The Biobased and Renewable Products Advocacy Group (BRAG) helps members develop and bring to market their innovative biobased and renewable chemical products through insightful policy and regulatory advocacy. BRAG is managed by B&C® Consortia Management, L.L.C., an affiliate of Bergeson & Campbell, P.C.

By Lynn L. Bergeson

On October 17, 2019, the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology unanimously approved the Sustainable Chemistry Research and Development Act (H.R. 2051), a companion bill to legislation introduced in the Senate by Senators Chris Coons (D-DE), Susan Collins (R-ME), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), and Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV). Representative Dan Lipinski (D-IL) introduced the House bill on April 3, 2019. It is co-sponsored by Representative John Moolenaar (R-MI). The bill is intended to improve coordination of federal activities, including research and development of more sustainable chemicals, processes, and systems, by establishing a coordinating entity under the National Science and Technology Council within the Office of Science and Technology Policy. The legislation would allow the agencies involved in this entity to work, in consultation with qualified stakeholders, to assess the state of sustainable chemistry in the United States and encourage the validation of tools for assessment of sustainable chemistry processes or products. The agencies would include the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the National Institute of Standards and Technology, the National Science Foundation, the Department of Energy, the Department of Agriculture, the Department of Defense, the National Institutes of Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Food and Drug Administration, and other related federal agencies, as appropriate. The bill also supports improved education and training in sustainable chemistry.


 

On January 16, 2017, AkzoNobel announced the launch of Imagine Chemistry, which provides start-up firms, students, research groups, and career scientists an opportunity to collaborate with AkzoNobel experts to solve real-life chemistry-related challenges.  Imagine Chemistry will focus on addressing issues within five topic areas:


 
Revolutionizing plastics recycling;
 

 
Wastewater-free chemical sites;
 

 
Cellulose-based alternatives to synthetics;
 

 
Biobased and biodegradable surfactants and thickeners; and
 
Biobased sources of ethylene.
 
There are also “open challenges” for broad ideas related to highly reactive chemistry and technology, and sustainable alternatives to current technologies.Challenges should be business-driven and aim to be commercial within three to five years.AkzoNobel will provide winners access to customers, investors, subject matter experts, mentorship, and an accelerator program, along with additional support.  Participants can submit ideas and solutions through the online challenge platform.