Saint-Gobain launches fourth annual innovation competition

Published:  19 December, 2011

COVENTRY: Saint-Gobain has officially launched its 2012 ‘NOVA’ international innovation competition for start-up businesses and entrepreneurs.

Created to reward businesses offering the most innovative solutions in building materials, energy and environmental sustainability, the competition is organised by NOVA External Venturing – an international team of Saint-Gobain representatives which identify start-up companies for strategic partnerships with Saint-Gobain.

Prizes total nearly €63,000 in capital and partnership opportunities with the overall winner receiving €37,000. Second and third place winners will receive €18,500 and €7,400 respectively. Each winner also gets to work with NOVA to explore a variety of working partnerships with Saint-Gobain such as licensing, manufacturing or commercial agreements, equity investment and joint ventures.

The NOVA External Venturing team will select eight to 12 finalists based on the quality of their value propositions and potential synergies with Saint-Gobain. Finalists will then be invited to present their innovations to the panel in 10 minute “speed-dating” sessions held at the Greenbuild International Conference and Expo in San Francisco on November 15 2012. Judges include senior Saint-Gobain executives and experts in the building, energy and environmental sustainability industries.

The competition is a valuable opportunity for companies that are poised for growth but lack the capacity to commercialise. 2012 NOVA Innovation Competition entrants will join the extensive list of progressive companies that NOVA External Venturing has evaluated since 2006 and winners will become part of an elite group that has formed successful partnerships with Saint-Gobain.

Lisa Benbow, communication director for Saint-Gobain UK, Ireland and South Africa, comments: “Since 2006, NOVA External Venturing has invested in dozens of promising start-ups in Europe and the United States, with a select few rising to the top through the Innovation Competition.

“Winning companies thrive with access to the global market through Saint-Gobain’s established market knowledge and, most importantly, through the support, resources and expertise that comes from a history in building materials innovation of nearly 350 years.”

“Saint-Gobain invests in innovation across its family of companies to improve the way we construct, sustain and live within the built environment,” said Didier Roux, Vice President of Research & Innovation and member of the NOVA board. “After having held the Nova Innovation Competition twice in France and once in Germany we will host the upcoming event for the first time in North America.”

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