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Alpha Innovator of the Year Awards

Posted on September 23rd, 2016 by in Chemical R&D

ICIS innovation awards sized

In the past 20 to 30 years, there has been an increasing trend of chemical companies becoming more and more guarded about putting their researchers in the spotlight. This is largely due to commercial and IP concerns. Yet individual brilliance is no less important than it was before and depriving researchers of their rewards for solving a particularly intractable problem reduces incentive.

Many scientists and engineers are intrinsically motivated by intellectual curiosity and the treasure hunt that characterizes technical problem solving. Yet a key component of of innovation strategy is also celebrating the individuals who create those steps forward, however incremental or breakthrough, for companies and the customers they serve. While internal company awards are an important avenue of recognition, external awards like the ICIS Innovation Award, of which Elsevier is the 2016 Sponsor, can provide a more public profile of achievement akin to the publication status many academic researchers enjoy.

That is why this year, as part of our sponsorship, Elsevier has introduced two categories to the long-standing ICIS Innovation Award program: the individual Alpha Innovator in Best Product or Process category, and the individual Alpha Innovator in the Environment and Sustainability category. The short lists were announced and can be viewed here. The finalists will be announced October 15.

As a member of the 2016 judging panel I want to thank all of those who submitted proposals for evaluation in any of the Award categories. It was reassuring, in terms of strategic chemical industry growth trajectories, to see the range of continued investment in technical progress to meet market demand and support or even originate technical mega trends. I congratulate all of the short list finalists and look forward to celebrating the winners when announced next month.


All opinions shared in this post are the author’s own.

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