IN-PART Global Challenge campaign FAQs

In the spring of 2020, we launched our first Global Challenges campaign (which we then called an open call for research). With this, we reached out to all the universities and academics in our extended global network to share with us research at their institute addressing COVID-19 so that we could prioritise its dissemination to industry teams with aligned interests, with the view to help rapidly deploy interventions against the pandemic. And now, building on the success of this campaign and a second in the spring of 2021, we’re turning our focus to sustainable plastics, polymers and alternatives.

What is a Global Challenges campaign?

The vision for a Global Challenges campaign is to drive innovation and collaboration in areas identified by industry that align with sustainable development and growth. They present the opportunity for academic researchers and research commercialisation professionals to have their projects, technologies or breakthroughs relating to a current global challenge proactively disseminated to industry with the aim of starting new conversations that lead to the commercialisation and deployment of new solutions.

The Global Challenges campaigns build on the work we’ve done since 2014 to simplify the connection between teams in academia and industry. We leverage the technology of our core matchmaking platform, Connect, and the experiences we’ve gained through our Discover platform in finding solutions for companies to specific industrial requirements, as well as the in-house STEM expertise in our team, and the engagement from our global academia-industry community, to focus and drive collaboration in a challenge area of benefit to society and the environment. 

The Global Challenges campaigns run over an initial six week period, in which we gather submissions from the academic community. During this period, and after, our team focuses on making sure R&D teams with aligned interests are sent relevant projects to review and engage with. When a project fits with a company’s research profile, our team then sets up the initial introduction so that a conversation can proceed about collaboration. 

We also run an online live series programme associated with the campaign to provide a forum for the academia-industry community to connect around the topic. And after the campaign closes we publish a white paper summarising engagement trends within the research area (view our Covid-19 white paper here).

Why are we focusing on sustainable plastics, polymers and alternatives?

Earlier this year, we reached out to our community of industry R&D decision-makers to ask them what they thought the biggest and most important challenges are for their sector. There was a wide range of responses, including various health and geopolitical challenges, but the top challenges identified were overwhelmingly in the areas of sustainability, energy resources and climate change. As a company with a strong background in scientific research, we are very aware of humanity’s impact on the environment and the scale of the challenge that lies ahead of us in addressing climate change. However, climate change is too broad in itself for us to tackle in a single challenge event. 

This month (November 2021), we’re launching our next Global Challenges campaign to gather research around sustainable plastics, polymers and alternatives, focussing particularly on their production process and source rather than on recycling technologies.

The issues around plastics are complex. They have had a revolutionary impact across numerous sectors over the last 50 years and there are few aspects of our daily lives that are not built around them, making them impossible to simply remove without an alternative. However, plastics, especially single-use, are a major environmental hazard due to their longevity and the challenges around their disposal or reuse. In addition to this, the production of plastics requires fossil fuels and produces a large amount of carbon dioxide. Addressing the plastic pollution challenge not only helps to address climate change, it also is relevant to multiple sectors of the economy. 

In addition to plastics, the call is open to the sustainable production of polymers in liquid formulation (PLFs), which whilst a lesser-known issue compared to plastics, cause the same environmental damages and face the same challenges around improving their sustainability.

What is our main objective?

Our aim is to surface the latest academic research, technologies, and expertise addressing the global plastic pollution crisis that are available and seeking industry collaboration, with the view to start new conversations and partnerships that lead to further development and commercialisation.

We are aiming to provide a clear pathway for commercialisation of sustainable plastics related research with industry to help start meaningful conversations and partnerships that can lead to collaborative development and the deployment of new interventions and solutions to the plastic pollution crisis.

How does a Global Challenges campaign work?

We invite our academic and research commercialisation community to submit research, technologies and innovation addressing a prevalent global issue, for example major global health challenges or environmental problems, to IN-PART. We will post each submission on our matchmaking platform and disseminate them to relevant individuals in our network of global R&D professionals, build repositories of the technologies and create content and papers with our analysis of the submission trends.

If you’re working within industry:

If you’re already registered with IN-PART, you can [view the submissions on our platform] for our current global challenges campaign, or if you’re new to us, you can set up a free account – it takes less than a minute and there are no fees associated with starting a conversation with universities.

You can also view the submissions for our global challenges campaign in our open research directory (to be published and updated weekly from the w/c 8th November)

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You can also let us know if your company is working on developing sustainable plastics and our team will contact you to make sure you’re sent all the projects that align with your interests and requirements:

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If you’re a university academic or work in a technology transfer office:

If your technology transfer office is subscribed to IN-PART you can submit research directly through your dashboard. If you have current opportunities listed on the platform that fit the campaign criteria, get in touch with your university liaison officer.

If you are an academic or working in a technology transfer office that is not subscribed to IN-PART, you can outline non-confidential details of your project, research or technology in the submission form below and submit it by email to

If you have questions or want to know more about this Global Challenges campaign, please share your queries to and a member of our team will get back to you promptly.


Written by Ruth Kirk. Edited by Alex Stockham.

Copyrights reserved unless otherwise agreed – IN-PART Publishing Ltd., 2021: ‘IN-PART Global Challenges Campaign FAQs’

About IN-PART:

We believe brilliant connections can solve real-world problems. We match research pioneers from academia with decision-makers in industry sectors striving for a greater positive impact.

Our goal is to enable connections from around the world to match academic research with industry on a level playing field. Through our intelligent, matchmaking platform we showcase leading university innovations and connect academics with an international community of decision-makers in industry. As a result, creating meaningful dialogue and partnership.


Connect, a digital partnering platform for university-industry collaboration.

250+ universities and research institutes around the world currently showcase their research and innovation on IN-PART. In order to find new collaboration partners in industry. R&D teams get free access to the platform (create an account here). There are no hidden costs and we don’t claim downstream success fees.


Discover, a bespoke scouting service for open innovation.

Through Discover, corporate R&D teams can leverage our extended academic network, which reaches multiple teams across 1,200+ universities and research institutes worldwide. In response to a specific research requirement or challenge, Discover enables R&D teams to identify new opportunities for commercialisation or to solicit proposals for new research.

Interested in speaking with our Discover team? Request a demo |  TTO or academic? Sign-up for weekly Discover emails.


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