Five young companies from Australia, the USA, Great Britain, Latvia and Germany are the "Resource Innovators 2018" of the chemical industry.
The start-ups were honoured on Monday at the Raw Materials Summit in Berlin for ideas on the use of sustainable sources, such as plants and CO2 instead of oil.
The summit was held under the auspices of the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research and called for chemistry to be made more sustainable and climate-friendly.
The event at the Technical University of Berlin (TU Berlin) thus set a signal for more cooperation with start-ups in the chemical industry.
The aim is to promote the use of non-fossil raw materials.
The five start-ups competed against each other in an ideas competition and presented their projects to the 200 guests of the second Summit organised by TU Berlin, DECHEMA Gesellschaft für Chemische Technik und Biotechnologie and material manufacturer Covestro.
The top three winners received prize money donated by Covestro.
First place went to the Australian company Mineral Carbonation International and Dr Markus Steilemann, CEO of Covestro, handed over a check for €5000.
The young company takes carbon dioxide from waste gases as an alternative feedstock and transforms it together with minerals into building materials and other valuable industrial products.
The five-member jury also included DECHEMA CEO Professor Kurt Wagemann and Professor Reinhard Schomäcker from the Institute of Chemistry at the TU Berlin.
Other members of the jury were Erika Bellmann, Policy Advisor WWF Germany, and Professor Dieter Jahn, Advisory Board member of High-Tech Gründerfonds.
The jury awarded second place to PolyLabs from Latvia, endowed with €3000.
The start-up company produces bio polyol, a component for the insulation foam industry, from renewable material such as rapseed and waste wood oils.
Nano-Join, based in Berlin, came third (€1000).
The start-up produces and sells innovative silver sinter material solutions for electronical high-performance parts in batteries
Companies Battery Nano Technologies and Mayasil, both from Great Britain and the USA, followed in fourth and fifth place.
Dozens of international start-ups had applied to take part in the ideas competition.
In addition to the start-up competition, lectures and a panel discussion were the focal points of the Raw Materials Summit.