Russia-based major Norilsk Nickel (Nornickel) and US-based organisation International Precious Metals Institute (IPMI) have partnered up to organise the Palladium Challenge, a contest with a US$350,000 prize fund for the invention and design of a sustainable use-case for palladium.
The aim of the Palladium Challenge is to inspire individuals, businesses and academic institutions to invent and design a sustainable use-case that features and increases the demand for palladium. Palladium is widely used in the automotive industry as an essential component of catalytic conversion, as it is known for its catalytic capabilities and unique physical properties.
However, the organisers want the Palladium Challenge to broaden its applications and spark innovation. They noted that palladium applications in the hydrogen economy, battery technologies, sensors, industrial catalysts or alloys are seen as the most promising areas of the research.
All submissions to the Palladium Challenge will be reviewed by an independent panel of global experts who will also serve as judges. The panel's decision will be based on three key criteria: the scientific novelty of the proposed project, the economic feasibility and sustainability of the project, and the minimum annual palladium demand in thousands of troy ounces generated by the proposed application.
The top three projects will be awarded monetary prizes on September 16, 2022, at the IPMI Annual Platinum Dinner in New York City, US and will also receive global recognition. The first place prize is for US$200,000; the second place prize is for US$100,000; and the third place prize is for US$50,000.
Anton Berlin, vice president, sales and distribution at Nornickel commented: "As the world's largest palladium producer, Nornickel plays a central role in development and driving demand for this metal. Moreover, as a company, we believe that palladium has huge potential beyond autocatalysts. We see high palladium demand in other global industries, including the green economy and decarbonisation. There are many other areas where palladium could fulfil a critical function, and we are very excited to announce the launch of the challenge, which seeks to bring together scientists from all over the world. We encourage scientists, inventors, and entrepreneurs worldwide to participate. We hope that this challenge will deliver outstanding research results."
Registrations are now open on the IPMI website, and the deadline for completed proposals is May 31, 2022.