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No fewer than 40 innovative companies (scale-ups) from 13 different countries have been selected and invited to the two-day final event of the Sustainable Industry Challenge, Chemport Europe edition in the Northern Netherlands.
Editorial office / Groningen

The companies have been selected from a total of 200 tenderers from 33 countries, by Economic Board Groningen in collaboration with a number of industrial companies (challenge setters) in the Northern Netherlands.

The chosen companies come from 13 different countries, but the focus is on companies from the Netherlands, the United States and Germany. With companies from the United Kingdom, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, France, Spain, Latvia, Hong Kong, Belgium and Canada, the scene is very international. These scale-ups are introduced to other relevant regional parties, so that they will have as much impact as possible on regional activity.

First prize € 100,000

Two finalists will eventually compete in five rounds for first place and the first prize of € 100,000. This amount of money is intended for the elaboration of the winning innovation for a sustainability issue; the innovation with the most impact on the region. However, the most important underlying goal of the Sustainable Industry Challenge goes much further. The organization hopes that connections will be made between these innovative companies from all over the world and companies from the region.

Akke Groenewoud, director of EBG: “Our goal is to interest companies in the region in a concrete and short-term manner and to create a dynamic that has a positive impact on business in the Chemport Europe region. We think that our region has a lot to offer and we assume that we can make concrete connections and do business. ”

Strong connections

Central during the two-day event is the motto: “creating strong connections”. These connections are made during the discussions between the industrial companies and the fast-growing startups about the innovations offered, but also between the startups and other regional parties during a matchmaking event.

The matchmaking event, organized by Campus Groningen, offers around thirty regional companies and organizations the opportunity to get to know the international teams extensively. There is also ample opportunity to network with the 500+ professionals who have been invited to the Groningen Seaports New Year’s reception, where the final takes place during a battle in a real boxing ring.

High quality registrations

The challenge setters, including Teijin Aramid, Suiker Unie, ESD-SIC and ENGIE, are satisfied with the high quality of the applications. For example, the founder of one of the scale-ups present is mentioned in the Forbes 30 under 30 for the energy industry and another scale-up is mentioned in the magazine The Digest. A third company has received 2 stamps of excellence from the EU commission boosting Horizon 2020.

Edward Groen, Director of Energy Transition & Sustainable Development at Teijin Aramid: “Although we have formulated a fairly specific challenge, no fewer than 21 companies have signed up with an innovation for our challenge. We have selected seven of these as potentially interesting. There are also four technologies unknown to us, which we would like to further examine and study. We are therefore very much looking forward to talking with the scale-ups on 7 and 8 January. ”

Concrete innovations

Economic Board Groningen is the initiator of the Sustainable Industry Challenge, Chemport Europe edition, from 2019-2020. Partners are Campus Groningen, NOM, Groningen Seaports, Province of Groningen and Province of Drenthe. All organizations are part of Chemport Europe, the ecosystem for green chemistry in the Northern Netherlands. This major competition, based on challenges formulated by industrial companies, calls on innovative companies to come up with concrete innovations in the field of making recycling, hydrogen or green chemistry more sustainable.