AkzoNobel has launched its 2021 ‘Paint the Future’ global start-up challenge. Launched in 2019, Paint the Future is AkzoNobel’s global collaborative innovation ‘ecosystem’ designed to accelerate, test, launch and scale solutions for the paints and coatings industry.
According to AkzoNobel, Paint the Future runs a variety of programmes to accelerate innovation. Initially open to start-ups, the challenge was quickly expanded to embrace academia, research institutes and two large groups of suppliers. AkzoNobel said the ecosystem continues to grow and build on the success of each programme.
Start-ups have until 20 July 2021 to submit their solutions. All submissions will receive feedback from industry experts and finalists will be invited to a collaboration event in late 2021. Winners will be offered partnership agreements to work with AkzoNobel on sustainable business opportunities.
“Pioneering new technologies and solutions for our customers is something we’ve been doing for hundreds of years,” said Klaas Kruithof, Chief Technology Officer at AkzoNobel. “Today, with the rapid development of technology in so many areas, we invite others to join us in pushing boundaries – beyond expectation, imagination and generations. Paint the Future is how we drive collaborative innovation in the paints and coatings industry.”
AkzoNobel said its “win-win approach to innovation” is proven to work, saying new technologies and complex solutions can be developed much faster through collaboration. According to the company, in just over two years, Paint the Future has produced 18 successful solutions.
“For start-ups, think how much more you could do with access to AkzoNobel’s expertise, resources and global reach – as well as the knowledge held by the 2220 members in our collaborative innovation ecosystem,” said Ally van der Boon, Paint the Future Program Manager. “This is an incredible opportunity for you to develop and accelerate your solution. Imagine how far we can go together.”
The 2021 Paint the Future programme will explore solutions to five challenges:
- Enhanced functionality: What exciting new functionality and/or transformative power can your technology offer to bring surfaces to life?
- Customer experience: How could your solution improve the way our customers experience our products and services?
- Smart application: How could your solution change or improve the way paints and coatings are applied?
- Circular solutions: How would your solution enable circular use of materials at any point in our value chain?
- Smart manufacturing and supply chain: How can your solution help us create and adopt smarter manufacturing and supply chain solutions?