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Royal Society of Chemistry

The Emerging Technologies Competition is the Royal Society of Chemistry’s annual innovation initiative, turning promising ideas into commercial reality.

The competition aims to accelerate the commercialisation of innovative technologies in the following areas:


  • New drugs and therapies
  • Devices for drug delivery
  • Targeted drug delivery
  • Novel modes of drug administration for paediatrics and geriatrics
  • Diagnostic devices (in vivo and in vitro)
  • New technologies for infection prevention
  • Antimicrobials
  • Epigenetics
  • Screening, collection enhancement and monitoring
  • Sensors and microfluidics
  • Novel taste-masking technologies for pharmaceuticals

Energy & environment

  • Energy efficiency
  • Energy conversion and storage
  • Renewable fuels and renewable energy
  • Low energy cleaning
  • Waste minimisation
  • Renewable feedstocks
  • Environmental monitoring
  • Fuel cell and battery technology
  • Water/ air quality and purification
  • Chemicals from carbon dioxide
  • Carbon capture and storage
  • Hydrogen storage and (bio)hydrogen production

Food & drink

  • Healthy food and nutrition
  • Food safety
  • Smart ingredients
  • Novel delivery technologies
  • Food and raw material authenticity, security and traceability
  • Clean label
  • Food ingredient stability and monitoring
  • Crop protection and agricultural productivity
  • Water quality
  • Sustainable practices in process efficiency and waste minimisation

Materials & enabling technologies

  • Sustainability benefits in use
  • Sustainable & smart packaging
  • Polymers and coatings
  • Delivery and encapsulation technology
  • New technology for surface modification
  • Soft matter materials
  • Novel catalysts, including enzymes
  • Materials for use in electronic and magnetic applications
  • Materials for extreme environments
  • New composites
  • Novel process technologies
  • Novel characterisation methods

The competition is free to enter and open to small companies and universities, who can apply using our online application form. The Society welcomes ideas, at any stage of development, from across the UK and Europe. 

The winners will receive tailored business support from the Society's partner companies. This includes access to networks, strategy review, mentoring, idea evaluation with consumers, potential commercial partnerships and more… plus a cash prizes of £10,000. Two prizes awarded in each of the 4 categories.

Eligibility criteria:

  1. The Emerging Technologies Competition welcomes applications from universities and small companies – that is, with fewer than 20 employees and an annual turnover less than £2 million.
  2. The technologies/ideas submitted must have a strong chemistry component, and must be relevant to one of the four competition categories.
  3. You must be based in one of the EU Member States or Switzerland, Norway or Iceland.

Call closed at the moment.