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Open Innovation Challenge with Continental!

Updated: Nov 8, 2023

Date: 25 October, 2021

Continenal is looking for Polymer Recycling Solutions for Rubber & Plastics from the Automotive Industry.

Sustainable material solutions are part of Continental's comprehensive sustainability roadmap, which aims to achieve 100 percent carbon neutrality, 100 percent emission-free mobility and industry, a 100 percent circular economy and 100 percent responsible value chains – all by no later than 2050!

An effective circular economy for polymeric materials substantially contributes to this sustainability roadmap. With polymers, there are two ways of recycling: mechanical and chemical recycling, i.e. chemical degradation of the macromolecular chains into building blocks such as monomers and the pre-cursor raw materials. The most common form of chemical recycling currently available involves a process called pyrolysis, which is a controlled thermal decomposition. This process typically requires a lot of energy and shows limited selectivity.

Continental challenges university research groups, research centers, individual inventors and startups to be part of these strong ambitions by developing a cost-effective and scalable solution that provides:

  • Degradation/depolymerization on demand by a stimulus for compounds in technical components/ application

  • Access to monomers/oligomers/ pre-cursor raw materials as feedstock for new compounds.

Your solution should be focused on materials based on:

  • Rubber

  • Thermoplastics or thermoplastic elastomers (TPEs)

Out of scope for this project:

  • Pyrolysis processes

  • Commodity polymers (plastic bags, forks, …)

  • PLA, PHB by water

Applications are open now on F6S: APPLY NOW

The deadline for applications is the 15th of November 2021.

For more information on the brief and technological details, visit


Continental develops pioneering technologies and services for sustainable and connected mobility of people and their goods. Founded in 1871, the technology company offers safe, efficient, intelligent, and affordable solutions for vehicles, machines, traffic and transportation. In 2020, Continental generated sales of €37.7 billion and currently employs around 193,000 people in 58 countries and markets. In 2021, the company celebrates its 150th anniversary.

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