Nominees of the Innovation Award


Dryflex Green

Patagonia (US)
Patagonia Yulex R3 wetsuit

Cooper Tire (US)
Guayule Natural Rubber
for Tire Application

Paptic (FI)
PAPTIC – The Next
Generation of Paper

Phytowelt Green Technologies (DE)
Chiral Raspberry Fragrance



For the tenth year in a row, the Innovation Award "Bio-based Material of the Year" will be granted to the young, innovative bio-based chemicals and materials industry for finding suitable applications and markets for bio-based products. The focus of the award is on new developments within these areas, which had been launched in 2016 or will be launched in 2017.

Producers and inventors of innovative bio-based materials are invited to hand in their application until end of February 2017. Have a look at the most exciting winners of the Innovation Award here!


First stage: From now until end of February 2017
Producers and inventors of innovative bio-based materials are invited to hand in a completed application form and a leaflet or a two-page PDF about the product in English including printable digital pictures (300 dpi), which are free of use in our subsequent media publicity. The documents should explain the particular aspects of the innovation and when it was launched on the market. It is also necessary to submit a sample of the product (or a small material sample if the product is too unhandy).

Second stage: Mid-March 2017
A jury consisting of representatives of the nova-Institute, the advisory board, sponsors and partners of the conference will nominate the outstanding "Top 6" applicants prior to the conference.
After the jury has selected the "Top 6" candidates among the applicants, their application documents will be made available for download from the conference website ( to give our audience and other interested individuals a first glimpse of these innovations.

Third stage: At the conference (10-11 May 2017)
In a short 10-minute presentation, each one of the six companies will introduce its innovation on the first day of the conference (on May 10, 2017). Following the presentations, the audience will choose the three winners, who will be presented with their awards at the Innovation Award Ceremony (likewise on 10 May 2017, in the evening).
The "Top 6" will present their innovations in a shared exhibition space provided by the nova-Institute. Additionally there is the option to book your own exhibition space (for information see here).
All winners and their innovations will be highlighted in the subsequent media coverage.

Please note that it is obligatory for the chosen "Top 6" candidates to be physically present on May 10, 2017 at the event in Cologne in order to present their product to our audience. Each "Top 6" candidate will get one free 2-day ticket and further tickets at a discount rate.

Winners of the Innovation Award "Bio-based Material of the Year 2016":

You can download the picture here.

1) Orineo BVBA (BE): Touch of Nature™ – Filled bio-based resin for stimulating biomaterials

Imagine the work and people involved in bringing coffee beans from their exotic plantation into your morning mug. Consider now the tiny fraction of the bean being brewed and the few minutes to empty your espresso. Well, Orineo has developed a new range of biomaterials based on the 80% waste of your cup of coffee, coffee grounds. They are biomaterials designed for a 20 years’ lifetime. Plenty of time for nature to replenish the feedstock! And it does not stop here. Branded as Touch of Nature™, these materials look good, feel good and perform well. One more step? Same story with used cork stoppers, berry seeds, olive leaves, to obtain a range of colours and patterns based on nature. It’s now commercial: liquid bio-based formulations for seamless floors, tabletops and furniture based on these sidestreams.

More information here.

2) Evonik Nutrition & Care GmbH (DE): REWOFERM® SL 446 – Novel sophorolipid-type biosurfactant

REWOFERM® SL 446 is a novel sophorolipid-type biosurfactant. It is made by fermentation with a natural, non-GMO yeast using European sourced sugar and oil feedstock. Due to its environmentally benign production process, REWOFERM® SL 446 has a low carbon footprint and a Renewable Carbon Index (RCI) of 100%. It exhibits an excellent toxicological and eco-toxicological profile and is completely biodegradable. It is compliant with European Ecolabel requirements. It also behaves as a super-mild surfactant to the skin. Replacement of petro-based surfactants by REWOFERM® SL 446 boosts the foaming and the grease removal efficiency in hand dish wash formulations. Thus, it is possible to increase both the performance and the ecological footprint of your cleaning formulations.

More information here.

3) Covestro Deutschland AG (DE): Impranil® eco – Bio-based waterborne polyurethane dispersions for textile coatings

Sustainability has an increasing impact on the product and raw-material purchasing decisions of consumers and brand owners. Covestro has developed a technology to raise the content of renewable resources in polyurethane dispersions (PUDs) up to 65%. This makes new levels of sustainability possible for PU synthetic materials (footwear, garment, accessories…). Thanks to this development, it is now possible to produce coated textiles with high performance and low content of fossil-based raw materials in each layer. The key benefits are: 43% – 65% renewable carbon content, not in direct competition with the food chain; can be used in every layer of the production of synthetic materials or coated textiles; drop-in of existing Impranil PUD types, i.e. low reformulation efforts.

More information here.