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Call for Nominations: ICIS Chemical Innovation Awards
Posted on April 28th, 2016 by Christina Valimaki in New Materials & Applications
It’s here: the ICIS Chemical Industry Innovation Awards for 2016. ICIS (Independent Chemical Information Service, a business unit of Reed Business Information) is the world’s largest information provider for the petrochemical market, and has fast-growing energy and fertilizer divisions. It delivers pricing data, news, analysis and independent consulting, allowing its customers to inform trading and planning decision-making.
In what will be its 13th year, the ICIS Innovation Awards will once again search for the best innovations in the global chemical industry. These popular awards, open to entries from anywhere in the world, are designed to recognize companies which have produced tangible results in terms of innovation in products, processes, ways of doing business, or advances in environmental performance and sustainability. Entries are judged by a panel of leading industry experts who have a strong interest in innovation, and this year I have the honor of serving as a judge on the panel. Traditionally, there have been five categories considered for the ICIS Innovation Awards. Last year, those categories were:
- Best Product Innovation, recognizing steps forward in the more traditional but crucial area of product development (which brings in new business, or makes existing products more attractive and competitive).
- Best Process Innovation, recognizing advances in new process development and process improvement, areas which lead to improved products and underlie better uses of energy and raw materials, improved economics, safer performance and lower environmental impact.
- Best Innovation by a Small or Medium-Sized Enterprise (SME), recognizing SME companies (less than 250 employees and a turnover below $75m), for advances whose benefits extend beyond the company itself, to the market and the customer.
- Best Business Innovation, intended to recognize wide-based innovation, beyond traditional product and process development, in the way chemical companies do business.
- Innovation with Best Benefit to Environment or Sustainability, recognizing novel ways to address the major environmental concerns we face today, like global warming, pollution, recycling, water supply security and nutrition.
Along with ICIS, we’re especially excited to introduce a new award category: Alpha Innovator of the Year. The award will recognize R&D and manufacturing professionals who’ve shown exceptional leadership and expertise in product development and process improvement.
The recipients of the award’s two categories — product development / process optimization, and sustainability goals — will have the chance to be featured as part of Elsevier’s Empowering Knowledge campaign, which celebrates making key scientific insights discoverable to everyone who needs it.
In the past, so many great products have been highlighted. Cabot Corporation from Georgia was unanimously voted the overall winner of the 2013 Innovation Award for its aerogel technology used to increase insulation in buildings and construction. Sometimes called “frozen smoke,” aerogel is the lightest and best insulating solid currently available. Cabot’s hydrophobic aerogel consists of more than 90 percent air, produced in a structure that prevents heat transfer, providing outstanding insulation performance. Huntsman Textile Effects won top honors at the 2014 Innovation Awards for its revolutionary AVITERA® SE poly-reactive dyes, which allow processing mills to dramatically reduce the dyeing and washing-off cycles and to increase productivity, directly addressing pressing sustainability challenges in the textile industry. Last year, AkzoNobel was the winner of the overall ICIS Innovation Award for its development of Intersleek 1100SR, a novel, biocide-free anti-slime coating for marine vessels. This pioneering technology is the first foul-release coating to work against slime. By cutting down on drag, it offers ship operators major fuel savings, resulting in less emissions. It also enables owners who switch from biocidal antifouling to earn carbon credits.
As ICIS Awards Manager John Baker points out, there is tremendous effort and investment going into innovation in the chemical sector today, with companies striving to ensure their long-term sustainability and seeking answers to many of society’s global environmental and resource problems. The Innovation Awards, which continue to grow, attracted a record level of entries last year, highlighting the very best of innovation in the chemical industry.
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