Preservatives Project

The GC3 Preservatives Challenge



The GC3, InnoCentive and 20 sponsors conducted a competition to identify new preservatives for personal care & household products.

The GC3 and InnoCentive are pleased to announce seven winners in the global GC3 Challenge: Developing New Preservatives for Personal Care & Household Products. Launched in April 2017, the challenge aimed to identify and support innovators developing preservative technologies with improved environmental, health and safety profiles for use in cosmetics, personal care and household products.

The competition aimed to identify and accelerate to market new safe and effective preservatives for use in cosmetics, personal care and household products. 17 consumer product goods (CPG) companies, major retailers and preservative suppliers sponsored the competition, along with the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) and the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA).

Challenge sponsors and participants represented the entire value chain, with 11 consumer packaged goods (CPG) companies, two major retailers and five suppliers: Babyganics, Beautycounter, Beiersdorf, Colgate-Palmolive, Johnson & Johnson Consumer (J&J), Kao USA, Method – People Against Dirty, Procter & Gamble (P&G), Reckitt Benckiser (RB), SC Johnson, Unilever, Target, Walmart, Dow Microbial Control, Lonza, Schülke, Symrise, and Thor, as well as the Environmental Defense Fund and the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency.

Finalists were awarded portions of the $175,000 cash prize pool. 

1st place award recipients:

  • Avisco Ltd.
  • IMD Natural Solutions GmbH
  • Irena Jevtov Research & Innovation
  • United States Department of Agriculture/People Against Dirty/Berkeley Center for Green Chemistry/University of Victoria/Safer Made

2nd place award recipients:

  • Hydromer, Inc.
  • Russian Academy of Sciences

3rd place award recipient:

  • Chinova Bioworks

The Preservatives Challenge not only stimulated innovation, it also fostered significant learning and collaboration among peers across the supply chain as they discussed and evaluated the solutions. It was a unique, pre-competitive platform for experts from the entire value chain to work together to address a common challenge – the need for new preservative technologies.

Read the full press release here. Read the descriptions of the winning companies here.

Winners of the GC3 Preservatives Challenge

The Preservatives Challenge winners gathered on May 7, the day before the GC3 Annual Innovators Roundtable. Left to right: Monica Becker, Director of Collaborative Innovation, the GC3; Irena Jevtov, Irena Jevtov Research & Innovation; David Brown, COO, Chinova Bioworks; Silke Von Dyck, Product Manager Industrial, Hydromer, Inc.; Tomasz Modzelewski, Production Manager, Hydromer, Inc.; Natasha Dhayagude, CEO, Chinova Bioworks; Heather Buckley, Professor, University of Victoria, Canada; Eric Becktel, Product Manager Personal Care, Hydromer, Inc.; Irit Van-Ham, EVP and CTO, Avisco Ltd.; Thomas Henkel, Senior Business Development Manager, IMD Natural Solutions - Lanxess Group; Elaine Chin, Principal, Challenge Design & Development, InnoCentive; William Hart-Cooper, Chemist, United States Department of Agriculture; Uri Finkelstein, Avisco Ltd.; Catherine Covington, Program Manager, InnoCentive. Not shown: Vladimir Tikhonov, Senior Researcher, Russian Academy of Sciences


The GC3 Preservatives Challenge was sponsored by:











State of Minnesota





Environmental Defense Fund

RB (Reckitt Benckiser)


Johnson & Johnson

SC Johnson   


Download the report

"Need Statement & Development Criteria for New Preservatives for Personal Care & Household Products"


For more information, please contact gc3info@greenchemistryandcommerce.org.