ISC3 and Otto Krahn New Business Corporate Challenge in Sustainable Chemistry and New Recycling Opportunities and Structures within Africa


About the program

Call for Applications: ISC3 and Otto Krahn New Business Corporate Challenge in Sustainable Chemistry and New Recycling Opportunities and Structures within Africa.

By developing new sustainable materials, products, processes and business models, chemistry plays a key role in achieving most of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. In order to accelerate the search for solutions, the International Sustainable Chemistry Collaborative Centre (ISC3) launches the Corporate Challenge to engage, award and promote Sustainable Chemistry innovators from around the world according to a specific industrial call.

Applications are open from April 15th, 2022; 0:00 a.m. CEST until June 30th, 2022, 23:59:59 CEST

Eligible Region: Africa

The ISC3 Corporate Challenge is organized annually with an industry partner and focusses on promoting innovation and creating long lasting cooperation between the industry and the start-up ecosystem by matching industry partners and start-ups based on unique industry calls in the chemical or the chemical related sector. This year’s Corporate Challenge in cooperation with Otto Krahn New Business GmbH & Co. KG addresses innovators developing solutions in the following thematic areas:

  • Recovery and reuse of waste streams: plastic and other materials waste, construction waste, production waste, and other waste streams
  • Recycling, beneficial reuse, value recovery
  • Waste reclamation 
  • Business models facilitating waste collection and valorization
  • Recycling technologies and processes
  • Collection, transport, treatment, disposal, monitoring and regulation of waste
  • New innovations to improve the performance of materials and technology

Submission of proposals

The submission of proposals will follow a 1-stage procedure. The submissions include an online template which asks for a general information, a detailed description of the innovation, and the business perspectives of the organization. Entrepreneurs applying before June 15th, will have the opportunity to meet the Otto Krahn New Business in person during the Otto Krahn New Business Roadshow in Africa. Finalists will pitch their innovation in a closed online event in front of our judges.

Eligible participants

Eligible are all African innovators and entrepreneurs, i.e. persons owning or representing the proposed innovation, employed by organizations including research institutes, start-ups, small-medium sized enterprises or comparable institutions active in the development and realization of sustainable chemistry solutions and new recycling opportunities. 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.


The proposals will be assessed against the following criteria:

  • Fits the geographical scope (based in Africa, focusing on African market or supporting needs in the African market)
  • Innovation level and sustainability aspects. What is the impact of the innovation?
  • Openness for collaboration and further development in partnership
  • Ability to follow up with a joint piloting (in terms of timing and business priorities)
  • Best pitch in the final round of the challenge

What to expect?

Finalists will receive:

  • Tailored support: access to the ISC3 Global Start-up Service
  • Visibility: promotion of your innovation via ISC3 communication channels
  • Cash prizes: the main winner will be awarded a prize of 3.000 EUR, the second place will be awarded a prize of 1.500 EUR. and the third place will be awarded 500 EUR.
  • Piloting Opportunity: All of the winners will receive a potential piloting opportunity. Furthermore, in addition to the finalists, innovators with solutions of particular relevance will be also considered for potential piloting opportunity.


  • Deadline for first stage submission: June 15th, 2022, 23:59:59 CEST
  • In person meetings: End of June/ Beginning of July
  • Deadline for submission: June 30th, 2022, 23:59:59 CEST
  • Jury Evaluation: Ongoing from the start, until the Award Ceremony
  • Preliminary finalists: July 1st, 2022, 23:59:59 CEST
  • Finalist announcements: July 7th, 2022, 23:59:59 CEST
  • Finalist Pitching event and Award Ceremony: July 15th, 2022, 23:59:59 CEST