Innovation Award “Bio-based Material of the Year 2014” – Top 7 Candidates Nominated!

The 7th International Conference on Bio-Based Materials, 8-10 April 2014, at the Maternushaus in Cologne (Germany)

For the seventh year running the Innovation Award “Bio-based Material of the Year” will be awarded to the young, innovative bio-based chemicals and materials industry, finding suitable applications and markets for bio-based products. The competition focuses on new developments in these areas, which have had (or will have) a market launch in 2013 and 2014, exclusively coming from Europe this time round.

This year, seven bio-based materials and products were nominated for the Award by an expert jury – out of more than 20 submitted products. The producers are from Austria, France, Germany and Switzerland.

In a short 10 minutes presentation, each one of the seven companies will introduce their innovation. The three winners will be elected by the participants of the conference and awarded with the prize at the dinner buffet (
 We thank the sponsor of the Innovation Award, Coperion GmbH – leader in compounding & extrusion.

This conference aims to provide major players from the European bio-based chemicals, plastics and composite industries with an opportunity to present and discuss their latest developments and strategies. Representatives of political bodies and associations will also have their say alongside leading companies. As a new aspect, the third day of the conference will focus not only on science, but also on small-scale innovation in the form of start-up companies – bringing them in contact to investors and industry. One highlight of the conference will be the presentation of the first few running European biorefineries and state-of-art of Industrial Biotechnology. It is one of the biggest conferences with more than 180 participants from all over the world and an exhibition that provides an excellent platform for your networking.

The Top 7 Candidates are nominated!

The following companies and products are nominated for the Innovation Award “Bio-based Material of the Year” – see for yourself:

1) Arkema SA (FR): Pebax® Rnew 80R53 – The new high-performance elastomer for ski boots application

Arkema goes beyond the limits of thermoplastic elastomers, introducing Pebax® RNew 80R53, a new rigid bio-based Pebax® (a bio-based polyamide block based elastomer), opening up the scope of ski boot design combining light weight, outstanding responsiveness to skiers’ movements, and creativity in decoration.

Pebax® Rnew 80R53 is 50% more rigid than existing Pebax® grades, already well-known for several years as reference materials for both alpine touring and cross-country ski boots.

It retains the key Pebax® characteristics and environmental: produced from renewable raw materials with more than 90% bio-based content, lightweight, renowned long-term UV resistance and offering great creativity for novel designs, it maintains perfect quality and performance under extreme cold conditions.

2) fischerwerke GmbH & Co. KG (DE): FIS Green 300 T – The first bio-based injection mortar

FIS Green 300 T is the first chemical injection mortar which contains bio-based components. The goal was to innovate a real “green” product which is based on a majority of bio-based raw materials. Chemical injection mortars are complex mixtures consisting of a multitude of different raw materials for each of which green substitutes were examined. As a result, bio-based raw materials with various functions were used: reactive resins, fillers, additives, plasticizers and two different thermoplastic polymers for the cartridge and pistons.

This radical product redesign approach made it possible to achieve a high bio carbon content of 50-85 %. FIS Green 300 T demonstrates that it is possible to re-formulate even complex products to make them bio-based and more sustainable.

3) Hemp Eco Systems SA (CH): HES-mix – The hemp-based building insulation

HES-mix is a building material made from hemp shivs, lime, natural minerals and water. It is used to build walls and insulation in one material and as insulation under roof, attics, walls and floors.

Efficiencies: highest thermal efficiency, regulating humidity, does not burn or rot, 30-50% reduction of energy in houses and buildings, no toxic chemicals, offers an alkaline in-door climate, captures more carbon than necessary for the complete process, completely recyclable, fast & economical application.

Innovation: exclusive use of hydrated lime, having solved its curing problem with natural minerals as additive; reduction of the lime content by 50%, obtaining optimal thermal efficiency and humidity regulation; developed hydrated LIME finishes able to offer a healthy Alkaline in-door climate.

4) Qmilch Deutschland GmbH (DE): Qmilk – The fiber made of milk

Qmilk produces a 100 % natural textile fiber based on the casein, a milk protein. In spring 2014, the start-up from Hannover begins the production of Qmilk fiber for fashion, sportswear and home textiles. The new fiber feels like silk, is compostable, suitable for allergy sufferers, and even antibacterial. The production process takes solely five minutes, demands temperatures of only 80 °C and max. 2 liters of water per kilogram fiber. The raw material is no food but casein from milk that is not suitable for grocery. 2 Mio. tonnes of waste milk are disposed in Germany annually. In the future, Qmilk wants to recycle that milk and turn it into fibers. Qmilk also manufactures a biopolymer granulate applicable e.g. in automotive interior, toys, foils, and packaging – a zero waste product Made in Germany.

5) Witasek Pflanzenschutz GmbH (AT): BioWit®-Tube: The biodegradable tree protector tube

BioWit-Tube is a tree-shelter which was developed only for the “Biowit®” brand. The idea was to create a product with a design by which the user sees immediately that this tree protection is made from 100 % compostable bio-plastic. So we designed a new locking-system which enables the user to build a tube out of a flat film.

Advantages: transparent bio-film ensures enough light for a healthy growing; plant is protected against game browsing and fraying; microclimate inside the Tube let the plant grow better; flat design saves freight and storage costs; patented lock ensures that the tube holds its shape for the whole useful life; patented ground claw offers a secure grip; shelter must not be removed from the forest. Biowit® Tube is our contribution to biological mechanical tree protection.

6) ZIEHL-ABEGG SE (DE): Bionic Bio-Fan – The Bio-Fan inspired by the nature

The new bionic bio-fan from ZIEHL-ABEGG, which consists of castor oil-based bio-polyamides, cuts down noise, uses less electricity and reduces CO2 emissions in several ways. This evolutionary design can use, for example, in refrigeration engineering (refrigeration chain to the supermarket), in heaters, heat-pumps and for electrical cooling (computer centres, control cabinet cooling, inverter cooling). In keeping with its sustainable concept, the fan is 100 per cent recyclable, thus minimizing the CO2-footprint.

Benefits for appliance planners: The fan has greater chemical resistance, better low-temperature impact strength and withstands hot water and steam. The market potential is huge: 22 million of this kind of fans was produced in 2012 only in Germany.

7) ZinCo GmbH (DE): Natureline – Green roofing for the 21st century

ZinCo creates Green roofing for the 21st Century. As a pioneer in matters of green roofing, ZinCo has been consistent in treading the environmental path for over forty years. Providing permanently reliable green roof systems for all types of roof, our top priority is to do so in an environmentally-compatible way. ZinCo system substrates, therefore, are based on recycled, pure-grade clay brick. Where possible, recycling materials are also used for drainage elements and protection mats. ZinCo has now taken yet another innovative step and introduced the market the system build-up “Natureline”, made from renewable raw materials. Thanks to this, bioplastics (polylactid acid and bio-polyethylene) have now found their way onto the green roof market where they will prove themselves as an alternative with a promising future.

Find more information about the seven candidates here:

The following picture is available for you to use (Source: nova-Institute):

nova-Institute GmbH
Chemiepark Knapsack
Industriestrasse 300
DE-50354 Huerth (Germany)
Phone: +49 (0) 22 33-48 14 40

 About the nova-Institute
nova-Institute is a private and independent institute, founded in 1994; nova offers research and consultancy with a focus on bio-based and CO2-based economy in the fields of feedstock, techno-economic evaluation, markets, LCA, dissemination, B2B communication and policy. Today, nova-Institut has more than 20 employees and an annual turnover of about 2 Mio. €.


nova-Institute GmbH, press release, 2014-03-24.


fischerwerke Artur Fischer Gmbh & Co. KG
Hemp Eco Systems SA
nova-Institut GmbH
QMilch Deutschland GmbH
Witasek Pflanzenschutz GmbH
ZinCo GmbH


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