Economic Board Groningen (EBG) is organising an international pitch event, called the Sustainable Industry Challenge - Chemport Europe edition - for innovative scale-ups in the green chemistry, recycling, and green energy sector. EBG is partnering with various companies, such as Campus Groningen, in Northern Netherlands for this event. The objective is to find tangible solutions for innovating the chemical and energy sectors. The grand finale will take place on the 8th of January 2020, during Groningen Seaports' New Year's reception in Delfzijl. During this event, national and international scale-ups will compete against each other in the thrilling finale. The winner gets a cash prize of 100,000 euros for a pilot project to realise the solution they proposed for the region.
Major international pitch
"Actively attracting scale-ups is a valuable strategy for achieving innovation and sustainability and creating more employment in Northern Netherlands. While some of these scale-ups are based in this region, many others are often established elsewhere in the Netherlands, Europe, the United States or Asia. Hence EBG's idea of organising a major international pitch with its partners in Northern Netherlands, that focuses on innovating the chemical and energy industry', says Akke Groenewoud, member of the board of Economic Board Groningen.
Five of the region's industrial companies – Teijin Aramid, Suiker Unie, ENGIE, ESD-SIC and BioMCN – are searching for innovative startups or scale-ups. They are affiliated with the Sustainable Industry Challenge as challenge owners. These companies are actively making an energy transition and challenging national and international scale-ups to devise innovative solutions for the opportunities and challenges associated with these sustainability goals . National and international scale-ups are invited to propose innovative solutions for these challenges.
Prize money for a pilot project
The winner will receive a cash prize of 100,000 euros for the implementation of their pilot project in the Chemport Europe region, in partnership with the respective challenge owner. Scale-ups with successful ideas will be given the opportunity to launch a pilot project and will have access to an exclusive network of innovative industrial companies in the region. They will also be able to use the facilities of these companies to implement their pilot project.
The purpose of the Sustainable Industry Challenge is to position the region as an attractive location for scale-ups to set up their business. In that sense, the challenge is also a lead generator, as all the participants may potentially establish themselves in the region. In the coming months, Unknown Group, an international scouting agency, will work with partners in the region to raise interest among scale-ups. On the 7th of January 2020, the scale-ups will gather in Groningen for a personal meeting with the companies. On the 8th of January 2020, the scale-ups will compete against each other in the thrilling finale at Groningen Seaports' New Year's reception in Delfzijl.
Economic Board Groningen has taken the initiative to organise the 2019-2020 Sustainable Industry Challenge, Chemport Europe edition. Its partners for this challenge are Campus Groningen, NOM, Groningen Seaports, the Province of Groningen and the Province of Drenthe. All the organisations are members of Chemport Europe, the green chemistry ecosystem in Northern Netherlands. The joint objective of all the parties in this ecosystem is to accelerate the green economy and put the region's chemical industry on the global map. This also ties in with the goal of the Eemsdelta industry agenda to be carbon-neutral by 2050. Chemport Europe was established to promote collaboration because companies cannot achieve these goals on their own. There is an intermediate chemicals production cluster in Delfzijl, a polymers and materials cluster in Emmen, a knowledge and innovation cluster in Groningen, and an important cluster for agribusiness in the hinterland focusing on green resources, with knowledge of agrologistics and biorefinery. The objective is clear, i.e., to jointly develop green chemistry.