For the first time, Lohmann GmbH & Co. KG is also focusing on startups. For this purpose, the Neuwied-based medium-sized family business was able to gain an experienced partner in Brightlands Chemelot Campus, a chemistry & materials innovation campus based in Sittard-Geleen, the Netherlands. The Dutch bring years of experience with successful support of chemistry and materials. Because this also includes the development of innovative circular materials, the cooperation is also an excellent thematic fit. As an intimate industry expert, Lohmann is in a position to provide young companies with specialist business expertise. Startups now have the opportunity to apply for the Lohmann Brightlands Startup Challenge..
Cooperation with startups represents a new chapter for Lohmann. The world player in the field of high-end industrial bonding solutions is open to new technology from various directions, making use of its great capacity for innovation. And the timing is well-chosen, because climate change and growing environmental awareness demand a rethink from many industries and its technologies. Innovations in materials and chemistry in particular are currently booming, and with them are the corresponding startups. And it is precisely these young entrepreneurs that the joint offer from Lohmann and Brightlands is aimed at. The name of the joint initiative: the Lohmann-Brightlands Startup Challenge. "We already established contact with the Dutch at the end of 2020," says Evert Smit, Director Scouting, and responsible for managing the project at the side of Lohmann. "Now the project is entering the hot phase, so to speak, namely inviting the candidates, followed by discussions and the selection."
Free funding program for startups from the chemical and materials industries.
Startups have been able to apply for the Lohmann Brightlands Startup Challenge since June 4, 2021. In this challenge, which is initially limited to one year, Bonding Engineers from Lohmann and experienced chemical business developers from Brightlands Chemelot Campus provide their combined expertise to give up-and-coming entrepreneurs the best possible startup assistance. Candidates can apply to participate until the end of 2021 on the specially created landing page (https://www.brightlands.com/brightlands-chemelot-campus/lohmann-brightlands-startup-challenge ). The prerequisite for consideration is an existing start-up concept with proof of principle, in business-language “Technology Readiness Level 3”. At the end of a multi-stage selection process, two or three winners will be chosen, who will then receive targeted support on their way to becoming successful market protagonists.
"Leading selected startups to market success" is a win-win situation for everyone
For Lohmann, startup promotion is not an end in itself; after all, it allows the company to build a network of future suppliers, customers or cooperation partners. But the joint project is also worthwhile for Brightlands Chemelot Campus: "Top companies like Lohmann, which make their expertise, business network and market knowledge available to the startups, help us select the right candidates and develop them into sustainable companies," says Hugo Delissen (Business Development Manager Startups), who oversees the project on the Brightlands side. To prepare tomorrow's innovators for their market maturity, Lohmann and Brightlands Chemelot Campus provide free premises. Those who make it to the "final round" of the Challenge are allowed to start their work at Brightlands Chemelot Campus, the internationally recognized science and innovation hub in Geleen where leading scientists, entrepreneurs, funding experts and students collaborate to speed up the market introduction of breakthrough chemistry and materials innovations.
Startups benefit from close networking between Brightlands and Lohmann
Brightlands is a breeding ground with various material manufacturers, educational and knowledge institutions in the Geleen area. These include RWTH Aachen University, Fraunhofer Institute, Maastricht University, Chemelot Innovation and Learning Labs (CHILL) and Eindhoven University of Technology. At the campus industry and academia work closely together, which makes it an unique and vibrant campus community in the heart of Europe. Lohmann also has excellent networks beyond its own industry and has decades of experience in the fields of adhesives, adhesion, lamination and much more. The business know-how imparted to the startups in the Lohmann Brightlands Startup Challenge is also extensive. The recruitment of investors, credibility training and training on the protection of intellectual property are just a few of the points. Neither Lohmann nor Brightlands Chemelot Campus have any doubts that the joint project will be a success. In any case, the anticipation is great, as Evert Smit aptly summarizes: "Lohmann is preparing for an exciting journey."