The Best Business Innovation category is intended to highlight wider-based innovation in the way chemical companies do business, beyond traditional product and process development.
After the first round of judging in mid-July, two companies and their innovations were successfully shortlisted and went forward to the final judging session on 6 September.
The judges were looking for quality of innovation involved, the scale of challenges overcome, potential market impacts and degree of wider applicability, amongst other things.
The 2013 winner is:
Archroma’s ONE WAY sustainability service
Archroma has launched a breakthrough sustainability service, ONE WAY, designed to help textile mills and brand owners develop innovative textile solutions that are ecologically and economically more sustainable. Archroma’s aim is to provide a fast, measurable and reliable approach to selection of chemical products and process solutions. All ONE WAY dyes and chemicals have been screened by Archroma’s product stewardship specialists against more than 15 textile eco-standards and criteria. Data has been integrated in the ONE WAY Selector, which provides instant information on how each ONE WAY product scores in terms of toxicological and ecological profile and standards. Archroma also developed sophisticated software, the ONE WAY Calculator, that assesses the cost, performance and environmental profile of products.
Shortlisted entries for 2013:
Expansion of closed-loop recycling for polyester in China
Teijin has been engaged in closed-loop chemical recycling of polyester for over a decade and establishing a closed-loop recycling system in China, where over 60% of the world’s polyester is produced, has been a priority. Late last year Teijin formed a joint venture with a major local company in Shaoxing, Zhejiang Province, to chemically recycle polyester as well as manufacture and sell the resulting fibres leveraging Teijin expertise. This venture was the first step in the cooperative project between Teijin and the China Chemical Fibers Association (CCFA) to pursue business opportunities in the field of chemical fibres and related industries in China.
The winner in this category for 2012 was:
The panel of judges decided after careful consideration not to award a winner in this category in 2013. Even though the product and process innovations involved were of high quality, they did not represent examples of true business innovation as set out by ICIS in the category criteria.
The winner in this category for 2011 was:
Innovation in biosuccinic acid
US renewable chemistry start up BioAmber has been first-to-market with bio-based succinic acid, creating a portfolio of renewable chemicals and polymers from the biomaterial including 1,4-butanediol and modified PBS. Open innovation has allowed BioAmber to utilize deep, existing industry know-how and global infrastructure, while reducing capital expenditure and accelerating development. It has licensed E. coli technology from the US Department of Energy, and is building on this with yeast technology from US-based company Cargill. BioAmber combines this advantage with a unique downstream purification technology developed with US non-profit research company MATRIC, and catalyst technology from US based DuPont that converts succinic acid to 1,4-butanediol and tetrahydrofuran.
The winner in this category in 2010 was:
Huntsman Advanced Materials
New generation of rapid manufacturing equipment and resins
With its Araldite Digitalis polymeric additive fabrication system, Huntsman Advanced Materials, based in Basle, Switzerland, believes it has taken rapid manufacturing of 3D parts using stereolithography a significant step further, opening up potential for its UV-curable photopolymers in what it estimates is a $1.2bn/year market. At the heart of the innovation, is a radical new exposure system which uses computer-controlled micro-mechanical shutters, allowing a large surface area of photopolymer to be exposed and avoiding the use of laser technology. Exposure is fast, uniform and of high accuracy and large numbers of parts can be produced simultaneously.
The winner in this category in 2009 was:
Remko Goudappel and Inge Massen
Moving down the value chain with claryl - the picture glass
Having invented a one-step optical anti-reflective coating for float glass, DSM decided that instead of marketing the coating, it would enter the market itself with a branded mid-priced picture-framing glass to capture more of the value from the innovation. Extensive market research indicated a gap in the market and the launch has been so successful DSM has had to install further capacity. The claryl picture-framing glass is now sold through 1,500 framing shops in 15 EU countries and a bid to enter the US market is underway. The original innovation came from DSM’s incubator unit.