To make a meaningful contribution to the ongoing issue of plastic pollution, our next Global Challenge campaign aims to drive collaboration and innovation in this area. We are inviting academic researchers and the tech transfer and research commercialisation community to share with us non-confidential details of research related to sustainable plastics, polymers and alternatives. Our team will then proactively disseminate the submissions and disclosures to our global network of industry R&D teams with aligned interests, with the view to start new conversations that accelerate the deployment of solutions.

Working with leading companies committed to plastic and polymer sustainability (including Dow, PepsiCo, Avient, one.five, and Walgreens Boots Alliance), with this campaign we are aiming to mobilise the university-industry ecosystem by providing a clear pathway for the commercialisation of research within the sustainability space, to help start meaningful conversations and partnerships that lead to the development of technologies and new products that address the challenges around sustainable plastics and polymers.

How does the campaign work?

Submitting research or technologies to the campaign and having them disseminated to industry is free to engage with for all TTOs and academics and doesn’t require a subscription to IN-PART.

Submissions will be disseminated to industry teams with aligned interests through the first quarter of 2022, and will feature in our post-campaign content and white paper profiling the sustainable plastic research of most interest to industry.

We launched this Global Challenges campaign on Monday 1st November, and the deadline for submissions is Monday 17th January 2022.

The original deadline for submissions was the 13th of December 2021, but due to high demand from our sustainable plastic industry network, and requests from academics and TTOs for further time to gather submissions due to intense workloads in the run-up to Christmas, we extended the deadline into the new year.


What research should you submit?

The research or technology could be anything that provides a positive step forwards for sustainability within plastics, polymers and polymers in liquid formulations (PLFs), by using raw materials that are renewable or sustainable, processes that minimise environmental impacts, and alternatives to plastics that are biodegradable or recyclable. 

A full breakdown of the most pressing research topics we’ve identified to be of greatest importance, along with the R&D priorities of the companies working with us on this campaign, can be found in the submission form

This campaign has been informed by leading companies and stakeholders who are working to address plastic and polymer sustainability, including Dow, PepsiCo, Avient, one.five, Walgreens Boots Alliance, the Royal Society of Chemistry and ASTP.

The specific research priorities, in terms of their interest in working with new research from academia, for each of these stakeholders can be found through the following links:


How to submit your research, expertise or technologies:


1 – If you are an academic researcher or work in a technology transfer office that isn’t subscribed to IN-PART’s matchmaking platform: 

Outline non-confidential details of your project, research or technology in the submission form below and submit it by email to (there will be no
costs from IN-PART at any stage) 


2 – If your technology transfer office is subscribed to IN-PART:

Submit research directly through your dashboard:


3 – If your technology transfer office is subscribed to IN-PART and you have opportunities listed on the platform that fit the criteria of this campaign:

Contact your University Liaison Officer at IN-PART to highlight these for inclusion in our open research directory, white paper, and associated communications around the campaign. Updates to existing technologies will also be distributed to companies with aligned interests.

Further details about the submission process can be found in the submission form. If you have any questions please outline them here and the team will get back to you.


What happens after you submit your project or research?

After you have submitted an opportunity, a member of our team will email you to confirm that it has been received. The opportunity will then be uploaded to our matchmaking platform, Connect. It will be fed into our matchmaking systems and proactively disseminated to R&D teams with aligned interests, including the companies listed above.

For R&D teams who want to learn more about your opportunity or to start a conversation with your team, we will then provide a direct introduction via email for you to open a dialogue and to share further details of your work or the project. 

This activity builds on the work we do through our matchmaking platforms to simplify the initial connection between teams in academia and industry, leveraging our networks and expertise to focus on addressing a crucial global challenge. We don’t take finders fees or success fees, and the conversations started through this campaign and our platforms are hosted exclusively between you and the other party.


Who should respond to the campaign?

We want to hear from any researchers who are working on approaches for sustainable plastics and PLFs, as well as university technology transfer and research commercialisation professionals that can provide non-confidential details of their work or projects at their institute.

This is not limited to universities that have a subscription to IN-PART; we encourage everyone in academia who is working on sustainable plastics projects to submit their work with no need to set up a subscription.


What is a Global Challenges campaign?

In the spring of 2020, we launched our first Global Challenge campaign (formerly named an ‘open call for research’), where 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. We prioritised dissemination of these technologies to industry teams with aligned interests, to help rapidly deploy interventions against the pandemic. Through this Global Challenge campaign, we facilitated more than 60 introductions between universities and relevant industry R&D professionals. We ran a second open call for Covid-related research in the spring of 2021, creating further connections. 

This time around, we are building on the success of these campaigns and turning our focus to sustainable plastics, polymers, and alternatives.


If you have questions or want to know more about this 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 Challenge: Seeking research and innovation in sustainable plastics, polymers, and alternatives’

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, 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 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.