ISC3 Innovation Challenge opens for entrepreneurs to advance Sustainable Building and Living

The International Sustainable Chemistry Collaborative Centre (ISC3) launches the first ISC3 Innovation Challenge, calling for innovations in the field of Sustainable Building and Living. The prize consists of a cash award of 25,000 EUR and extensive start-up support by the ISC3 Global Start-up Service. The Innovation Challenge will become an annual competition and will focus on a different specific topic every year. The 2019 Challenge invites ideators and more advanced entrepreneurs to submit sustainable chemistry-based solutions for construction, buildings and living.

Over 20 percent of the plastic in Europe is used in the construction sector
With the increasing urbanization rate, the global construction industry – and with it the construction chemicals market – are expanding rapidly. However, many of the chemicals and materials used in the construction sector have severe shortcomings in terms of sustainability. Some of the used ingredients are toxic or contain high amounts of volatile organic compounds, posing environmental and health risks. In terms of construction materials, little attention is paid to the reuse or recycling of these materials from building demolition waste. This is particularly true for plastic materials, despite the fact that nearly 21% of the 47 million tonnes of plastic used in Europe goes into the construction sector. With Sustainable Cities and Communities being one of the UN Sustainable Development Goals, the building and construction sector plays a particularly important role in the pathway towards sustainable development.

Open for ideators and entrepreneurs
The ISC3 Innovation Challenge is open for all ideators and entrepreneurs employed by organisations including research institutes, start-ups, small-medium sized enterprises or comparable institutions active in the development and realisation of sustainable chemistry innovations. Provided solutions can address a wide range of building and living-related issues such as the substitution of hazardous compounds in construction materials and formulations, new chemistry-based design approaches for construction materials and construction elements that facilitate dismantling, separation, sorting and recyclability at the end of life, increased use of renewable raw materials for construction and low cost sustainable chemistry-based solutions for construction, buildings and living in developing countries. The ideas can be submitted on the ISC3-Website (, deadline for applications is September 30, 2019.

25,000 Eur cash prize and start-up support
The winner of the ISC3 Innovation Challenge will be announced at the Global Sustainable Chemistry Week in May 2020, where five finalists will pitch their innovations. All finalists will receive Customised Support within the ISC3 Global Start-up Service, which includes mentoring and coaching, promotion of the innovation via ISC3 communication channels, support in accessing incubator and accelerator programmes, and much more. The winner of the Challenge will additionally receive a cash prize of 25,000€.

The Innovation Challenge is a flagship initiative under the ISC3 Global Start-up Service, the world’s first programme supporting innovators in the sustainable chemistry-related fields globally. The Global Start-up Service targets entrepreneurs along the entire innovation chain and offers them a wide range of services tailored to their needs.

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