Work with Suiker Unie to valorize sucrose from sugar beet into bio-polymers to produce sustainable plastics

Pilot Contract, Expert coaching, Access to data Deadline passed

As part of Sustainable Industry Challenge – Chemport Edition and Suiker Unie are looking for innovative solutions to convert sucrose and use it as a feedstock for biopolymers. Since plastics are an important product of modern-day life and the majority is currently produced from fossils fuels, Suiker Unie has the ambition to impact the plastic production process by offering a sustainable alternative, namely biopolymers. We’re looking for technologies that can support in this conversion process.

Suiker Unie is with more than 750 employees, a major sugar producer in Europe and part of the Royal Cosun group. As well as developing, producing and selling sugar and sugar specialties, it processes all parts of the sugar beet into natural ingredients for the food, energy, biobased and related industries. All components of the beet are used, nothing is wasted. Corporate sustainability is woven into Suiker Unie’s strategy for the benefit of their customers, growers, and staff.

It is desired that such a conversion process is competitive with traditional routes (using crude oil) for producing polymers. Also, additional benefits of using sucrose from European sugar beet as compared to glucose from starch will be a great advantage.

The deadline for this Challenge has passed, please check out our other Challenges


We are looking for startups and scaleups that want to collaborate with Suiker Unie to transform sucrose to biopolymers and thereby serve as a sustainable alternative for raw materials traditionally used within plastics. We are looking for technological processes that allow such conversion, which is competitive with traditional routes for producing polymers, such as using crude oil. We are interested in the following technology direction:


That optimize the extraction or conversion of sucrose from sugar beet to bio-polymers, and thereby make this a solid alternative to traditional routes.


That can optimize the current processes used for conversion and thereby make the benefit of it economically viable compared to traditional routes.


  • Pilot contract with Suiker Unie in case a fit is identified

  • Access to Suiker Unie's facilities like labs, pilot plants, application tests and more.

  • Expert coaching

  • Access to the EBG network


You should

  • Have a working prototype or demonstrator

  • Be able to launch a finished product or service within the next 18 months

  • Be able to do a pilot project in the Netherlands


NOVEMBER 11, 2019


The deadline for applications of proposals is on November 11th, 2019 at midnight (UTC+2).
DECEMBER 12, 2019


The announcement of selected companies will be done latest December 12th, 2019.
JANUARY 7-8, 2020


The selected companies will be invited for one-on-one business meetings to discuss the potential pilot with Suiker Unie from January 7nd till 8th 2020, Sustainable Industry Challenge – Chemport Europe edition in Groningen, The Netherlands.


The most relevant startup(s)/scaleup(s) will start with the pilot from February onwards.
Deadline passed

The deadline for this Challenge has passed, please check out our other Challenges