The “Entrepreneurial Spirit in Sustainable Chemistry Award” is presented by the International Sustainable Chemistry Collaborative Centre (ISC3) for the first time in 2019. The award highlights entrepreneurs in the field of sustainable chemistry with promising innovations and evaluates them in terms of market potential, business models, technological innovation and impact.
The award is a part of the Green & Sustainable Chemistry Challenge by ISC3 and Elsevier Foundation and aims to promote capacity and community building in developing and emerging countries. The award winner will be announced at the “4th Green and Sustainable Chemistry Conference” from 5. – 8. May 2019 in Dresden, Germany. The “Entrepreneurial Spirit in Sustainable Chemistry Award” consists of a money price of 25,000 EUR plus the onboarding into the ISC3 Global start-up service.
Out of 44 candidates the jury of international experts (Prof. Henning Friege, Professor at the Leuphana University, Prof. Joel Tickner, Professor at the University of Massachusetts Lowell and Director of the ISC3 Regional Hub in the US, and Dr. Claudio Cinquemani, Director of Science and Innovation at ISC3 in Bonn) was particularly impressed by the entrepreneurial spirit of two entries and nominated them for the first Entrepreneurial Spirit in Sustainable Chemistry Award:
Mohammed Aourach, currently a Ph.D. student in the Department of Biology at University Abdelmalek Essaadi in Tétouan, Morocco strives to replace conventional pesticides with natural extracts. He already published scientific papers, describing how he applied aqueous extracts from aromatic and medicinal plants as biofungicides. After his innovation has successfully shown proof of concept, Mohammed Aourach has driven his work from the laboratory to first attempts in greenhouses with great entrepreneurial spirit involving necessary stakeholders and is beginning with the roll-out process. His innovation is reducing the use or generation of hazardous substances and contributes to the SDGs 8, 12 and 15.
Mario Alejandro Heredia Salgado/Ecuador
Mario Heredia from Ecuador, supported by the European Committee for Training and Agriculture and currently Ph.D. Student at Aveiro University/Portugal, created the start-up "Andes" on the basis of his academic thesis. He developed a process to produce biochar from agribusiness biomass wastes for soil improvement. The energy necessary for the char production is taken from the very same process. Thus, the concept embraces multiple sustainable technical approaches from the fields of waste management, renewable energy production and harnessing biogenies sources. The product itself then can be used to restore degraded land and increase crop yield. Mr. Salgado’s innovation has shown technical feasibility and he has already built a network of partners.
ISC3 invites both nominees to attend the 4th Green and Sustainable Chemistry Conference in May in Dresden to discuss their ideas with ISC3 specialists and network with the other participants. Both candidates will be able to benefit from the ISC3 Global Start-up Service through communication support, network events, trainings and showcasing.