We are always looking for ways to create a more sustainable and liveable world through chemistry. While the specific challenge areas evolve every year with the changing needs of our business, the format of the Challenge remains the same.

Challenge Areas 2018



In June 2017, we invited 20 startups from more than 200 submissions to attend our final event in the Netherlands. Over the course of two days, more than 90 experts from AkzoNobel and partner organizations including KPMG and Lux Research worked with the startups to further develop their ideas and define a clear route to market. Finally, the Imagine Chemistry jury selected 10 winners for the 2017 Challenge, who will receive additional support to realize their ideas for creating a more sustainable world through chemistry.

What others say

"The feedback we received was exceptional, and the event was really useful. Worth every minute.”
Ben Dolman, University of Manchester

Winners of the Joint Development Agreement

Three overall winners were awarded joint development agreements with AkzoNobel’s Specialty Chemicals business to help bring their ideas to market.

Winners of the Research Agreement with AkzoNobel

One team was offered a long-term agreement by AkzoNobel to provide expertise and support further development of their idea.


Winner of the Rent Voucher for the Deventer Open Innovation Center

One project will be able to conduct research at the Deventer Open Innovation Center rent-free for six months.


Winner of Partner Support by Lux Research

One team received dedicated support from startup specialists Lux Research, focused on business development. 

Partner Support by ICOS and KPMG

One team will receive dedicated support from startup specialists ICOS Research and the innovation team of KPMG, to further refine their business case and route to market.

Chemical Research Support

Three teams will receive up to 80 hours of support from AkzoNobel experts and access to our research equipment to solve key challenges and bring their ideas to the next level.

Questions? Want to sign up?

If you have any further questions, please don't hesitate to contact us.