Forward AM Innovation Award, an international competition to reward innovative startups

Published on January 28, 2021 by Madeleine P.

BASF 3D Printing Solutions is the subsidiary of German chemist BASF, dedicated to additive manufacturing and especially to the development of advanced materials. It now markets its solutions under the name BASF Forward AM. The company recently announced the launch of the Forward AM Innovation Award, the first ever international competition for young startups using additive manufacturing in product development, whether in the prototyping or final production phase. The competition aims to showcase applications designed using 3D technologies. Startups have until March 28 to apply, and the first 100 eligible startups will receive a Fusion 360 license, valid until June 30, 2021.

The purpose of the awards is to showcase young entrepreneurs who are leveraging 3D printing in an innovative, sustainable and scalable way within their companies. The jury is composed of big names in the additive manufacturing sector: AMPOWER, AMT, Autodesk, HP, Photocentric, Sculpteo, and Ultimaker. Other companies will also be present to provide support and advice, such as AM Ventures, BASF Venture Capital, Deloitte and the Women in 3D Printing community. Everyone will have the opportunity to share their expertise, as well as select nominated companies and lead private coaching sessions. Incredible rewards of up to €185,000 ($224,202) will be at stake, graciously offered by the companies representing the jury.

The Forward AM Innovation Award with its sponsors (photo credits: Forward AM)

Sustainable and responsible additive manufacturing put into the spotlight

This competition aims to reward startups that have developed sustainable applications using 3D printing, either in their development or production process. It will also allow the winner to assert their initiative and thus implement their solution over the long term. Nevertheless, even companies that don’t win the competition can expect a prize. In fact, the four finalists can expect to receive €20,000 ($24,528.94) in goods and services, and benefit from a networking base, coaching and a pronounced marketing exposure for two months.

At the finals in June, the winning startup will receive the grand prize of €80,000 ($96,858) in goods and services to be chosen from the sponsors’ catalog. The winner will also have the opportunity to meet investors from AM Ventures and BASF Venture Capital at a dedicated meeting.

The competition includes two other prizes: the Deloitte Prize, which offers €10,000 ($12,106) in cash to the startup with the best sustainable development strategy, and the Public Prize, which will reward the startup with the most public votes at the final in June with an additional €15,000 ($18,159) in goods and services. Applications are open until March 28, 2021. Entrepreneurs from around the world are invited to submit their applications via the dedicated website HERE. On social networks, the hashtag #ForwardAMaward will give visibility to the event.

Copyright : BASF

Forward AM Innovation Award Eligibility Criteria and Timeline

To participate in this contest, the startup must have been founded less than 5 years ago and employ less than 50 employees. Also, it must, of course, use 3D printing technologies to design its products. If you are a spin-off from a university, you can also compete. On the other hand, if you are a startup that develops 3D printers, 3D software or 3D printing material, you are not eligible: the Forward AM Innovation Award focuses on developed applications.

Please note that the best startups will be selected on April 14 and the semi-finalists on April 28. 4 finalist startups will be chosen at the same time: they will receive the prize of €20,000 ($24,528.94) and 2-month support. This will be done in May and June. Then, on June 30th, these 4 finalist startups will pitch their solutions to the jury and the latter will then elect the grand winner. The timeline is available on the page dedicated to the competition. You can also check out the video below for more information:


Do you want to know more about Forward AM? Find more information on their website HERE. Are you interested in this award? Let us know in a comment below or on our Facebook and Twitter pages! Sign up for our free weekly Newsletter here, the latest 3D printing news straight to your inbox!

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