Innovation Challenge

Innovation Challenge

Calls for Sustainable Chemistry Innovations

The annual ISC3 Innovation Challenge is thematically oriented on an once-per-year selected focus topic. The first ISC3 Innovation Challenge 2019/2020 called for innovations in the field of Sustainable Living and Building. The second ISC3 Innovation Challenge 2020/2021 was dedicated to innovative Sustainable Chemistry and Renewable Energy solutions. The current Challenge will award innovations in the field of Sustainable Chemistry and Waste.

Poster for the ISC3 Innovation Challenge with an image of a head made of plastic.

Finalists of the third ISC3 Innovation Challenge selected: Ready, set, here are the Changemakers!

Read the Presse Release here:

Press Release

ISC3 Innovation Challenge in Sustainable Chemistry and Waste: Prevention, Valorisation and Management - First Application Round closed

The first application round for the ISC3 Innovation Challenge in Sustainable Chemistry and Waste: Prevention, Valorisation and Management ended on April 19th 2022. From the 170 successfully submitted applications, the ISC3 Innovation Hub will select and notify eligible applicants for the application round two until May 1st, 2022.

In case you missed the application deadline for the ISC3 Innovation Challenge in Sustainable Chemistry and Waste, but would be interested in joining the ISC3 Global Start-up Service, please have a look here.


Frankfurt am Main, December 15, 2021 – The International Sustainable Chemistry Collaborative Centre (ISC3) launched the ISC3 Innovation Challenge in Sustainable Chemistry and Waste: Prevention, Valorisation & Management. Contest applications will be accepted until April 19, 2022. The winner of the Innovation Challenge 2021/2022 will be awarded a monetary prize of 15,000 EUR.

The ISC3 Innovation Challenge is organized annually and focusses on a specific topic that follows the respective focus topic of the ISC3.The current third Innovation Challenge addresses innovators from around the world developing solutions in the following thematic areas:

Waste Prevention:
  • Avoiding and reducing environmental impact
  • Durability and resilience
  • Closing material, molecule, and energy cycles
  • Waste reduction/avoidance by resource-efficient chemical and biotechnological production
  • Substitution of critical product ingredients preventing recycling
  • Product design for longevity and better recyclability
Waste Valorisation:
  • Recovery and reuse of waste streams: plastic and other materials waste, electronic waste,agricultural and food waste, construction waste, production waste, wastewater and other waste streams
  • Recycling, beneficial reuse, value recovery
  • Waste reclamation
  • Energy and scarce element recovery
  • Business models facilitating waste collection and valorisation
Waste Management:
  • Safe and sound management of waste
  • Waste and waste-water treatment
  • Harmful substances in materials and products
  • Collection, transport, treatment, disposal, monitoring and regulation
ISC3 2022 special focus topic:
  • Waste management related to renewable energy supply (e.g. recycling/recyclability of batteries, wind power plant blades, PV materials)

Proposals submitted by innovators and entrepreneurs from developing countries and proposals that are tackling challenges in developing countries are particularly encouraged, as are proposals coming from female entrepreneurs.

After the proposal evaluation period (June 16 – July 11, 2022), five finalists will be officially announced after July 15, 2022. They will receive access to ISC3 Global Start-up Service’s customized support, as well as pitch training, networking possibilities and visibility via the ISC3 communication channels. The winners of the Innovation Challenge 2021/2022 will be awarded in the frame of the November-held Investor Forum 2022. In addition to the main prize of 15.000 EUR, the winners of two further categories, namely “Best Social Impact” and “Best Regional Impact”, will receive monetary prizes of 5.000 EUR each. All three winners will also gain digital award credentials including a blockchain-based certificate and badge.

The ISC3 Innovation Challenge aims to engage, award, and promote sustainable chemistry innovators and their original solutions, since the transformation of the chemical sector plays a crucial role towards achieving most of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

For more information and to submit your application, please visit the application plattform.