Emerging Technologies Competition: Turning promising ideas into commercial reality

The Emerging Technologies Competition is the Royal Society of Chemistry’s annual innovation initiative, set up to identify the most promising chemical science-based technologies and to help accelerate their commercialisation

Now in its seventh year, this unique, high profile competition is open to early-stage companies and academic entrepreneurs from the UK and Europe, who are developing technologies in each of the following categories: 

  • Health
  • Energy and environment
  • Food and drink
  • Enabling technologies. 

The competition is free to enter and provides a chance for entrants to gain exposure for their technology, receive tailored support and win £10,000 prize money to develop their idea. 
Each year the Royal Society of Chemistry invites 40 shortlisted entrants to present their technologies to panels of industry experts at Chemistry Means Business, the Royal Society of Chemistry’s flagship event for chemical science industry.  Two prizes are available in each category. 
Winning the competition has proven to be a fantastic springboard for entrepreneurial ideas. Since the initiative began in 2013, winners have: 

  • Raised a combined total of £31m in equity investment and grant funding
  • Expanded overseas
  • Entered commercial contracts
  • Conducted clinical and industrial scale trial
  • Collectively doubled their number of employees. 

One previous winner also made a £28m trade sale.  
This year’s competition partners are Croda, Johnson Matthey, RSSL, Pfizer and Unilever.  


Chemistry Means Business 

Chemistry Means Business is the Royal Society of Chemistry’s flagship event for chemical science industry, uniting SMEs, multinational organisations, investors and academic entrepreneurs from across the UK and Europe. It will take place on 28-29 October 2019 in London and will attract over 200 delegates. 
The event focuses on quality peer to peer discussions, topically panels, cross-sector collaborations and the opportunity to arrange one-to-one meetings. In the evening, Chemistry 
Means Business hosts the annual Industry Awards, where winners of the Emerging Technologies Competition will be announced. 


Key dates in 2019 

  • 7 May: competition opens for online applications
  • 5 July: applications close
  • Week beginning 28 August: shortlisted entries announced
  • 28-29 September: Cambridge Judge Business School Entrepreneurship Education Weekend for shortlisted entrants
  • 28 October: Chemistry Means Business competition finalists pitch to panels of experts (day event), winners announced at awards ceremony (evening event)
  • 29 October: winners and partners networking.