Semi-finalists for the international IQ-CHem petrochemical startup contest announced

Moscow, 4 May 2017. The jury at the international IQ-CHem startup contest has selected its short-list of best petrochemical projects. The 12 selected startups will now advance to the IQ-CHem contest final, which will be held on 7 June during the Skolkovo 2017 Startup Village conference. The finalists comprise teams from Belgium, Germany, Russia, the USA, the Czech Republic and Switzerland.

All the submitted applications are of a very high quality, each displaying innovative approaches towards solving the specific problems and challenges faced by the petrochemicals industry.

“It’s impossible for companies in the petrochemicals industry to operate today without the continuous development of technology. Yet this technological development is increasingly coming, not from the corporations, but from small companies – start-ups – which focus their efforts on one particular technological solution,” said Dmitry Stepkin, Director of Corporate R&D at SIBUR.

“The number and quality of applications that we have received in 2017 confirms the huge potential of tapping into open innovation sources to develop the petrochemicals industry. The IQ-CHem platform was created precisely for this potential to be translated into real projects that will contribute to development of the industry and society as a whole,” he added.

The finalist teams they pitch their projects to the jury, who will then deliberate and determine the winner. The pitches will be evaluated by representatives from the competition’s partner companies, including Dr. Joost Waterloos, Head of  Scouting & Exploration Network Ventures & Business Development at The Dow Chemical Company; Simone Arizzi, Technical and Innovation Director EMEA at DuPont; and Kurt Vanden Bussche, Director of Research and Development at UOP.

In total, 251 teams from 27 countries took part in the international IQ-CHEM contest. The largest number of applications came from teams in Russia, India, Canada, the Netherlands and the United States.

59 projects are presented at the nomination category “Modern equipment and technological solutions to increase operational efficiency in chemical-technological processes”; 52 projects at the nomination category “Innovative technologies and products for the production of basic monomers and the production and application of special chemicals”; 34 projects are presented at the nomination category “Innovative technologies and products in gas processing and transportation”, and 20 applied at the nomination category “Innovative technologies and products in the production and application of new plastics and elastomers”. Another 86 applications focused on other project areas, including energy efficiency and environmental protection.

The finalists will win the opportunity to cooperate with the contest’s partners to bring their project into reality. These partners – SIBUR, Sinopec, The Dow Chemical Company, DuPont, Solvay, 3M, AkzoNobel, BASF, LG Chem, Henkel, Linde, Technip, and Honeywell UOP – are globally recognised industry leaders. The winners will also be awarded cash prizes. The value of the competition’s total prize fund this year is USD 55,000.

Background information:

The international IQ-CHem platform for petrochemical start-ups was established in 2017 by Russia’s largest gas processing and petrochemical company, SIBUR. It was launched with the support of the following international industry leaders: The Dow Chemical Company, DuPont, Solvay, 3M, AkzoNobel, BASF, LG Chem, Henkel, Linde, Technip, and Honeywell UOP, as well as the Skolkovo Foundation. The project aims to identify and encourage development of promising innovative solutions in the production technology field, and to increase application of petrochemical products to the development and modernisation of the industry to increase its energy efficiency.

SIBUR is a unique vertically integrated gas processing and petrochemicals company. SIBUR owns and operates the largest gas processing business in Russia by volume of processed associated petroleum gas, and is leader of the petrochemicals industry in the country.

SIBUR operates at 23 production sites located across Russia’s various regions, and the group employees around 28,000 people. The company sells products to more than 1,400 large consumers in the fuel and energy, automotive, construction, consumer goods, and chemicals industries, as well as to other sectors in 75 countries.

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