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AkzoNobel Partners with Tech for 'Paint the Future'

Monday, June 7, 2021

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Global coatings company AkzoNobel has announced that it is joining forces with tech company The Next Web. The goal is for the two companies to share their reach with those partaking in AkzoNobel’s 2021 Paint the Future challenge.

“AkzoNobel’s innovation ecosystem combines the best of the startup and corporate worlds: agility and innovative technology with experience and investment potential,” said Ally van der Boon, Paint the Future Program Manager at AkzoNobel. “We’re excited to collaborate with cutting-edge startups in tech to bring surfaces to life—TNW is the perfect partner to help us do that.”

AkzoNobel notes that it wants to reach more startups with TNW before Paint the Future’s July 20 deadline, saying that TNW’s mission is to connect people who love tech, and with experience in media and events, the global digital brand will extend AkzoNobel’s invitation to join the collaborative innovation ecosystem in the paints and coatings industry.


“Because AkzoNobel commits to working on sustainable business opportunities with challenge winners, being able to attract high quality submissions is critical,” says Wopke Dost, Head of Delivery, TNW Programs. “That’s why TNW’s in-house team of startup scouts and research analysts are getting the word out to early-stage tech companies who meet the challenge criteria: tailor-made Paint the Future collaborations will help them grow.”

Paint the Future

AkzoNobel launched the latest global startup challenge on May 18. According to the company, the 2021 program builds on the success of 2019’s inaugural event, as well as two regional startup challenges in Brazil and China, two supplier programs and other AkzoNobel collaborations. These programs have already resulted in 18 successful solutions, the company noted.

“Paint the Future is our dedicated ecosystem designed to accelerate innovation in paints and coatings,” Klaas Kruithof, Chief Technology Officer, said at the time. “Our first global startup challenge was a first for our industry and our ecosystem has grown amazingly since then to include 2,137 active members. It’s a launch pad for great ideas that’s attracted a diverse group of startups, suppliers, academia and customers.”

For this challenge, startups are invited to submit solutions addressing five challenge themes, including:

  • Enhanced functionality;
  • Customer experience;
  • Smart application;
  • Circular solutions; and
  • Smart manufacturing and supply chain.

Following the launch, “exploration and enrichment of the submissions” will continue through July 20. Then, select finalists will be invited to a collaboration event in late 2021, where the challenge winners will be announced.

Previous Events

Earlier this year, AkzoNobel kicked off the regional event in China, which is being un in partnership with Plug and Play China.

That challenge focuses on three areas, including:

  • Digital Customer Experience - Looking for new technologies and digital solutions that can help AkzoNobel improve the way customers experience its products and services and ensure more consistent results with less time and effort during the entire paint process. This includes picking the right paint and application methods, connecting with the right painting professionals and successfully completing the paint job.
  • Zero Waste - Seeking sustainable and cost-effective solutions that are not only about the recycling of paints and coatings, but also about the consciousness to minimize waste and maximize the potential of materials across the whole value chain, minimizing the impact to our planet.
  • Smart Supply Chain - Interested in end-to-end supply chain solutions, spanning customers/consumers, delivery, planning, manufacturing and suppliers, that can help the company accelerate the building of a strategic, integrated, customer-driven and smart supply chain to better service customers in China and achieve operational excellence.

Submissions for China’s event were due May 15. Selected finalists will participate in an accelerator event in August.

Previous Winners

In July 2020, AkzoNobel announced that it had agreed to partnerships with five companies that were a part of the inaugural Paint the Future, which was held in 2019.

Details on those collaborations included:

  • Lonza Microbial Solutions – a real-time microbial detection method. This new technology can obtain data that will help assess the quality of raw materials and respond to any deviations in production lines.
  • IGM Resins – instant-drying hybrid decorative paints. This partnership is focused on developing paint for professionals that dries significantly faster. Typical applications will include doors and window frames.
  • ICL Group – safe and stable paint formulations. This is a response to an increase in concerns and regulatory pressure around allergens and toxic materials.
  • Smart Materials – self-healing coatings. Developing coatings that recover from scratches at room temperature, which will help to protect the surface and retain the coating’s glossy appearance.
  • Wagner Painting – zero overspray application equipment. Developing an intelligent and adaptable industrial spray equipment concept, known as “SpraySavvy,” which aims for zero overspray and less waste.

In March of that same year, the company released an update on its partnership with the winner, Apellix, a Jacksonville, Florida, startup.

The duo is reportedly collaborating on a computer-controlled spray-painting drone, which uses “unique software flight control” that the companies say can more accurately apply coatings and capture painting data.

Apellix’s custom-built drone is tethered to the ground for its power and coating supply, however, its flies autonomously, according to AkzoNobel. The drone uses “unique software flight control,” which the companies say can more accurately apply coatings and capture painting data. The application aims for benefits such as reduced application time and less waste, as well as increases safety.

   

Tagged categories: AkzoNobel; Asia Pacific; Coatings Technology; Coatings Technology; Contests; EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa); Latin America; North America; Z-Continents

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