“Energy efficiency and bio-based materials technologies were very much to the fore in this year’s ICIS Innovation Awards,” said John Baker of ICIS. “Of the 12 shortlisted entries, no fewer than half offered innovations in these two areas.”
The awards have grown in popularity with each succeeding year and SusChem has been proud to have contributed to the competition’s judging panels on many occasions. This year SusChem coordinator Jacques Komornicki was part of the panel.
SusChem believes that innovation is a key driver for growth and profitability in the chemical sector. And The ICIS Innovation Awards are designed to reward innovation, environmental advances and sustainability in the global chemical industry.
Smart Cities, smart materials
Cabot Corp received the award for its aerogel technology that can dramatically increase insulation in building and construction. The overall winner was unanimously selected by the judging panel of six innovation experts. The company also won the award for Innovation with Best Environmental Benefit.
Innovations like the Aerogel materials (see above - image from ICIS) developed by Cabot offer huge potential to improve the insulation values of a whole range of building materials and are typical of the type of chemical innovation that SusChem has been highlighting recently for the built environment.
Chemistry lies at the heart of the built environment in every city providing the fundamental building blocks for new advanced materials for housing such as smart coatings and insulations that are making houses, offices and factories more energy efficient and form the basis for the ‘Smart Cities’ of the future.
The Chemical Industry is already heavily engaged in this area and has offered five concrete solutions for Chemistry-based initiatives for energy efficiency in buildings, which were selected as top key innovation by city officials at the recent Smart Cities and Communities Stakeholder Platform conference.
Other category winners in the ICIS Innovation Awards 2013 were:
- Solvay Aroma Performance for Best Product Innovation for Govanil: pioneering the new reference of vanilla flavours
- Renmatix for Best Innovation by an SME with its advances in sugar conversion technology using supercritical hydrolysis to provide an economical bridge between upstream and downstream biochemicals
- Virent for Best Innovation for Sustainability with its process to convert plant sugars to paraxylene for renewable, recyclable packaging and fibres, and
- Archroma (until recently part of Clariant) for Best Business Innovation and its “One Way” sustainability service.
You can find full details of all the winning entries and the shortlisted innovations in each of the categories in a 16-page special ICIS publication celebrating the winners and chemical innovation in general.
What are the ICIS awards?
The annual awards are open to any chemical company or collaborative effort between industry and academia anywhere in the World. The judging panel looks for innovative projects that solve problems or provide solutions for the company or its customers or that demonstrate an innovative approach to business, the environment and sustainability.
In 2013 there were five prize categories:
- Best Product Innovation
- Best Innovation by a Small or Medium-sized Enterprise (SME)
- Best Business Innovation
- Best Innovation for Sustainability
- Innovation with Best Environmental Benefit
For more information about the ICIS Chemical Business Innovation Awards visit the website or contact John Baker at ICIS.