Supported by Innoget

Official Rules

By submitting a proposal, participants agree to abide by the official rules, as well as, the decisions made by the judging panel, which are final.

1. Program Period

The Open Innovation challenge will start on April 6th, 2021 and end by October 29th, 2021. The online launch will be conducted on May 4th, 2021 during the SHV Energy open access session as part of ABLC Digital at 09:00 AM EST, to officially launch the innovation challenge. All proposal submissions must be completed by September 1st, 2021.

2. Eligibility

  • The Open Innovation challenge is open to participants' either as and individual or as an organization. Individuals must be at least eighteen (18) years old and with full legal capacity. Organizations, either as a business or academic entity, can submit more than one proposal. All participants must provide valid contact information
  • This challenge is not open to employees of SHV Energy and members of their families
  • Participation in the open innovation challenge is free of charge
  • Before submitting a proposal, you will be asked to indicate that you have read the Official Rules and that you agree with them
  • SHV Energy may at its sole discretion, remove or disqualify any submission and participant it deems inappropriate or non-compliant

3. Challenge Topics And Submission Criteria

SHV Energy is seeking pathways to produce C3/C4 saturated hydrocarbons (LPG) from sustainable feedstocks with high yields

SHV Energy is looking for pathways that can produce saturated C3/C4 hydrocarbons (LPG - propane and/or butane/iso-butane) from sustainable feedstocks with yields that could ultimately be scaled to make production commercially viable. The saturated C3/C4 hydrocarbon may be a co-product with other similarly valuable components.

Traditionally, petrochemical processes are designed to minimise saturated C3/C4 hydrocarbons, hence this challenge. Sustainable feedstocks are generally described as containing bio-derived carbon (eg biomass, vegetable oils), though could also include fossil carbon contained in wastes (eg industrial flue gases, municipal solid waste or non-recyclable plastics).

Submission criteria (Technical Specifications)

SHV Energy is a leading global distributor of off-grid energy such as fossil-based LPG and is also active in the area of sustainable fuels and renewable energy solutions. The global market for LPG is in excess of 300 million tonnes. SHV Energy’s bold ambition is to source 100% of its energy products from renewable and sustainable sources by 2040, to satisfy its current annual demand of over 5 million tonnes. It is, therefore, actively seeking opportunities to substitute its existing energy products with sustainable alternatives. In pursuit of this ambition, it successfully launched bioLPG in 2018 sourced from the Neste biorefinery in Rotterdam. Currently, bioLPG is produced commercially as a by-product of renewable diesel that comes from Hydrotreatment of Vegetable Oils (HVO). BioLPG is also produced as a by-product of Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) that comes from a modification of the HVO process called Hydrotreatment of Esters and Fatty Acids (HEFA). Global production of bioLPG, based on these processes is increasing, and currently estimated to be over 200,000 tonnes, though not all of that is recovered. BioLPG yield from these particular HVO/HEFA pathways typically range between 5 – 7%.

The state-of-the-art for these, and other process routes has been reviewed by Eric Johnson, Energies 2019, 12(2), 250. The Sustainable Fuels Team at SHV Energy is seeking to identify novel routes (TRL 1-3 ), in addition to those contained in above reviews; or proposals on how to substantially increase the LPG yields of the known transformation routes. This will allow SHV Energy to maintain its leading market position and support us in achieving our sustainability targets by the year 2040. Applicants should describe their proposals (stating the Technology Readiness Level) to satisfy this challenge, together with their organisation’s ability to implement the project.

Technical requirements

  • Abundant feedstock
  • Focused in the process last stage to produce C3/C4
  • Preferably not vegetable oil
  • Overall solution must be considered sustainable


a) Partnership

Our Partnership model is considered to be particularly relevant for research intensive companies (big and small), start-ups and (non-academic) research organisations.

Through partnership with SHV Energy you would benefit from:

  • Market accessibility – SHV Energy, is the world’s largest downstream distributor of (bio)LPG, and has off-take agreements with (bio)refineries. If you already have the ability to make bioLPG to our specifications then, depending on the geographical location and quantity we will give you a fair market price for it
  • Expertise and Safety – Whether it is ensuring that you can achieve the necessary product specifications, or safely handling, storing and transporting LPG, our employees can provide support with scientific R&D and logistics to support the downstream commercial success of your technology developments

As such, SHV Energy can work together with these organisation types via one of three partnership models:

  • Initially, we would fund up to €50,000 to perform a feasibility study, and if successful, joint- patent applications will be considered if there is new intellectual property (IP). SHV Energy would provide additional funding to support the IP filing, and/or provide follow-up funding if the process is considered to offer a route to a commercially viable process.
  • Joint-development– If you already have a viable technology to make a sustainable fuel, SHV Energy and the participant can work together to enhance the yields of saturated C3 and C4 hydrocarbons. SHV Energy may also bring in additional technical expertise to jointly develop your process as necessary to scale-up or achieve the bioLPG product specification.
  • Off-taker – if you are already have commercial quantities of bioLPG that satisfy product specifications then we can enter into commercial discussions to offer you a fair market price.

Please provide sufficient detail in your proposal to allow us to evaluate your proposition.

b) Research Collaboration

Our Research Collaboration Model is particularly suited to academic (University) research organisations.

We recognise that academic participants can often access significant national and regional research funds, post-graduate MSc and PhD studentships etc – but often require industrial partners to contribute cash or effort-in-kind. SHV Energy will once again consider to support up to €50,000 for selected participants: whether to conduct a feasibility study; support on-going research; or enable applications for industry-focused research grants. Participants are encouraged to describe their research concept, technical capabilities and also indicate the type of funding programs (and their requirements) in their submitted proposal – in addition to closure dates.

SHVE Energy will review the funding request as soon as possible, ideally at least 2 months prior to closure dates. Please note, that although we will do our best, we may not be able to respond to very very short deadlines.

5. Proposal Submission

  • All proposal submission must be completed on by September 1st, 2021.
  • All participants must register online and agreed on the Open Innovation Challenge Official Rules, Terms and Conditions and Data Privacy regulation before their proposals are accepted. An acknowledgement email will be provided within 24 hours after a successful submission.
  • All proposal must include the following information:
    • Contact name
    • Country
    • E-mail
    • Phone
    • Company (if participant is representing an organisation)
    • Designation
    • Title/Problem Statement and challenge focus
    • Technology Overview/Applications
    • Criteria/Technical Specifications (Please refer to #3. Challenge Topics and Selection Criteria for more information)
    • Stage of Development/TRL
    • Benefits/Business problem solved
    • IP information
    • Preferred partnership model
    • Capacity to implement the proposed idea
  • Incomplete proposals may be subject to disqualification.

6. Review Process

SHV Energy has sole discretion to select proposals and declare winner.

After review, selected candidates will be invited to a virtual meeting with SHV Energy in-house experts to refine their written proposals by up to 1st September 2021. Up to five semi -finalists will be notified by 15th September 2021 and have the opportunity to have more detailed discussions and be invited to pitch their proposal to an SHV Energy jury panel week commencing 11th October 2021. The successful participants will be informed week commencing 18th October 2021 and a formal announcement made at ABLC 2021 (27th-29th October)

SHV Energy may alter the dates at their discretion. Any changes will be communicated to participants.

All participants must acknowledge and consent that SHV Energy can use their personal submitted data for event publicity and marketing purposes.

7. Applicable Law

These Open Innovation Challenge Official Rules and thus your use participation in the SHV Energy Open Innovation Challenge shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of The Netherlands and is subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of the Courts and Tribunals of Amsterdam, The Netherlands.