ICIS Innovation Awards launched

Source: ECN


Once again, ICIS is pleased and excited to launch the search for the very best in innovation in the chemical industry.

Now in their 15th year, the ICIS 
Innovation Awards seek to recognise and 
reward companies and individuals that show high levels of innovation in products and 
processes, as well as providing benefits to the 
environment and advancing progress towards sustainability.

The winners will be those companies that have made significant steps forward in technological and business innovation, with tangible results emerging during 2017 and the early part of this year.


ICIS is pleased this year to announce that BASF has taken the role of overall sponsor of the awards. The leading chemical company globally has an impressive history of innovation and continues to place huge emphasis on the role of innovation.

It has been a winner in the ICIS Innovation Awards on several occasions and has helped with judging on others. We welcome its decision to support the Awards even further this year.

ICIS is also grateful for the continued support of Maroon Group (continuing the long involvement of U.S. Chemicals in the Awards), ExxonMobil Chemical and Accenture as category sponsors.

We thank them for their support for the following categories, respectively: Innovation with Best Benefit for the Environment and Sustainability, Best Innovation by a Small or Medium-sized Enterprise (SME) and the Best Product Innovation.

To ensure we identify the very best in 
innovation from the global chemicals industry, we have enlisted a panel of five leading innovation experts from the industry and wider innovation community, who will select the winners in each of the four categories and an overall Best Innovation for 2018. This award will be presented by BASF as overall sponsor.

To recognise the breadth of innovation in the chemical sector, the ICIS Innovation Awards offer four categories to enter, as 
detailed below.

Companies may enter as many innovations as they wish, but can enter each innovation into one category only.

Entries should contain a 300-word statement outlining the innovation and its importance, the science behind it and key 
advances/issues overcome, and what the main benefits are to the company, the market and the customer, or the environment and sustainability.

The statement can be supported by 
additional material containing technical 
information and presentations, sales & marketing literature, press releases and any editorial coverage the innovation has attracted.


There is a choice of four categories to enter:

1. Best Product Innovation (Sponsored by Accenture)

The Best Product Innovation category gives entrants a chance to show how innovative they are in the traditional but still vital area of product innovation.

Previous winners:

  • 2017 – AkzoNobel: Interline 9001 cargo tank advanced coating system

  • 2016 – Dow Chemical: Canvera polyolefin dispersions for food and beverage metal can coatings

  • 2015 – AkzoNobel: Intersleek 1100SR patented anti-slime release coating for ships hulls

2. Best Process Innovation

The Best Process Innovation category gives entrants a chance to show how innovative they are in the fundamental areas of new process development and process improvement – vital areas of innovation underlying better use of energy and raw materials, improved economics, safer performance and lower environmental impact.

Previous winners:

  • 2017 – Dow Chemical: Fluidised catalytic dehydrogenation process (FCDh)

  • 2016 – Siluria Technologies: Oxidative coupling of methane

  • 2015 – No award made

3. Best Innovation by a Small or Medium-sized Enterprise (Sponsored by ExxonMobil Chemical)

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

Previous winners:

  • 2017 – Genomatica: Geno BG – a more natural, sustainable way to make butylene glycol

  • 2016 – Compact Membrane Systems: Membrane separation of olefins and paraffins

  • 2015 – Cella Energy: Solid hydrogen

4. Innovation with Best Benefit to Environment and Sustainability (Sponsored by Maroon Group LLC)

The chemical industry and innovative can play an important role in addressing many of today’s environmental concerns, including global warming, pollution, recycling, water supply security and nutrition. The category is designed to recognise those companies that have incorporated the ideas of environmental performance and sustainability into their innovation in the areas of product and process developments and approach to business overall.

Entries might include improved manufacturing processes or products that reduce environmental impact, or new products that tackle the issues above. They should show a distinct benefit to the environment and to the sustainability of the company and its customers.

Previous winners:

  • 2017 – Enerkem: Driving the circular economy by converting waste to everyday goods

  • 2016 – Covestro and CAT Catalytic Center RWTH Aachen: Use of carbon dioxide in the production of plastics

  • 2015 – Global Green Products: Fresh water conservation in the Bakken

For full details on this and previous years’ ICIS Innovation Awards, go to www.icis.com/awards.


The ICIS Innovation Awards are open to any chemical company or individual, regardless of where they are based.

The judges will be looking for innovative 
projects that solve problems or provide solutions for the company entering and/or its 
customers, or demonstrate an innovative 
approach to business, the environment and/or sustainability.

  • Decide which category you want to enter in the ICIS lnnovation Awards

  • Complete the relevant online application form that can be found at www.icis.com/awards

  • Use the link to email supporting documents to ICIS

  • Click submit

  • Confirmation of receipt of your entry will be sent to you by email.

Winners of an award will:

  • Enjoy extensive editorial coverage in ICIS Chemical Business and ICIS online

  • Be able to build on further publicity both within their company and externally, related to their success in the competition

  • Be invited to an Awards lunch with the other winners, sponsors and judges later in the year

  • Receive an active lnnovation Awards logo to host on their web site, promoting their success in the competition

deadline for entries

The deadline for entries is 29 June 2018. A shortlist of successful entries in each category will be published in ICIS Chemical Business in August.

Winners will be notified in September and the announcement of the winners will be made in ICIS Chemical Business in October.

Award presentations will be made in early December at a special lunch in a leading London venue.

If you have any questions about the ICIS Innovation Awards or need clarification on how or what to enter, please contact John Baker at 
+44 20 8652 3153 or john.baker@icis.com.


Paul Bjacek is a principal director and leads Accenture’s chemicals and natural resources strategic research. He has more than 25 years of 
experience in the process industries, including project activities in manufacturing, marketing and distribution. Paul regularly writes and presents on topics impacting the chemical industry. He holds a master’s degree from the London School of Economics, with a bachelor’s degree in chemistry and business.

Detlef Kratz is a senior vice president for corporate technology and operational excellence at BASF. He has worked in leadership positions in both Asia and Europe since joining BASF in 1992. He has a PhD in organic chemistry from the University of Heidelberg and spent a year as postdoctoral fellow at the California Institute of Technology in Los Angeles.

Mike McKenna is chief operating officer for Maroon Group, a North American specialty chemical and ingredients distributor. He is responsible for operational excellence, global supply partnerships and marketing and is a member of the company’s M&A team. Before joining Maroon Group he worked for Johnson Matthey.

Godefroy Motte is a seasoned global chemical industry executive. After 31 years at Eastman Chemical, ultimately as a member of Eastman’s executive board, he created Adrialis. His current focus is to work with specialty chemical companies and the investment industry to create long term value especially in the acquisition or divestiture process.

David Woods is an opportunity identification manager, new product platforms, at ExxonMobil Chemical, based in Baytown, Texas, US. He manages the pursuit of new product opportunities.



Chemistry always been an enabler for innovations in numerous industries as it provides solutions for current and future needs of our society. The number of people living on earth is growing. Latest numbers from the UN project is almost 10bn people by 2050 and by then, almost 3bn more people will live in cities.

Our growing population will need access to affordable energy, housing, healthcare and quality food. At the same time, we must strive to consume fewer resources, be it land, water, minerals or oil. An example, each year the area of arable land on our planet is shrinking by 12m hectares, which is about 50% the size of Great Britain.

Chemistry is an essential driver of sustainability and its innovation in chemistry will provide the products and technologies that will enable us to consume less, be more efficient and produce better products for all people. A farmer today produces 30 times more food than over 150 years ago when BASF was founded.

A unique track record of innovations is what makes up the core of BASF and consequently, innovation forms the cornerstone of BASF’s strategy. Synthetic dyes, ammonia as the basis for fertilizers, polymers as raw material for insulation foams and packaging, synthetically produced vitamins, blockbuster fungicides and plant biotechnology are just a few examples.

“As the most innovative company in the chemical industry, BASF has long been developing solutions for the biggest challenges of our time, and has enjoyed great success in doing so. And we are continuously working on many more innovations to improve people’s day-to-day lives” says Detlef Kratz, senior vice president for technology and operational excellence.

We would like to share this spirit with those who work on innovations in the chemical industry. For this reason, we are honoured to support the ICIS Innovation Awards for the first time and acknowledge the teams and people behind contributions for a sustainable future. We are optimistic that brilliant minds will come up with outstanding ideas. We wish all of them great success.

Further information at www.basf.com


ExxonMobil Chemical is one of the largest chemical companies in the world. Our unique portfolio of commodity and specialty businesses generates annual sales of more than 24m tonnes of prime products.

Commitment to maintaining a leadership position in technology is fundamental to our continued success. We have a broad portfolio of proprietary process, product and product applications expertise. Now, more than ever, chemicals are the building blocks of modern life.

Chemicals play a key role in fields integral to human progress, including transportation, agriculture, pharmaceuticals and medical equipment, as well as efficient manufacturing and packaging of a wide array of consumer goods.

As an organisation with technological achievements that have enriched the lives of people everywhere, ExxonMobil Chemical is pleased to sponsor the Best Innovation by an SME category in these awards.

Visit us at www.exxonmobilchemical.com 


Accenture is pleased to sponsor the Best Product Innovation category of the 2018 ICIS Innovation Awards. In today’s business environment, companies need to continually reinvent themselves. At Accenture, we take an innovation-led approach to help clients “imagine and invent” their future.

We are always looking ahead to anticipate what is next. From research, ventures and labs to studios, innovation centres and delivery centres, we help companies imagine the future and bring it to life.

Accenture’s chemical industry group helps chemical companies apply innovation, transformational strategies and digital enablement for growth, differentiation and superior operations. We have over 30 years of experience working in all segments of the chemical industry – including basic and intermediate chemicals, polymers, fibres and elastomers, agricultural chemicals, paints and coatings, industrial gases and other specialty chemicals – across the value chain.

Accenture is a leading global professional services company, providing a broad range of services and solutions in strategy, consulting, digital, technology and operations. Combining unmatched experience and specialised skills across more than 40 industries and all business functions – underpinned by the world’s largest delivery network – Accenture works at the intersection of business and technology to help clients improve their performance and create sustainable value for their stakeholders.

With approximately 442,000 people serving 
clients in more than 120 
countries, Accenture drives innovation to improve the way the world works and lives.

Visit us at www.accenture.com


Maroon Group is a leading 
distributor of specialty chemicals and ingredients that values sustainability and environmental respon-sibility. We take pride in associating with companies that share these values as we strive to create success for our customers by supplying safe and consistent products.

Through our dedication as a responsible organisation, we are proud to sponsor, for the 10th consecutive year, the Innovation with Best Benefit to Environment or Sustainability category of the ICIS Innovation Awards.

Maroon Group is an active member of the National Assoc-iation of Chemical Distributors (NACD) and holds a Responsible Distribution (RD) certification. This third-party verification of environmental, health, safety and security programmes demonstrates our commitment to continuous performance improvement and responsible distribution in every phase of chemical storage, handling, transportation and disposal.

Furthermore, our ISO 9001 certification reaffirms this commitment via our policies and procedures.

As part of our EcoVadis rating, Maroon Group takes a proactive role in addressing corporate responsibility and sustainability in 21 Environment, Fair Labor Practices, Ethics/Fair Business Practices and Supply Chain criteria. Maroon Group has been recognised by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for our commitment to reduce waste, improve efficiency and continuously work to progress as an environmental steward.

Maroon Group is one of the fastest growing specialty chemical and ingredient distributors in North America. Our operating verticals focus on end markets which include CASE, plastics, CARE and specialty intermediates.

We leverage a common infrastructure of industry leading technology, value-add services, global sourcing and logistics network and a commitment to Creating Customer Success.

For more information, go to: www.maroongroupllc.com