ICIS Innovation Awards reward innovation

15 April 2011 00:00  [Source: ICB]

This week, we launch the ICIS Innovation Awards 2011 in our search for the most innovative companies in the chemical industry. Will you be among them?

To enter, go to www.icis.com/awards

Innovation, sustainability, societal mega-trends, bio-materials. It is hard to escape the prominent coverage the chemical industry is generating today on these topics.

It all shows how vibrant the innovation agenda is at present, as companies both large and small ramp up their investment and activities in research, development and sustainable innovation.

Amid all this activity, ICIS this week launches its eighth annual Innovation Awards, designed to highlight the best of these developments and to reward companies for their expertise and commitment in this critical area.

This year, we are pleased to welcome back US silicon and silicones specialist Dow Corning as overall sponsor, and to say thank you, too, for the ongoing support from US-based management consultancy CRA and US distributor U.S. Chemicals.

We are also pleased to announce that this year, Netherlands-based health, nutrition and materials company DSM is participating as sponsor of a new category, designed to recognize companies that are embracing the principles of sustainability in their drive for innovative products and processes.


To recognize the breadth of innovation in the chemical sector, the ICIS Innovation Awards provides five categories to choose from. Companies may enter as many innovations as they wish, but can enter each innovation into one category only. ICIS will also be announcing an overall winner, selected from the five category winners. This award will be presented by Dow Corning, as lead sponsor of the ICIS Innovation Awards 2011.


The Best Product Innovation category offers entrants a chance to show how innovative they are in the traditional, but still vital, areas of product and process innovation.

Previous winners
2010 Tata Chemicals Tata Swach nanotech water purifier
2009 Arkema/CECA Formulations for "greener roads"


The Best Innovation by an SME category allows SMEs - that great source and reservoir of innovation - a chance to shine.

Previous winners
2010 NiTech Solutions Use of innovative NiTech reactor by Genzyme to manufacture one of its leading products
2009 Oxford Catalyst/Velocys A microchannel reactor for the distributed production of third-generation biofuels


The Best Business Innovation category is intended to highlight wider innovation in the way chemical companies do business. This may be with new service offerings to customers or partnerships with suppliers and downstream collaborators, new approaches to the route to market or even novel supply chain or business process operations.

Previous winners
2010 Huntsman Advanced Materials New generation of rapid manufacturing equipment and resins
2009 DSM Moving down the value chain with claryl - the picture glass


The Best Innovation for Sustainability category is intended to recognize companies that have been innovative in their approach to embracing sustainability practices in product development and production, to ensure long-term business continuity and environmental quality.
This is a new category for 2011


The category for Innovation with Best Environmental Benefit is designed to highlight the way chemical innovation can reduce environmental impacts. This might be by improving the manufacturing process of existing products, by developing environmentally friendly alternatives to existing products, or by tackling issues of global warming, pollution and health.

Previous winners
2010 Teijin Fibers ECO CIRCLE innovative closed-loop recycling system for polyester
2007 Evonik Industries RohMax Oil Additives A novel approach to saving energy through hydraulic fluid design

All this leaves me to do is to urge you to enter the Awards and to wish you the very best of luck. Past winners have included large multinationals and the smallest of SMEs; all that matters is the quality of the innovation.



Roger Highfield
Editor of New Scientist, a leading weekly science magazine and website. He was science editor of UK national paper The Daily Telegraph for two decades and he still contributes a column for it. He has written and co-authored several books.

Dr. Gregg Zank
Senior vice president and chief technology officer at Dow Corning. He leads the company's innovation efforts, which include a unified approach to advancing and managing innovation for maximum future growth based on megatrends.

Dr. Marcel Wubbolts
Vice president, research & technology at the DSM Innovation Center in the Netherlands. He also heads the industrial biotechnology section of SusChem, the European Technology Platform for Sustainable Chemistry.

Dr. Neil Checker
Vice president and head of the Europe & Middle East region for chemicals at CRA, where he specializes in strategic planning, mergers and acquisitions. He has worked internationally in the chemical industry for 25 years.

Dr. Adrian Higson
Head of biorefining at the UK Centre for Biorenew-able Energy, Fuels and Materials. He specializes in issues related to bio-based chemicals and biorefineries. He was formerly project manager at SAFC Pharma.



This year is an important one for everyone in the chemical industry, as we celebrate the International Year of Chemistry. This milestone is generating worldwide recognition of the achievements and contributions chemistry has made to humankind.

But as we celebrate our past, we also need to focus on the future and charge forward with new approaches to innovation and the development of new products and processes that enrich people's lives and benefit the environment, all the while helping our businesses and employees thrive.

While today's challenges are significant, there is excitement in this quest and growing optimism grounded in the industry's history of finding solutions through its unbridled focus on innovation. This will be critical as we address new approaches to sustainability, social and environmental - perhaps the single most important megatrend of our generation.

The world is looking to us for leadership in renewable energy, solutions to global warming, safe food and clean water, regenerative medicine, and energy-efficient housing and transportation. We are responding with advanced research, innovative public/private partnerships, and continuous improvements in our own manufacturing processes and technologies. The results are impressive, but I'm convinced that the best is yet to come.

As it has for decades, chemistry will continue to be a primary driver for growth and sustainable development. We and our partners throughout the value chain will remain competitive, based on technology leadership and innovation.

Dow Corning is honored to sponsor the ICIS Innovation Awards, because we understand the importance of putting new ideas into action. More than ever, the world needs game-changing innovations that only the chemical industry can deliver.

Dr. Gregg Zank, senior vice president, chief technology officer, Dow Corning



At DSM, we believe that the effects of climate change, resource scarcity and the demands of a growing global population are so profound that there is no long-term future for companies that do not embrace sustainability. This is why sustainability is our core value.

Sustainability criteria are built into all innovation decisions we make. Innovation at DSM is not just about great ideas, state-of-the-art technology and high-tech laboratories. It's about finding the best sustainable and commercially viable solutions to market needs. To us, achieving sustainability means simultaneously pursuing economic performance, environmental quality and social responsibility. In other words, we strive to create value on the three dimensions of People, Planet and Profit.

We believe real breakthroughs can only be achieved by those able to see beyond the boundaries of their own expertise, discipline or group. By sharing ideas and know-how, we know we can create new routes to sustainable innovations.

This is why we seek to work with the very best people - both within our own organization and from the worlds of business and academia - as we strive to meet our ambition of creating brighter lives for people today and generations to come.

In line with this, we are delighted to be sponsoring the ICIS Innovation Awards in 2011.

Rob van Leen, chief innovation officer, DSM



U.S. Chemicals is excited to participate in the ICIS Innovation Awards 2011 and pleased to again sponsor the Innovation with the Best Environmental Benefit.

Every day, the critical need for solutions to the world's problems highlights the importance of companies that subscribe to the tenets celebrated by this award.

The global community demands products and services to enhance all our lives and, even more importantly, address our fundamental needs.

The news of the crisis in Japan brings home the nature of our interrelated global community. Japan is an example of a sudden, acute situation, but there are so many everyday problems that can provide the chemical industry with the opportunity to significantly change the lives of millions.

An issue of particular interest to U.S. Chemicals is making potable water available in underdeveloped countries. We are committed to supporting companies that will provide solutions in this area.

Making available clean, safe water supplies will dramatically improve quality of life, enabling communities to grow and contribute in new and better ways.

This is just one of many opportunities for the chemical industry, and U.S. Chemicals is proud to recognize those companies that focus on improving the environment.

These companies will succeed, and this success will further the growth and health of so many others.

Everyone wins.

Carol Piccaro, CEO and president, U.S. Chemicals



For the third year running, CRA is once again pleased to sponsor the ICIS Innovation Awards in the category of Best Product Innovation. As part of the judging panel, we find it increasingly difficult each year to identify a clear winner - not from a lack of submissions, but due to the high quality of entrants in this category.

The diversity of submissions - from more traditional, but important, developments in resins and plastics, to personal care and bio-based chemistries - is reflective of the increasing innovative nature of the chemical industry, which is to be encouraged and applauded.

CRA's extensive work in technology and innovation strategy with leading companies affirms that product innovation will continue to be the lifeblood of the chemical industry, and that maintaining a robust product development pipeline will be a key driver of competitive advantage.

We look forward to working again with ICIS and our fellow sponsors for the 2011 Innovation Awards in recognizing product innovation leaders in the industry.

Dr. Neil Checker, vice president, CRA


  • Select your category
  • Complete the online application form at www.icis.com/awards
  • Upload supporting documents
  • Click submit
  • If you have any questions contact John Baker on +44 20 8652 3153 or email: john.baker@icis.com. Confirmation of receipt of your entry will be sent to you by email.
  • Closing date: July 4 (Shortlist: August 1. Winners announced: October 17)

For more information on the ICIS Innovation Awards, the sponsors and the categories to enter

By: John Baker
+44 20 8652 3214

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