Winners of the international IQ-Chem petrochemicals startup contest
Friday, Jun 09, 2017
The finals in the international petrochemicals startup contest took place as part of Skolkovo Startup Village 2017.

The contest themes covered various areas within the petrochemicals industry, including "Cutting-edge equipment and technological solutions to increase operational efficiency in chemical-technological processes"; “Technologies and products for the production of basic monomers and the production and application of special chemicals"; “Technologies and products in gas processing and transportation", and “Technologies and products in the production and application of new plastics and elastomers".

The judging panel comprised Dmitry Konov, Chairman of the management board of SIBUR; Dr. Joost Waterloos, Head of Scouting & Exploration Network Ventures & Business Development at The Dow Chemical Company; Simone Arizzi, Technical and Innovation Director EMEA at DuPont; Kurt Vanden Bussche, Director of Research and Development at UOP; Sergey Dmitrouk, Country Research & Development Manager at 3M; Christoph Roerig, Head of BASF Russia and CIS; Andrew Reynolds, CTO of Technip Lyon; Volker Goeke, Head of Scouting & Venturing EMEA at Linde; and Xu Yuehua, Deputy Head of the Chemical’s Industry Department at Sinopec.

This expert jury assessed each of the competing ideas for relevance and technical novelty, how economically attractive the idea is, and its market opportunities.

The winners of the contest are:

1st place: Pyrowave (Canada) - using microwave technology for plastics processing.

2nd place: Compact Membrane Systems (USA) - innovative membranes for the separation of olefins and paraffins; New Sky Energy (USA) - highly effective technology for cleaning hydrocarbons from sulfur compounds.

3rd place: Rebel Inc (USA / Russia) - new synthetic materials based on methacrylate fibers; Qpinch (Belgium) - technology of residual heat recovery for energy saving; and the joint Russian-Swiss project on the technology of methanol production from methane.

Dmitry Konov, Chairman of the management board of SIBUR, expressed his hope that the international IQ-Chem platform for petrochemical startups, created in 2017, will contribute to the development of cooperation between startups and existing corporations, with the aim of improving technological processes in the industry: “The active support given to this contest by our partners – each of whom is a world leading actor on the petrochemicals market – combined with the quality and quantity of projects received, demonstrates the strong interest for cooperation on both sides. Our IQ-CHem contest can become the mechanism that builds efficient international technology partnerships around the world, implementing breakthrough solutions that improve the petrochemicals industry, and creating new products to further develop the industry’s high-tech processes”.

Andrew Reynolds, CTO of Technip Lyon, emphasised just how great an opportunity the IQ-CHem contest is to get your voice heard in the industry. “For me, future projects should be sound, reliable and cost effective. In a word, serious. The platform proposed by IQ-Chem is a great platform to start to demonstrate this. Financial institutions are looking to lower risk and be assured that they have selected the best projects. The IQ-CHem contest is a first step on this long journey.”

In total, 251 teams from 27 countries took part in the international IQ-CHEM contest. The largest number of applications came from teams in Russia, India, Canada, the Netherlands and the United States.

Background information:

The international platform for petrochemical startups was established in 2017 and modelled on the IQ-CHem contest of Russia's largest gas processing and petrochemicals company, SIBUR. It was launched with the support of the following international industry leaders: The Dow Chemical Company, DuPont, Solvay, 3M, AkzoNobel, BASF, LG Chem, Henkel, Linde, Technip, and Honeywell UOP, as well as the Skolkovo Foundation, and venture and technology company The project aims to identify and encourage development of promising innovative solutions in the production technology field, and to increase the use of petrochemical products in the development and modernisation of the industry to increase its energy efficiency. 2017 is the 7th time the IQ-CHem contest has been held.

SIBUR is a unique vertically integrated gas processing and petrochemicals company. SIBUR owns and operates the largest gas processing business in Russia by volume of processed associated petroleum gas, and is leader of the petrochemicals industry in the country.

SIBUR operates at 23 production sites located across Russia’s various regions, and the group employs around 28,000 people. The company sells products to more than 1,400 large consumers in the fuel and energy, automotive, construction, consumer goods, and chemicals industries, as well as to other sectors in 75 countries.

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