We are looking for Innovative Technological Processes to produce High Performance Organically Modified Nanomaterials.

Win a pilot project and the chance for a long-term partnership with a global Industrial company. Apply in just five minutes for a chance to win!


A core INAM member, a Global Industrial company developing solutions for Materials Technology.


  • The challenge is open to any university research group, research center, startup and industrial company.

  • You have developed an innovative and disruptive technology or a combination of existing technologies to modify the surface of materials with high efficiency.

  • Your technology must be technically reproducible, and its scalability must be viable to tons level.

BRIEF: The challenge

Changing solid materials behaviour through a process of surface activation is required to obtain novel materials with high efficiency and profitability.

We are looking for startups / research groups working on innovative technological processes in nanomaterials. This may include any physical or mechanical treatment that allows to increase the surface contact in order to improve the modification, v. gr. by dispersing aggregates and/or agglomerates, but without breaking the constituent particles and altering its morphology.

The final purpose would be the hydrophobization of the inorganic solid material surface. We are looking to tailor the surface properties of solid nanomaterials without changing the morphology. We are looking for physical or mechanical treatment to increase surface contact without breaking the constituent particles and altering its morphology. The technological process must also confer or boost its capability to disperse in an oil or solvent-based liquid phase.


Think of us as your customer or development partner. This challenge is open for startups, universities, institutes and research teams. For the project, we expect you to adapt your existing process or co-develop a process with us. We are ready to help you fine tune your solution to get it there.

  • Win a long-term corporate partner

  • A chance to work on a pilot project with a global materials company.

  • Validate, grow and scale up your solution globally with us.

  • Technical and business mentoring.

  • Technical integrations for a joint proof of concept.

  • Direct access to channel partners (including distributors and resellers)

  • Direct investment in your Company (solution) could be evaluated (following phases)


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Applications Open: 1 July to 1 November 2019


Pre-Selection: 5 Projects will be pre-selected by the end of November 2019


Presentation: 3 finalists will be invited to the Headquarters of the company in February 2020

Winner Announced: April 2020


Open innovation can be used as a tool to complement organizations' internal R&D at strategic times during the innovation process. The use of external sources can expand the innovation potential of an organization.

Organizations use open innovation to access more diverse sources of ideas and talent. The goal is to find opportunities to solve unmet needs with the help of the right partnerships.

To do this, many companies are now implementing open innovation programs to look for other ways to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of their innovation processes. We at INAM organise and host Open Innovation Challenges on behalf of our members.


Step 1: We launch Open Innovation Challenges related to our corporate members’ current R&D and scout for Startups / Research Groups willing to work on this challenge.

Step 2: The participants apply for the challenge by explaining how their technologies can help solve the proposed brief.

Step 3: The best projects are selected to come and present their proposed solutions.

Step 4: One (or more) proposals are selected for pilot projects / partnerships with our corporate member.