Prof. Victoire de Margerie announces the nominees of the World Materials Forum Start Up Challenge

For this first edition of the WMF Start Up Challenge, 35 applications have been received from around the world (Belgium, China, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Norway, Spain, USA) and they encompassed a variety of superb innovation projects that fitted with the WMF objective of decoupling materials consumption from sustainable growth while creating value for all involved stakeholders.

The Start Up Challenge jury met at ESCP Europe in Paris on March 24th – see competition rules and jury composition.


Prof. Victoire de Margerie, Jury Chairman states:

« The initial plan was to nominate 12 candidates and give each of them a free « package » including a booth at WMF in Nancy on June 29th and 30th as well as a full coverage of registration, accomodation and transportation costs for his or her CEO. Due to the high quality of applications, the jury decided to select and nominate 14 instead of 12. The winner of the award will be selected from the nominees and announced in Nancy in June ».


Since March 24th, all CEOs of nominated Start Ups – see below in alphabetic order – have confirmed that they will be personnally present in Nancy:

3D MATTER (Brooklyn, New York)

Solutions for optimizing 3D manufacturing thanks to proprietary software that offers extensive, unbiased and comparable data on over 70 3D printing materials regarding their performance, visual quality and processability.

AEROSINT (Liège, Belgium)

Laser sintering technique that wastes no starting material and therefore make this SLS technology truely affordable for processing high performance an expensive polymers such as PEEK and PEKK.

CARBIOS (Clermont Ferrand, France)

Solutions for plastics valorization thanks to 2 processes : 1. incorporating enzymes into the heart of plastics to program self-destruction (films, bags) and 2. enzymatic-recycling of plastic wastes by regenerating initial virgin polymer (ex : PET including opaque PET).

CITRINE (Redwood City, California)

Artificial and predictive intelligence technologies, which enable a 2-5x acceleration of the materials development process for alloys, semiconductors, composites, polymers, 3d printing etc...

CYCLADEX (Carson City, Nevada)

Green process (no sodium cyanide) for the isolation of gold from copper and silver which is 50% cheaper in raw materials and 35% less in Capex compared to the sodium cyanide process.

GENES'INK (Aix en Provence, France)

Towards lightweight, flexible and connected electronics thanks to inks that allow to print on fragile, thin or flexible materials, while still benefitting from high conductivity properties.

KEEY (Mulhouse, France)

High value valorization of silica containing Construction and Demolition Waste for energy-efficient buildings construction and refurbishment, by their integration as aerogel materials with only 15% of the thickness required for the same thermal insulation factor.

NANO3D (Corvallis, Oregon)

Low cost & scalable plating technology that can address the most demanding requirements of electronics and chemical industries in terms of density interconnect (HDI), Cu weight and power consumption.

POLNOX (Lowell, Massachussetts)

Using renewable resources to develop cutting-edge, and eco-friendly macromolecular corrosion inhibitors applicable to multiple industrial sectors : lubricants, biolubricants, paints and coatings, etc.

PRIMO 1D (Grenoble, France)

Industrializing a solution to embed electronic chips such as RFID in a thread, enabling a seamless integration into textile and plastic materials and an all in one invisible device with applications in asset tracking, anti-theft, authentication, production control, inventory accuracy,

SARATOGA (Berkeley, California)

Breakthrough electrolysis process to manufacture high purity carbon nanotubes for under 5$ per kg – 100x cheaper than current price – with strong benefits for ion lithium batteries – making them faster charging, longer lasting & with improved safety performance.

SEPION (Berkeley, California)

Longer lasting ion lithium batteries (600 kms range) at equitable price thanks to new membrane technology that allows for no more crossover of undesirable ions across the battery separator.

VAPORSENS (Salt Lake City, Utah)

Organic nanofiber materials that act as chemical sensors capable of detecting trace amounts (parts per trillion) of chemicals in lightweight and functional designs thanks to their large surface area and the porosity of the films when deposited on micro fabricated electrodes.

WOODOO (Paris, France)

Developing a translucent wood technology that makes the resulting composite material 3x more performative mechanically than native wood, waterproof, fire-retardant and translucent with applications in interior elements for luxury, automotive, building, and aeronautic industries.