Innovation is the life-blood of the chemical industry. It is also a critical success factor as we transition to the New Normal. Many of today’s plants and processes are simply too old and too inefficient to remain competitive in a world of slow and volatile economic growth.
Yet making the case for investment in new technology is always difficult. So a key enabler can often be entry to a major innovation competition. The ICIS Innovation Awards, now in their 10th year, can thus prove an ideal springboard for future success.
The blog has personally seen this happen:
• As well as chairing International eChem, it is chairman of NiTech Solutions, now a fast growing spin-out company from Scotland’s Heriot Watt University
• In 2010, NiTech entered the ICIS Innovation Awards and won the SME category – its latest advanced reactor/crystalliser technology is pictured above
• The technology in its winning entry was installed by Genzyme (part of major pharma company, Sanofi) and has now run successfully for 5 years with minimum maintenance
• The Nitech plant replaced traditional processes which would have required 2 x 150m3 (40,000 US gallon) pressurised reactors
The blog can thus personally testify to the power of the endorsement provided by this success. NiTech is now making sales to a growing number of major chemical companies and research institutes around the world.
Winning can be equally important for large companies. Previous winners include many major names such as BASF, Dow, Teijin, ExxonMobil, Solvay, DSM, Clariant and Arkema.
If you are an SME moving onto the global stage, or an innovative business in a major company, the blog strongly recommends you consider entering this year. The entry process is simple, and there are full details are on a dedicated website, as well as a video.
But don’t delay – 3 July is the deadline.