JEC Composites startup booster 2023 winners announced

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JEC Composites
Photo - JEC Composites

In a few years, JEC Composites Startup Booster has become a reference for entrepreneurship in the composites industry worldwide. Each year after an application process, 20 startups, with groundbreaking projects using composite materials, are selected to join JEC World stage and pitch before a panel of expert judges.

Launched in 2017, the competition has been organized in three different regions (Europe, USA and Asia) and has already fostered the emergence of 900+ innovative projects from 60+ countries, 100 finalists and 25 winners, including Arevo, Continuous Composites, ComPair, Fortify and Vartega… This challenge is a great opportunity to the winners of the awards – who will benefit from visibility and contacts with key decision-makers- as well as to all the parts involved: finalists, jury, partners and the worldwide audience of JEC World.

The jury who deliberated on April 26th included representatives from major manufacturers and investors:
• Turlough MCMAHON, Composite Industrial Technologist, Airbus
• Karl-Heinz FUELLER, Manager Future Outside & Materials, Mercedes-Benz
• Raphael SALAPETE, R&T Plan Manager, Ariane Group
• Christer LARSSON, Founding Partner, The Impact Fellowship
• Chris SKINNER, Vice President of Strategic Marketing, Owens Corning

This contest gives a unique opportunity to the participating startups as well as the international audience of JEC World to get some inspiration, network and foster business collaboration. Two exciting pitches sessions took place on April 25th and, after deliberation of the jury, 3 winners have been announced:

Category “Products & Materials”

INCA Renewable Technologies (Canada) – Developing stronger, lighter, cost-competitive, sustainable bio-composites for the automotive, RV, marine, wind and consumer plastics industries.

INCA innovates and manufactures high-performance, cost-competitive, and sustainable composite substitutes for petroleum-based plastics, rainforest plywood and balsa wood.  Our team pioneered use of natural fibre for the automotive industry and have now created the next generation of patented prepreg for Toyota.  We have also developed natural fibre composite solutions for Winnebago, Gurit and others.  We are acquiring fibre from industrial hemp grown on the Canadian Prairie for protein and will refine it to automotive standards in Alberta, Canada. More information:www.incarenewtech.com

Category “Process, Manufacturing & Equipment”

Composite Recycling (Switzerland) – Closing the loop on composite materials.

Composite Recycling has developed a highly energy-efficient and sustainable process to separate the resin from the fibres. With the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, the team has designed a post-treatment to clean the fibres and make them reusable in new composites, closing the loop. More information: www.composite-recycling.ch

Sustainability Prize

Agrona (Egypt) – Making wood without cutting a single tree — Two Billion trees are cut down every year just to supply wood to the furniture and the construction industry making deforestation the second leading cause of climate change. Agrona manufactures the first 100% eco-friendly wood panels in the world out of agri waste and bio-based resins without cutting a single tree. For every ton of panels produced by Agrona that helps to save three trees and avoid five hundred cubic meters of CO2 emissions. Agrona’s aims to expand it is operations to Europe in the next 2 years. More information:www.agrona.net

This year’s competition has been sponsored by Airbus, Mercedes-Benz and Owens Corning as Main Innovation Partners, and Mitsubishi Chemical Group as Innovation Partner.

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