SIG and MassChallenge Switzerland have announced a strategic collaboration intended to boost the development of new technologies and sustainability-minded innovations in the material science industry.

As a subsidiary of the global MassChallenge start-up accelerator, MassChallenge Switzerland provides creative entrepreneurs with mentorship and access to its partnership network.

Through its participation, SIG hopes to access the start-up companies behind innovation and value creation in the industry – helping to identify and support trends as they emerge to support future development.

In SIG’s view, creating an ‘open entrepreneurial culture’ will help future businesses adapt to ‘today’s unprecedented and rapidly changing world’. It expects to connect its customers with start-ups and streamline the development of innovated products, technologies, services, and customized solutions, giving them access to new markets.

“Innovation and differentiation will determine the business success of tomorrow,” said Gavin Steiner, chief technology officer at SIG. “Our collaboration with MassChallenge Switzerland will bring us closer to those visionary entrepreneurs who are bursting with new ideas and are ready to innovate with the right help and guidance.

“By working together, we can learn from each other and develop new perspectives and promising technologies, making them usable in new products and getting them ready for market. It is also about integrating innovations into the SIG system and continuously developing for the future.”

Matt Lashmar, managing director of MassChallenge Switzerland, added: “Our unique and equity-free model allows acceleration of high-impact startups with bold, disruptive ideas from non-traditional backgrounds.

“Collaborating with SIG will provide a game-changing opportunity for entrepreneurs to benefit from SIG’s global expertise in the food and packaging industry, while SIG will also receive outside views and ideas from innovators in the field of sustainability, digitalization and technology. It will provide the perfect platform to learn from each other.”

In its own effort to support start-ups and scale-ups, ABB Robotics has launched its 2024 Robotics AI Startup Challenge. Companies can nominate their artificial intelligence solutions and, if they are successful, win partnership and investment opportunities alongside a $30,000 (€27,594.15) cash prize.

Meanwhile, an open call from Circular Bio-based Europe Joint Undertaking is looking for project proposals in support of a circular economy for biobased materials in Europe. Eighteen successful applicants are set to receive a total of €213 million; it is hoped that this will contribute towards scaling up their technologies and boosting boosting both investment and job creation at local and regional levels.

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