Seoul, South Korea-based LG Chem, the country’s largest chemical manufacturer, announced that they are committing $9B (approximately €8.28B) in funding till 2025 for collaborations with sustainable startups and launching the LG Chem Global Innovation Challenge.
The company is looking to expand its existing open innovation by collaborating with startups worldwide and scaling promising technologies for commercialisation.
Partners up with a Dutch VC
LG Chem is partnering with The Hague, Netherlands-based venture capital firm, Unknown Group. It is an early-stage VC and business development firm, supporting founders and industry leaders to bring innovations to the market, a “Venture Engine”.
Unknown is a merger between VenturesOne group and Unknown Group. Unknown’s experience in global startup scouting and corporate venturing, combined with the investment expertise of VenturesOne, strengthens the ambition to increase the success rate of innovations that address pressing local and global challenges.
Jurgen Nieuwenhuijsen, COO at Unknown Group, says, “We identify with LG Chem’s mission of connecting science to life for a better future and are eager to identify, bring forward and ignite collaborations between them and unconventional solutions and driven founders from all corners of the world.”
About LG Chem and LG Chem Global Innovation Challenge
LG Chem is a global chemical company with a diversified business portfolio in the key areas of petrochemicals, advanced materials, and life sciences. The company manufactures a range of products, from high-value-added petrochemicals to renewable plastics, and also specialises in electronic and battery materials as well as drugs and vaccines to deliver differentiated solutions for its customers.
With an aim to reach carbon-neutral growth by 2030 and net-zero emissions by 2050, LG Chem is committed to managing the impacts of climate change and making positive contributions to society through renewable energy and responsible supply chains. The company already generated KRW 42.7T (approximately €34.30B) in sales in 2021.
The LG Chem Global Innovation Challenge provides an opportunity for startups worldwide that are working on sustainable solutions in LG Chem’s challenge domains, which are circular plastics, carbon utilisation, renewable hydrogen, and sustainable batteries. Besides, successful PoCs have the potential for deeper collaboration with LG Chem’s designated departments in South Korea, the EU, and the US.
What to expect from the Global Innovation Challenge?
From 16th March to 1st May, LG Chem will receive innovative technological ideas in the mentioned four fields – circular plastics, renewable hydrogen, carbon utilisation, and sustainable battery materials.
The winning solutions will have the opportunity to earn various types of funding opportunities, admission and access to LG Chem’s global business network, and collaboration opportunities with a variety of experts for commercialisation.
Seungsuk Yoo, LG Chem’s Head of Open Innovation department, says, “I expect this programme is not only an extraordinary chance for bold entrepreneurs around the world but also for us since we can showcase the vision and commitment about sustainability and various innovation approaches.”
Applications for the LG Chem Global Innovation Challenge are currently open. Applications can be sent here.