Sunday, 5 February 2017

Government Should Offer Attractive Prize Money For Innovative Solutions To Society's Challenges

The minister-designate for environment, science, technology and innovation, Professor Kwabena Frimpong Boateng, has always demonstrated his committment to the  technological advancement of Ghana.

It is admirable that he was able to successfully  put across that personal committment of his to the advancement of science and technology in our country, to members of the Appointments Committee of Parliament, during his vetting by that committee.

(Incidentally, it is instructive that at the end of his vetting it was obvious that he  had gained the respect  and admiration  of virtually all the members of the Appointments Committee. Professor Frimpong Boateng is a truly world-class Ghanaian professional and will doubtless make an excellent minister for environment, science, technology and innovation.)

It would help our nation greatly, were Professor Frimpong Boateng to seize the opportunity offered by the planning going on for Ghana's 60th Independence Day anniversary celebrations, to convince President Akufo-Addo that his administration ought  to set aside money for use as prize-money to be  awarded to the winners of national competitions to find innovative solutions, to help resolve some of the many challenges facing us as a people.

Such competitions often unearth talented inventors and reseachers whose cutting-edge ideas impact society positively - and will result in improvements in the quality of life of the vast majority of our people and the lifting of living standards to higher levels generally: and therefore ought to be a regular feature of our national life.

Once they become aware of the AkzoNoble Chemicals Startup Challenge, this blog hopes that the brightest and best of Ghana's younger generation of inventors and entrepreneurs, who could compete with the best in the world, will submit their innovative ideas for the competition too.

And to serve as an inspiration to our current crop of leaders, and show them how some of the world's best companies utililise competitions to generate bleeding-edge ideas that offer solutions to some of the most daunting challenges facing humankind, today, we are posting an example of such a competition that offers prize money to start-ups put up by AkzoNoble.

The article is culled from the Environmental Leader and was written by Jessica Lyons Hardcastle.

Please read on:

''Chemical Challenge Targets Technologies to Overcome Environmental Management Hurdles

February 3, 2017 by Jessica Lyons Hardcastle  

How to enable wastewater-free chemical sites? That is the question — or at least one of questions AkzoNobel wants startup firms and other innovators to answer in its Chemicals Startup Challenge.

The aim of the AkzoNobel Chemicals Startup Challenge, launched in conjunction with KPMG, is to identify interesting startups and solutions that have a strategic fit with AkzoNobel’s businesses and develop partnerships with them. The challenge will give the winners the chance to see their ideas become a commercial reality.

By bringing these new technologies and solutions to market, it will also help existing companies improve their environmental management — by reducing water use, making recycling easier and developing safer chemicals, among other things.

The challenge focuses on finding solutions within the following areas:

    Highly reactive chemistry and technology
    Sustainable alternatives to our current technologies
    Bio based sources of ethylene and or ethylene oxides
    Bio based and biodegradable surfactants and thickeners
    Cellulose based alternatives to synthetics
    Revolutionizing plastics recycling
    Wastewater-free chemical sites

KPMG has launched an online challenge platform where participants can submit their solutions and find more detailed information on the challenge.

When the challenge closes in March, teams of subject matter experts will work with participants to determine if their submissions are a good fit for AkzoNobel’s business. A jury made up of AkzoNobel business and R&D leaders and others will then select 20 ideas to participate in a three-day event (all expenses covered) at AkzoNobel’s Open Innovation Center in Deventer, the Netherlands, June 1 to 3.

If a new National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine report is any indication, there should be no shortage of promising startups that are working to solve real-world chemical challenges.

The report, Using 21st Century Science to Improve Risk-Related Evaluations, find advances in science and technology are giving businesses and other organizations new approaches for assessing the risks posed by chemicals in the environment."

End of culled Environmental Leader article by Jessica Lyons Hardcastle.

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