DENMARK – Novozymes, the world leader in biological solutions, has launched HelloScience, an online network where innovators, start-ups, companies and others can collectively work to develop solutions for some of the world’s greatest challenges.

HelloScience aims to foster collaborations across borders, expertise and technologies on serious global challenges, as complex problems require advanced solutions and new ways of getting solutions.

“The major global challenges are complex in nature and will be difficult to solve,” says Senior Vice President Claus Crone Fuglsang, Head of Research & Technology at Novozymes.

“Novozymes has experience and expertise, but we don’t claim to have all the answers. We need to work together to deliver better systems to solve challenges within water, food, waste and more”.

HelloScience defines the different themes for collaboration, where the first is water scarcity challenge, inviting UNICEF as the first collaborators.

The challenge is to develop an E.coli detection device, which UNICEF believes has a significant need for.

This is due to the fact that around 18,000 children die daily from diarrhoea and other waste-related diseases, contracted through contaminated water.

“Current detection tests for E. coli bacteria takes up to 24 hours to get results. This is why Novozymes comes in as UNICEF needs a rapid on-the-spot testing of drinking water, after initial technology screenings,” notes the company in a statement.

Another challenge is focus on biological solutions to remove polluting chemicals from water or improve cleaning of wastewaters.

That would include better filtering, less sludge and recovery of phosphate from water.

“Water and sanitation are at the heart of sustainable development. One out of every seven people does not have adequate access to safe water, and nearly one in four does not have adequate sanitation,” says Claus Crone Fuglsang.

“Novozymes already provides a range of microbial solutions for treatment of both industrial and municipal wastewater, but we believe biotech in combination with other technologies can play an even bigger role.

HelloScience provides a timely opportunity to bring new innovative solutions into the world of water and wastewater treatment.”

HelloScience is a platform for anyone with an interest in water. Start-ups and small companies are initially the target group. But water experts, NGOs and corporates are allowed.

The best ideas and solutions proposed to HelloScience will receive enzyme and microorganism samples from Novozymes and access to experts, as well as Novozymes’ investment team and industry.