Prof. Victoire de Margerie announces the Awards of the 2019 WMF Start Up Challenge

Following the jury meeting on April 5th and the nomination of 18 Start Ups on April 15th, the Grand Prix and the other 2 Awards were finally announced during the Gala Dinner on June 13th.

Prof. Victoire de Margerie, Jury Chairman states : "The 3 Awards went legitimately to 3 start ups that fitted the best with the WMF objective of decoupling materials consumption from sustainable growth while creating value for all involved stakeholders. Or in other words to these that could best demonstrate their impact in Using Materials Smarter, Less & Longer"



The « GRAND PRIX » (50,000 € in cash as well as a custom market survey to be realized by Special Chem) was awarded to Jelena Stojadinovic, CEO of MEMBRASENZ (Germany), by Prof. Victoire de Margerie, Jury Chairman and Prof. Stéphane Mangin, Jury Vice Chairman.




The « SPECIAL AWARD CRITICAL MATERIALS » (20,000 € in cash as well as a custom market survey to be realized by Special Chem) was given to Preston Bryan, CEO of MOMENTUM TECHNOLOGiES (USA) by Reinhold Dauskardt and Matt Price, members of the Jury.




The « COUP DE CŒUR AWARD » (20,000 € in cash as well as a custom market survey to be realized by Special Chem) was awarded to Marescotti Ruspoli, CEO of AERONAUTICAL SERVICES (Italy) by Bernard Pinatel and Edith Coune, members of the jury.


The jury

  • Christophe Cabarry, CEO Special Chem (France)
  • Edith Coune, COO Innovation Fund (Belgium)
  • Prof. Reinhold Dauskardt, Stanford University (USA)
  • Joe De Simone, CEO & Co Founder Carbon 3D (USA)
  • Gervais Jacques, COO Rio Tinto Aluminium (Canada)
  • Prof. Stéphane Mangin, Institut Jean Lamour (France)
  • Prof. Victoire de Margerie, Vice Chairman World Materials Forum (France) - Chairman
  • Tony O’Neill, Group Technical Director Anglo American (UK/Australia)
  • Bernard Pinatel, President Refining and Chemicals Total (France)
  • Matt Price, MD Cyclotron Road Berkeley (USA)
  • Sophie Zurquiyah, CEO CGG (France)

The 3 winners

Customized nano structured materials for extreme tasks and related mathematical models to predict the performance of such materials noticeably in the field of high temperature shielding & fireproof, electro magnetic waves absorbing & shielding and Sound Absorbing.

MEMBRASENZ (Bochum, Germany)
Gas-separating membranes to be used in alkaline electrolysers (in order to split water into H2 and oxygen) while achieving excellent gas barrier properties and with 50% higher ionic conductivity compared to state of the art Zirfon membranes.

MSX membrane Technology (reverse osmosis) that extracts high purity rare earth oxides from a wide range of magnetic waste feedstock (MRIs, cell phones, electric motors) without requesting the use of high temperatures or pressures.

June 17 2019