Scale your solution with an industry leader that is ready for the future

Daring start-up solutions are disrupting the chemicals and energy industries. By combining our cutting-edge products, resources, network, and competencies with unconventional energy solutions from around the world, we believe we can collaboratively deliver the green solutions of tomorrow.


The most promising start-ups and scale-ups will get a chance to co-develop innovative solutions and collaborate with relevant Nobian businesses on proof of concept projects.

About Nobian

Nobian is the leading producer of salt, essential chemicals, and energy solutions for industry. Since our first salt production in 1918, we continue to innovate every day to become safer, more efficient, and sustainable and to ensure the essential products of today will continue to enrich our lives tomorrow. In 2021, Nouryon (formerly AkzoNobel Specialty Chemicals) finalized the switch of its base chemicals business, Nobian, into a separate company. With our sustainability program “Grow Greener Together,” we are working towards becoming one of Europe’s most sustainable businesses, having already reduced our carbon footprint by 40% since 1990. We believe the future belongs to those who dare challenge the status quo and, as part of this, we have developed our Grow Greener Together Innovation Challenge – a full Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) program with clear and ambitious targets.

Why Nobian

Nobian is a technology and market leader in various electrolysis and salt production processes, an energy-intensive process resulting in energy being a primary cost driver and carbon emissions. Nobian has reduced its carbon footprint by 40% since 1990. However, to reach the goal of 100% carbon neutrality by 2040 a lot of work is yet to be done.

Sustainability is in our hearts and actions. Nobian strives to become one of the most sustainable chemical companies in Europe. By 2040 we will be CO2 neutral, with 100% renewable energy, 50% of which will be available by 2025. This is not something we can do alone. That is why we want to “Grow Greener Together” with our customers, partners, and society. We are very focused on leveraging our competencies in salt and electrochemistry to drive green growth in impactful markets, such as energy storage and hydrogen, turning sustainability challenges into business opportunities.

As a European leader in salt, essential chemicals, and energy, we are always open to diverse talent who want to join us in the Grow Greener Together Innovation Challenge.


R&D activities are connected to Open Innovation


People employed


Production locations


Carbon reduction since 1990


Active projects with start-ups


Years of heritage and experience


Zero carbon target


Energy transferred to renewable since 1990

Nobian’s sustainability effort

The climate KPIs and targets infographic of CO2 Emission Reduction and Renewable Energy shows what we have done so far, along with our plans for the future. We can help stabilize the power grid by increasing or reducing our electricity consumption according to the availability of renewable energy.

Successful collaborations

Invert Robotics (Since 2018)

Invert Robotics designs and manufactures state-of-the-art NDT and robotic inspection crawler platforms. It also provides remote robotic inspection services with unprecedented levels of safety, accuracy, and speed. Its robots enable precise and accurate remote inspections of surfaces that are difficult or dangerous for humans to access, such as hazardous chemical storage tanks. Invert Robotics’ main focus is on the food production, chemicals, aviation, and energy industries.

During the Invert Robotics at Sprint Robotics World Conference in 2019, Invert Robotics and Nobian presented a business case for using Invert Robotics’ suction cup crawler technology. By enabling inspectors to avoid these types of confined spaces, they are assisting in making inspections safer. This has allowed Nobian to conduct inspections more safely and efficiently.

Vulcan (Since 2022)

Vulcan, an Australian mining company developing its world-first Zero Carbon Lithium™ and renewable energy project, has signed an agreement with Nobian to assess the feasibility of producing lithium hydroxide from lithium chloride at a Nobian plant in Frankfurt, Germany.

The demo plant will be operated by Vulcan in collaboration with Nobian and is planned to be operational in Q3 2022. Vulcan and Nobian will also discuss chlorine and hydrogen offtakes, which are by-products of the electrolysis process, and jointly assess the feasibility of a commercial lithium plant.

“Our partnership with Nobian is part of our strategy to capitalize on synergies created by working with existing chemical producers. Nobian’s experience will contribute to reaching our goal of starting production from our Zero Carbon Lithium™ Project in 2024.” Dr. Francis Wedin, Managing Director of Vulcan.

Photanol (Since 2014)

Following four years of collaboration with AkzoNobel (to whom Nobian belonged at the time), Photanol continued to collaborate with Nobian after the split from AkzoNobel, to build a demonstration factory at Nobian’s site in Delfzijl, The Netherlands. There, they intend to use the CO2 from Nobian’s chimneys to create new circular raw materials.

“The joint development of Photanol’s production capability is part of our strategic choice to collaborate with innovative companies to develop a sustainable chemical industry.” Marco Waas, Director/VP R&D and Technology and Sustainability, Nobian.

“We are very proud that the University of Amsterdam spinoff Photanol has achieved this significant milestone, further advancing its technology development with powerful partnerships to fulfil its potential for a global impact.” Peter Krijnsen, CEO UvA, Ventures Holding.

“The Photanol team is keen to prove to the world that we can make a big difference by producing clean chemicals while reducing the CO2 burden on the environment.” Véronique de Bruijn, CEO, Photanol BV.

Samotics (Since 2018)

One of the winners of the Imagine Chemistry open innovation challenge in 2018, Samotics collaborated with Nobian (at that time part of Nouryon) on a pilot program to further develop self-learning technology that helps to predict the time for maintenance and replacement of the pumps and other rotating equipment.

Today, Samotics’ technology to boost plant reliability has been successfully implemented at Nobian’s plants in The Netherlands, Denmark, and Germany. In 2020, Samotics and Nobian (then still part of Nouryon) won the audience award at the Costa event. Costa is a Dutch network to boost collaboration between start-ups and corporations, organized by VNO-NCW (the confederation of The Netherlands industry and employers, the largest employers’ organization in The Netherlands).

“Since the Imagine Chemistry challenge in 2018, we have been working together on a pilot program to test and improve our technology. I am very pleased to see it making a difference in real-life production settings and look forward to the further rollout in partnership with Nobian.” Simon Jagers, Founder, Samotics.

"It is our ambition to become one of the most sustainable chemical companies in Europe. In 2040 we will be climate neutral, with 100% renewable energy."

Michael Koenig, Chief Executive Officer of Nobian

"Access to external innovation is imperative to realizing our growth and sustainability targets."

Marco Waas, Director/VP R&D and Technology and Sustainability at Nobian

"As a start-up, there are lots of things to do, but doing business and getting your product out in the field is probably the most important one. We got lots of help from the management team of Nobian and everybody involved so I think it was the best thing that we have participated in."

Simon Jagers, Co-Founder of Semiotic Labs and Winner of Imagine Chemistry 2018