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Final 12 Nominees Disclosed for WMF Start-up Challenge 2018

Published on 2018-05-07. Author : SpecialChem

The WMF Start-up Challenge jury met at Mines ParisTech in Paris on April 20th and reviewed 30 applications that had been received from all around the world (Australia, Belgium, Canada, France, Iceland, Iran, Israel, Korea, Netherlands, Portugal, Switzerland, USA).

Innovative Projects that Fit WMF Objective


WMF Logo
The jury finally decided to nominate 12 companies whose innovation projects fitted the most with the WMF objective of Using Materials Smarter, Less and Longer. Each of the nominees will now receive a free “package” including a booth at WMF in Nancy on June 28th and 29th as well as a full coverage of registration, accommodation and transportation costs for his or her CEO.

Award of 50k Euro for Winners


The winners of our WMF Grand Prix and of the EIT Raw Materials Special Award - 50k€ each - will be selected from the nominees and announced in Nancy on June 28th. Two other awards in kind will also be granted on that day: one by SpecialChem that will support the launch of a global promotional campaign and one by AugustDebouzy & CroweHorwath that will support the creation of a subsidiary in France.

Prof. Victoire de Margerie, Jury Chairman states: “Even more than last year, we were impressed by the high quality of applications. I strongly recommend that you come and meet the CEOs of our nominated Start Ups who all confirmed that they will be present in Nancy for WMF 2018”.

The 12 nominees are listed below in alphabetic order:

  • AJELIS (Orsay, France)
  • Ion exchange fibers for industrial effluent treatment with resulting valorization of high value metal wastes at much lower treatment costs than ion exchange resins thanks to increased surface area.

  • AKRYVIA (Nantes, France)
  • Disruptive metal sheet cutting technology that offers the accuracy of laser while keeping the productivity and cost benefits of plasma.

  • BCOMP (Fribourg, Switzerland)
  • Thick flax yarns that can be combined with any type of glass or carbon fibers and create lower weight and cost composites for automotive interior parts.

  • CUBERG (Berkeley, California)
  • Non flammable and thermally stable liquid electrolyte that is compatible with both high voltage metal oxide cathodes and lithium metal anodes and results in high energy density & very safe rechargeable batteries.

  • ECONICK (Nancy, France)
  • Leveraging the experience of agromining of natural metal rich soils in Albania and Malaysia towards agromining of industrial wastes (crystal wastes for zinc, nickel and cobalt or bauxite residues for rare earth).

  • IMAGINE (Rosebery, Australia)
  • Graphene coating technology that transforms textile into smart sensors designed to identify leaks during install of dams with demonstrated improved detection of failures in the installation of geosynthetic liners at lower cost.

  • MALLINDA (Berkeley, California)
  • New material (vitrimer) and technology that enable 1 minute cycle time or less for carbon fiber composite parts used in high volume industries as well as end of product life depolymerization with recovery of resins and woven/full length fibers.

  • POLYSPECTRA (Berkeley, California)
  • New class of light activated catalysts for ruthenium mediated olefin metathesis in order to make microstructured materials with tailored geometry and chemical functionality (ex SLA) and possibly unlock the direct 3D printing of production grade parts.

  • POLYSTYVERT (Montréal, Canada)
  • Combination of 2 technology breakthroughs: 1. Ability to separate dissolved PS from the solvent for high quality recycled PS and 2. In depth purification process to up cycle and get a final recycled product with the properties of a virgin one.

  • REIN4CED (Leuven, Belgium)
  • Combination of carbon and steel fibers to develop new composite material with properties of carbon (lightweight) and steel (high impact resistant and stiffness) together with production process that guaranties proper orientation of steel fibers.

  • SMALLMATEK (Aveiro, Portugal)
  • Longer Chromium free technology that greatly increases the metal corrosion resistance while requiring lower consumption of additives thanks to encapsulated nano corrosion inhibitors into coatings. Pilot scale plant with 500l reactor in test.

  • THRUPORE (New Castle, Delaware)
  • Highly porous synthetic carbon used as customized catalysts in order to disperse precious metals more uniformly and hence improve processes of industrial chemicals with resulting higher quality and lower cost while using less precious metals. 


Source: WMF
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