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The ISC3 has selected it's finalists for the Innovation Challenge in Sustainable Chemistry and Agriculture

27-Jul-2023 - Germany
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The fourth ISC3 Innovation Challenge that called for innovations in the field of Sustainable Chemistry and agriculture has it's finalists! The international jury of experts chose eight finalists from a large number of top-notch applications from five continents.


ISC3 Innovation Challenge 2023

This year, the International Sustainable Chemistry Collaborative Centre (ISC3) was looking for innovative solutions from all fields related to Sustainable Chemistry and Agriculture, such as efficient use of organic and inorganic fertilizers, nutrient recovery, precision farming, water management, crop protection, valorisation of agricultural waste, shelf-life extension solutions and solutions related to renewable energy and agriculture.

"An international jury of independent reviewers, including representatives of the ISC3 partner organisations, and individually commissioned external experts, enabled a professional evaluation of all over 100 international submissions at a very high level," says Dr Alexis Bazzanella, Director of ISC3 Innovation Hub, thanking the jury on behalf of the ISC3. "The large number of consistently good applications from the international start-ups have once again proven to us that we are on the right track with the ISC3 Innovation Challenge. With their many good ideas and innovative solutions, the start-ups are making an important contribution to a more sustainable future."

After a long and careful preparation and two-rounds selection process that started out in April 2023, the following start-ups made it through to the ISC3 Innovation Challenge 2023 finals competing with 113 further start-up solutions (alphabetic order):

BIOWEG (Germany): BIOWEG has developed alternative biodegradable, biobased agricultural coatings by combining the power of bacteria, biotech and green chemistry. Their biodegradable coating emulsion replace petroleum and acrylic-based coatings from fertilizers and seeds.

ClimEtSan-OnTheGround GmbH (Germany): ClimEtSan-OnTheGround has developed ecological sanitation units and pyrolysis stoves that provide resources for biochar-compost production to restore soil fertility in smallholder agriculture. In addition, the start-up provides carbon credits and affordable, nutrient-rich fertilizer for the Global South.

Ecorich Solutions Limited (Kenya): Ecorich Solutions has developed the WasteBot, an AI household waste decomposer device that takes only 24 hours to convert household waste into affordable organic fertilizer that is 70% cheaper than common fertilizers. Ecorich Solutions uses soil-based microorganisms, AI-enabled recycling, robotics, computer vision, and machine learning to convert waste into organic fertilizer with 95% accuracy.

KNUST Precision Aquaculture – AquaMet (Ghana): AquaMet is an integrated system that enables fish farmers to monitor and manage their water quality efficiently in order to reduce high mortalities, increase their yield and revenue. KNUST's technology employs an IoT smart probe that collects water quality parameters and sends them via Bluetooth to a server, which then transfers the data to a mobile app for farmers.

Makabi Agritech (Croatia): MAKABI helps producing eco-friendly foods and reduces the environmental impact caused by today's agriculture by reducing the use of heavy organic chemicals and agrochemicals. Its solution is a smart biopolymer microcapsule with 3-in-1 technology: protection, nutrition and time-release mechanism that releases various bioactive components at the time the plant needs them the most.

Molepse BioResources (Kenya): Molepse BioResources is a start-up manufacturing and distributing an innovative organic pesticide to grain producers. Dudukit is an effective insect repellent that eliminates both larvae and live weevils. This product has been developed using nanotechnology, which enhances its usability and effectiveness.

Neptunus Biotech (Mexico): Neptunus Biotech is on a mission to address the challenge of crop stress caused by climate change. The start-up has developed bio stimulant products using microalgae technology. Their aim is to enhance crop resilience and productivity, specifically under stressful conditions like droughts, high and low temperatures and mechanical or chemical damage.

SCHUTZEN CARE PRIVATE (India): SCHUTZEN CARE PRIVATE has patented technology for processing waste seeds of the tamarind tree fruits. The start-up develops singular products and versatile formulations, that possess very high biogenic C-14 isotope, high biodegradability, and very low biochemical oxygen demand. Furthermore, these products contribute to reducing the carbon footprint, as SCHUTZEN’s innovation can replace many fossil-based raw materials in specific industries, such as silicone, acrylates, or polyurethane.

All finalists will get access to the customized support of the ISC3 Global Startup Service in the form of an online pitch training. They will be featured via the ISC3 communication channels as “best practice examples for Sustainable Chemistry innovations” in the ISC3 series Start-up of the Month.

Furthermore, on the basis of their presentation in the end of the pitch training, the selected finalists will be given the chance to compete to win EUR 15.000 and pitch on September 28th, 2023 during the upcoming ISC3 Investor Forum 2023 that will take place live in Bonn, Germany as an official side-event at the 5th World Chemicals Conference (ICCM5). The ISC3 Investor Forum will close with the Innovation Challenge Award Ceremony, where, in addition to the main winner, two additional solutions will be awarded for their Impact, each with EUR 5.000.

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