony O’Neill, Group Technical Director Anglo American (UK/Australia)
  • Bernard Pinatel, President Refining and Chemicals Total (France)
  • Matt Price, MD Cyclotron Road Berkeley (USA)
  • Bin Truong Gia, Chairman & CEO FPT Software (Vietnam)
  • Sophie Zurquiyah, CEO CGG (France)

Please check-out complete Competition Rules and jury information at the World Materials Forum website.

See below the innovations showcased by the WMF 2018 winners.

Winners Announced for WMF 2018 Start-up Challenge

Cuberg - Groundbreaking Redesigned Lithium Ion Battery

received the WMF Grand Prix Award for its groundbreaking redesigned lithium ion battery. It is made up of non-flammable and thermally stable liquid electrolyte that is compatible with both high voltage metal oxide cathodes and lithium metal anodes and results in high energy density & very safe rechargeable batteries.


Polystyvert - Innovative Polystyrene Recycling Method

Polystyvert won the Coup de Coeur prix for its innovative polystyrene recycling method. It is the combination of two technology breakthroughs:

  • Ability to separate dissolved PS from the solvent for high quality recycled PS 
  • In depth purification process to up cycle and get a final recycled product with the properties of a virgin one


Smallmatek - Chromium-free Technology

Smallmatek won the prestigious EIT Raw Materials Special Award for its longer chromium free technology (smart coatings) that greatly increases the metal corrosion resistance while requiring lower consumption of additives due to encapsulated nano corrosion inhibitors into coatings.


2018 World Materials Forum Start-up Challengers

#1 – Powering Wireless IoT Using Dye-based PV Cells (DSC) by 3GSOLAR PHOTOVOLTAICS LTD.

Powering Wireless IoT Using Dye-based PV Cells (DSC) by 3GSOLAR PHOTOVOLTAICS LTD. 3GSolar creates new possibilities for truly wireless electronic devices by using printed dye-based (miniature) PV cells which harness energy from the indoor or outdoor environment. Integrating 3GSolar cells into wireless devices eliminates the need for changing or charging batteries, achieving maintenance-free operation for the lifetime of the wireless device (more than ten years).

The DSC has reliable power output in a whole range of lighting conditions, including indoor fluorescent or LED lighting.

The technology can be used in many Internet of Things and other wireless electronic products such as smart sensors, surveillance cameras, portable medical and sports devices etc.

#2 – 3D Printed, Accessible, Energy Efficient Housing by Bhaluu

3D Printed, Accessible, Energy Efficient Housing by BhaluuBelgium-based Bhaluu has developed a patented technology for developing affordable passive housing with zero thermal bridges (the pain point in efficient housing).

Using industrial, chemical (additive) materials and 3D printing technologies, this innovative construction technology lowers energy consumption by 17 times compared to current average as well as allows architectural freedom.

#3 – High-quality Graphene for Automotive Applications by Graphenics, LLC

High-quality Graphene for Automotive Applications by Graphenics, LLC Graphenics aims to provide unique aesthetic value to automotive parts and paints by incorporating highest quality graphene available.

The company provides graphene to automotive supplier’s to meet specific needs so that they can make breakthrough products with unique selling points such as:

  • Increased wear and durability of paints and coatings
  • Improved consistency of plastic parts, 
  • Increased elongation of automotive exterior parts

#4 – K-armourgel and Spider Silk Sand by Korea Aerogels

K-armourgel and Sensory Nanosand by Korea Conformity Laboratories The innovation aims to develop a spider silklike nanogel ‘K-armourgel’, a non-newtonian liquid using specialty metalsiloxane and nanocellulose.

This innovative product is highly viscoelastic, ecological, self-healing and stable.

Potential applications include: injury mitigation, automotive NVH reduction, medical gloves, smart body armour, ultrathin nano condoms and much more.

#5 – LightGuard® Anti-microbial Technology by ChromaSol International

LightGuard® Anti-microbial Technology by ChromaSol International US-based Start-up ChromaSol International has developed an airborne, light-activated anti-microbial technology. It involves a photosensitizer which has been incorporated into polymers which are applied to fabric.

The anti-microbial effect is powered by light (sunlight, LED, incandescent, fluorescent…). In the presence of light, the fabric becomes self-sanitizing as long as light is present.

Possible applications include lab coats, face masks, surgical drapes, privacy curtains etc. Used in medical applications for infection control, agricultural applications where it may reduce mortality and the need for antibiotics etc.

#6 – BioFixWood (Bio-based Adhesive) by Chemical Nature

BioFixWood (Bio-based Adhesive) by Chemical Nature Chemical Nature has developed a bio-based adhesive formulation to solve challenges created due to recent listing of formaldehyde in the restricted substances list as carcinogenic and mutagenic leading to limiting its use in adhesives.

This novel solution is free from any hazard substances and formaldehyde.

It aims to create added value for the adhesive industry as well as for the primary sector as raw material producers.

#7 – Thermal Heat Band by Asia Technology Pioneers Company

Thermal Heat Band by Asia Technology Pioneers Company Asia Technology Pioneers Company has designed an easy-to-use and safe Medical Thermal Band for thermal therapy to reduce the local pains in the body; Sinus headache, Shoulders, knee, abdomen and wrist pains. It contains a silicon core, which this polymeric core inserted in the cloth band to produce heat while connect to the power sources including: notebooks and computers, 5V Power Bank, 5V Car Charger, 5V Adaptors and Mobile Chargers. It is very safe and advantageous which create heat fast in a controlled period (42-52°C) and can be used everywhere; home, work, automotive, walking...

#8 – Highly Porous Synthetic Carbon by ThruPore Technologies

Highly Porous Synthetic Carbon by ThruPore Technologies Researchers at ThruPore have advanced the concept of making synthetic carbon which is highly porous and could be applied to many business problems, including batteries, sorbents, filtration, or even cosmetics!

The company aim to collaborate with process owners to develop customized catalysts manufactured by ThruPore.

ThruPore’s synthetic porous carbon acts as a delivery system for new process development. The highly porous structure enables precious (and other) metals to be dispersed more uniformly through-out the carbon support.

Source: SpecialChem & WMF
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