Join us in connecting science to life for a better future

LG Chem Global Innovation Challenge 2023

StoryTopicsFinalistsFAQAbout LG Chem

LG Chem is a global leading diversified chemical company and Sustainability is one of LG Chem’s core values. We believe that building a Sustainable Economy will be Disruptive.

Moreover, solving the Sustainability/ESG issues we face will require significant Cooperation and Collaboration from every stakeholder in the industry ecosystem.

Through LG Chem Global Innovation Challenge, we crave to advance our Disruptive Innovation journey, together with your entrepreneurial vision, purpose and spirit.

Application phase has been closed.

The team is reviewing all application and will get in touch with the applicants in the coming weeks. Stay tuned for more challenges!

Check out FAQ

General Topics

We are looking for innovative ideas and practices that will make a difference in the areas "Circular", "Sustainable Materials" and "Function Materials". To apply for the challenges find yourself a matching one within those four themes below.


LG Chem is driving the transition to a more sustainable plastics supply chain by minimizing waste and maximizing the recycling of scarce resources. This transition encompasses both conventional plastics and bio-plastics and aims to transform the business into a more sustainable model.

Check Out Challenges

Click here to find out more about this topic and apply for the challenges.

Sustainable Materials

To achieve carbon-neutral growth in 2030 and net zero in 2050, LG Chem seeks to advance carbon reduction technologies and develop biodegradable materials through cooperation and mutually beneficial relationships. Energy transition is a critical pillar and one of the major trends of the future, and rapid growth is expected in new and renewable energy. LG Chem aims to secure a top position in the field of new and renewable energy materials by providing differentiated value based on competitive products.

Check Out Challenges

Click here to find out more about this topic and apply for the challenges.

Functional Materials

LG Chem is committed to continuous efforts in fostering high-performance and innovative materials with high technological barriers, in order to create a safer and more convenient future lifestyle. We strive to continuously innovate our technology and develop new materials and additives that are suitable for the changing environment, in order to meet the needs of our customers. To gain the innovation for all, we need make breakthrough with our partners. LG Chem is looking for partners who could solve problems that we are facing.

Check Out Challenges

Click here to find out more about this topic and apply for the challenges.

Not exactly a fit with the topics above?
Be Our Partner for Open Innovation

LG Chem is investing significant efforts in building a global innovative technology ecosystem for sustainable technology and product development, beyond the top three topics pursued by GIC. ​If you wish to discuss more diverse topics, please join us!​

Be our Partner


The following startups have been curated and selected as the official winners of the LGChem Global Innovation Challenge 2023.



Sulapac's mission is to reduce CO2 emissions and eliminate microplastic pollution without compromising operational efficiency. Sulapac materials can replace conventional plastics in endless applications. They have a low carbon footprint and they are circu...

Open Website

Epoch BioDesign

Epoch Biodesign engineers and harnesses nature’s most powerful machines, enzymes, to turn unrecyclable plastic and textile waste into valuable, reusable, climate-friendly chemicals. They have started by designing and scaling the first enzymes capable of t...

Open Website

Microwave Chemical

Microwave Chemicals uses a platform to develop and provide the best microwave solutions for a wide range of industry challenges. MWCC utilizes its proprietary database to obtain the microwave absorption rate of each molecule consisting of the reaction inc...

Open Website


APChemi is debottlenecking the domains of plastic upcycling and biofuels. Their patented advanced pyrolysis and pyrolysis oil purification technologies transform non-recyclable plastic/tyre/biomass waste into high-value circular raw materials for downstre...

Open Website

LG Chem is looking for a global R&D partner to join us on our great journey toward a sustainable future. With innovative technologies that push the boundaries of the petrochemical industry, we look forward to discovering sustainable materials and solutions for circular plastics, green energy, and renewable energy.

Kuglae, Noh

Executive Vice President / President, Petrochemicals Company

LG Chem

We are very looking forward to meeting exceptional startups and research institutes with innovative technologies from around the world at the 2023 GIC event. This event will focus on not only finding solutions surpassing the limit of petrochemical industry but also realizing innovative ideas for the future.

We invite you to embark on a journey of developing breakthrough technologies, together with LG Chem.

Let's transform this competition into a time of discovery and achievement, where greatness is realized.

Jong Ku, Lee

Senior Vice President/CTO

LG Chem

This challenge will focus on overcoming the limits of the petrochemical industry and presenting challenging solutions for the future.​

We are seeking for innovative ideas and potential partners with promising technology at this event and hope to grow together with LG Chem as a companion in our technological development journey.​

Dong Hyun, Cho

Head of R&D, Petrochemicals R&D

LG Chem

For whom?

LG Chem is looking for the best entrepreneurial & research group technologies toward a sustainable future


From Pre-Seed (MVP Stage) to Scale-Ups: startup teams working on the development of novel hardware and software solutions in the mobility and automotive sector.

Academia & Universities

R&D and University teams working on automotive-related applications both hardware and software.

SMEs & Collaborators

Established SMEs in the automotive and mobility space that can contribute to the LG Chem business units with existing or newly developed technologies and hardware applications.


From Pre-Seed (MVP Stage) to Scale-Ups: startup teams working on the development of novel hardware and software solutions in the mobility and automotive sector.

Academia & Universities

R&D and University teams working on automotive-related applications both hardware and software.

SMEs & Collaborators

Established SMEs in the automotive and mobility space that can contribute to the LG Chem business units with existing or newly developed technologies and hardware applications.

What‘s in it for you?

We are offering the opportunity to initiate PoCs, receive strategic funding, as well as to gain access to our R&D resources.

  • Global Networks

    Access R&D and Strategic Partnerships Groups of LG Chem for collaboration and networking.

  • Fundings

    Various types of funding with the size of 9 billion USD up to 2025 in total.

  • Collaboration Opportunities

    Collaboration opportunities with a variety of experts to scale up or PoC your technology.


For a more detailed overview of our challenge schedule, you can find our timeline below.

Success Stories

A proven track record of successful Startup-Corporate collaborations.

LG Chem to jointly develop bio-propylene with US-based company Gevo

LG Chem and Gevo will collaborate to jointly develop technology for creating 100% bio-based plastic from renewable carbohydrate sources like corn. They plan to produce bio-propylene using bio-ethanol from corn and sugarcane. Gevo will provide LG Chem with the required source technology (ETO - Ethanol to Olefins) for propylene production from ethanol. The companies aim to lead the emerging bioplastic market and promote technology development rapidly. Bio-propylene can replace fossil fuel-based materials in various products, leading to significant carbon reductions. This partnership enhances LG Chem's sustainable business portfolio centered on bio-based raw materials. Gevo's mission is to convert renewable energy and carbon into energy-dense liquid hydrocarbons for drop-in transportation fuels with potential net-zero greenhouse gas emissions.

Official Press Release

LG Chem Completes Acquisition of AVEO Oncology

LG Chem successfully completed the $571 million acquisition of AVEO Oncology, a biopharmaceutical company specializing in cancer medicines. This acquisition expands LG Chem's presence in the oncology industry and strengthens its clinical pipeline. AVEO's expertise in clinical development and U.S. market sales complements LG Chem's capabilities in R&D and production, allowing them to pursue promising anti-cancer therapies. The combined company will operate under AVEO Oncology's name for a period, led by its current leadership. Martin Birkhofer joins AVEO as Chief Medical Officer, enhancing their clinical development capabilities. LG Chem's core therapeutic areas include immunology, oncology, and metabolic diseases.

Press Release by AVEO Oncology

LG Chem Makes Equity Investments in Battery Recycling Company, Jae Young Tech

LG Chem has made a 24 billion KRW equity investment in battery recycling company, Jae Young Tech, with plans to establish a joint venture in North America by the end of 2023. LG Chem will oversee the overall business, while Jae Young Tech will handle technological aspects. The company's unique method of extracting lithium first has led to a world-leading recovery rate of over 85%. LG Chem aims to enter the global battery recycling market through strategic equity investments and aims to lead in building a sustainable circular economy.

Official Press Release by LG Chem

LG Chem, ADM Complete Agreement for ‘Eco-friendly Bio Plastic’ Joint Ventures in Illinois, USA

LG Chem and ADM have completed an agreement for 'Eco-friendly Bio Plastic' Joint Ventures. They will establish two joint ventures to meet the demand for plant-based products and bioplastics. The first venture, 'GreenWise Lactic,' will produce 150,000 tons of corn-based lactic acid annually, while the second, 'LG Chem Illinois Biochem,' will produce 75,000 tons of bioplastics. LG Chem aims to become a market leader in eco-friendly materials and contribute to solving environmental issues. PLA, the biodegradable bioplastic made from fermented corn, is gaining popularity due to its eco-friendly properties. The global bioplastics market is projected to grow significantly. ADM's CEO, Juan R. Luciano, emphasizes sustainability in their growth strategy and looks forward to expanding collaboration with LG Chem. LG Chem's CEO, Hak Cheol Shin, sees the joint venture as a sustainable growth strategy to address environmental challenges.

Official Press Release by LG Chem

LG Chem Pioneers Circular Economy with Advanced Plastic Recycling Plant with Mura Technology

Equity investment to bolster UK-based Mura Technology’s plans to develop and deploy industrial-scale advanced recycling capacity globally. In addition to becoming a shareholder in Mura, LG Chem has purchased a process license to Mura’s innovative recycling process, Hydro-PRT℠ (Hydrothermal Plastic Recycling Technology), and LG Chem plans to construct a hydrothermal upgrading facility to initially recycle up to 25,000 tonnes of plastic waste annually.

Once the facility – which will be the first in South Korea to use supercritical water – is operational, LG Chem plans to review the potential for constructing additional sites. This will continue to drive Mura’s global impact following the recent announcement of its first US-based Hydro-PRT℠ site near Seattle. Construction is already underway on Mura’s UK-based plant located in Teesside, which will be operational in 2022

Official Press Release by Mura Technology

LG Chem enters equity-based alliance with green packaging startup Innerbottle

Equity-based alliance with Innerbottle (founded: 2017), a Korean startup that invented a form of silicon-based sustainable packaging for beauty products. Because the silicon pouch is what comes into direct contact with the substance, the outer bottle covering the pouch can be completely reused without the additional process of having it cleaned. Together LG Chem and Innerbottle will establish a system where plastic bottles are collected directly from customers and completely recycled.

Apart from equity investment, LG Chem is supplying eco-friendly material for the outer bottles. Alongside Innerbottle, we are developing ways to substitute the inner silicon pouch with LG’s nitrile butadiene latex, which requires less material to produce.

Official Press Release by LG Chem

Still interested?

Learn more about the Global Innovation Challenge and frequently asked questions here.


What is LG Chem?

LG Chem is an affiliate of LG Corp; a globally diversified chemical company which established in petrochemical, advanced materials and biotechnology. Building upon a balanced and globally competitive business portfolio, including petrochemicals, advanced materials, life sciences, and a subsidiary specializing in batteries, LG Chem now endeavors to become one of the top five chemical companies in the world.


Who can apply?

The LG Chem Global Innovation Challenge is open to all startups, companies, and research groups(including university teams/Academia) worldwide. For startups/companies, applications are accepted if they have a technology readiness level (TRL) of 5 or higher, while research group are required to have a TRL of 3 or higher to be eligible for the challenge.


My business/Technology has not launched and is still in the theoretical stage, can I still participate in a challenge?

The goal of this challenge is to find ways to collaborate on technologies that have completed concept proof. Therefore, startups/companies are required to have a technology readiness level(TRL) of 5 or higher, while research group are required to have a TRL of 3 or higher to be eligible for the challenge.

LG Chem also offers a program where proposals for all possible collaborations can be made, regardless of the technology level. Please apply for the Sustainable Partnership Program through the link below.

Sustainable Partnership Program


How can I apply?

To participate in the LG Chem Global Innovation Challenge, kindly navigate to our topics overview and choose the specific topic to which you wish to apply. Once selected, please align your application with one of the challenges outlined within the corresponding topic pages and provide the jury with your company details via the application form.

Applicants that fulfill the foregoing conditions can fill out the application form.

In the following process, we will review your submission and transfer all applications to the respective business units within LG Chem where relevant decision-makers will decide about the next steps.

After this process we will get in touch with you and let you know about the outcome and potential collaboration.


Can I apply with multiple solutions?

If the criteria are met, multiple applications for various topics are allowed.


When is the deadline for the application?

The application window closes on October 24, 2023 at 23:59 UTC


Who will judge the application

The applications will be judged by a team of evaluators from various LG Chem business units. They will score all applications, among them technical and domain experts, in addition to investment professionals.


Are finalists guaranteed investment by LG Chem?

No, the finalists are not guaranteed investment or financial support by LG Chem or PnP Group. However, there is a budget available to run proof of concept projects with LG Chem.


What type of investment will be deployed?

If it aligns with our R&D strategy, we can proceed by investing in Joint Research, PoC support, and scale-up support.

More questions? Reach out to us.

Behind the scenes

LG Chem and Plug and Play are proud to collaborate on the LG Chem Open Innovation Challenge 2023.

LG Chem is a leading global chemical company with a diversified business portfolio in the key areas of petrochemicals, advanced materials, and life sciences. The company manufactures a wide range of products from high-value added petrochemicals to renewable plastics, specializing in cutting-edge electronic and battery materials, as well as drugs and vaccines to deliver differentiated solutions for its customers.

LG Chem is committed to reaching carbon-neutral growth by 2030 and net-zero emissions by 2050 by managing the impacts of climate change and making positive contributions to society through renewable energy and responsible supply chains. Headquartered in Seoul, Korea, LG Chem has multiple operation sites worldwide and generated consolidated revenue of KRW 51.9 trillion (USD 42.1 billion) in 2022.

official website of LG Chem

Plug and Play Tech Center – operates from 50+ locations worldwide investing in future-thinking companies such as PayPal, Danger, Dropbox, and Lending Club. Overall, the Plug and Play network consists of 60,000+ startups, 500+ world-leading corporations, and hundreds of venture capital firms, universities, and government agencies across multiple industries. Together with our corporate partners, Plug and Play is creating a unique ecosystem designed to develop and implement the technologies of tomorrow.

official website of Plug and Play

Reach out to us

For more information on the Global Innovation Challenge reach out to us on social media or via E-mail.

On Social Media

Follow us on social media channels.

Via Email

If you have any further questions that haven’t been answered by our FAQ, don’t hesitate to reach out to our project contact.

Plug and Play Tech Center

StoryTopicsFinalistsFAQAbout LG Chem

Get in touch

Questions or feedback?

We‘d love to hear from you.

© 2022 - 2024 Plug And Play Tech Center

Imprint & Legal | Privacy Policy

Get in touch

Questions or feedback?

We‘d love to hear from you.

Crafted with

in Stuttgart