ISC3 Innovation Challenge in Sustainable Chemistry and Waste 2022 (up to €15,000)

ISC3 Innovation Challenge in Sustainable Chemistry and Waste 2022 (up to €15,000)

Deadline: April 19, 2022

Applications are open for the ISC3 Innovation Challenge in Sustainable Chemistry and Waste 2022. The Innovation Challenge is an annual challenge by the International Sustainable Chemistry Collaborative Centre (ISC3), and it focuses on a specific topic that follows a respective focus topic.

The special focus topic for ISC3 2022 is waste management related to renewable energy supply (e.g. recycling/recyclability of batteries, wind power plant blades, PV materials).

The ISC3 Innovation Challenge aims to engage, award, and promote sustainable chemistry innovators and their original solutions based on the belief that the transformation of the chemical sector plays an important role in achieving most of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Thematic Areas

The current third Innovation Challenge which is the ISC3 Innovation Challenge in Sustainable Chemistry and Waste: Prevention, Valorization & Management, addresses innovators from around the world that are developing solutions in these topical areas:

Waste prevention

  • Avoiding and reducing the environmental impact of waste
  • Avoiding and reducing waste via resource-efficient chemical and biotechnological production
  • Closing molecule, material, and energy cycles
  • Substituting crucial product ingredients that prevent recycling
  • Product design for longevity and better recyclability
  • Durability and resilience

Waste valorization

  • Waste reclamation
  • Recovery and reuse of waste streams: electronic waste, plastic and other materials waste, agricultural and food waste, production waste, construction waste, wastewater, and other waste streams
  • Recycling, beneficial reuse, value recovery
  • Business models facilitating waste collection and valorization
  • Energy and scarce element recovery

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


  • The finalists will gain access to customized support from ISC3 Global Start-up Service, pitch training, networking opportunities, and visibility through the ISC3 communication channels.
  • The winner of the Innovation Challenge will be awarded a monetary prize of 15,000 EUR, while winners of the “Best Social Impact” and “Best Regional Impact” categories will receive 5,000 EUR each.
  • All three winners will also receive digital award credentials as well as blockchain-based certificates and badges.
  • The winners of the Innovation Challenge will be awarded during the Investor Forum which will be held in November 2022.


  • Eligible are all innovators and entrepreneurs, i.e. persons owning or representing the proposed innovation, employed by organisations including research institutes, start-ups, small-medium sized enterprises or comparable institutions active in the development and realisation of sustainable chemistry solutions.
  • Enterprises participating in the challenge shall have a staff headcount not exceeding 50 (full time equivalent) and an annual turnover of max. 10 Mill. Euro.
  • Enterprises majority-owned by large enterprises are not eligible for the award, with the exception of innovations leading to the creation of independent spin-offs.
  • Proposals submitted by innovators and entrepreneurs from developing countries and tackling challenges in developing countries are considered as particularly important. Female entrepreneurs are specifically encouraged to submit a proposal.

Selection Criteria

The proposals will be assessed against the three main criteria:

  • Innovation level. Is the innovation unique, distinct and truly original?
  • Business viability. What is the market potential of the innovation? Is the idea commercially feasible?
  • Sustainability. What is the sustainability impact of the innovation?


Applications are organized in two stages. First stage application deadline is April 19, second stage application deadline is June 15, 2022; 0:00 a.m.

Click here to apply

For more information, visit ISC3 Innovation Challenge.