Please note that the details of this Challenge are no longer open. This challenge is under evaluation and is no longer accepting new submissions. You can:
Challenge Metal, Aldehyde and Vegetable Free Tanning – The Stabilization of Collagen

Metal, Aldehyde and Vegetable Free Tanning – The Stabilization of Collagen

Award: $30,000 USD
STATUS: Under Eval
Active Solvers: 122
Posted: May 21 2019
Challenge ID: 9934205
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In an effort to reduce health and environmental impact, the Seeker is looking for a leather tanning system that is free from metals and aldehyde containing materials that can still produce a sustainable quality product. This can be summarized as chemical, thermal and microbiological stabilization of the collagen.

This is a Reduction-to-Practice Challenge that requires a method that can meet the Solution Requirements and rationale that can convince the Seeker it is worth a trial. The Seeker will run testing on those methods deemed acceptable. Acceptable Results of Testing will determine awards.


One of the more important properties of a tanned hide is its heat stability in hot water. It is required to have minimal shrinkage after submersion in water at 85 C for 3 minutes. In order to achieve this, the collagen must be stabilized in the process. Obtaining this property using a process that is metals (particularly Chromium, Aluminum and Zirconium) and non-glutaraldehyde producing (aldehyde free) is the Challenge. Product properties must be maintained as well. More details are provided in the Detailed Description.

The submission to the Challenge should include the following:

  1. A detailed description of your proposed Method addressing the specific Solution Requirements presented in the Detailed Description of the Challenge. This description should be accompanied by a well-articulated rationale supported by literature/patent precedents.
  2. Those submissions deemed acceptable by the Seeker will be tested by the Seeker. Note: Testing is not guaranteed. The Seeker will attempt to test viable solutions, however there are many reasons why testing cannot be performed/continued. Some examples would be the unavailability of materials or equipment, or a dangerous situation. Methods that cannot be tested will only be eligible for awards at the Seeker’s discretion.

Receipt of a Challenge award is contingent upon theoretical evaluation and experimental validation of the submitted Solutions by the Seeker.

To receive an award, the Solvers will have to transfer to the Seeker their exclusive Intellectual Property (IP) rights to the solution. However, the Seeker will be willing to consider a licensing agreement for a partial award if exclusive IP cannot be transferred by the Solver.  

Submissions to this Challenge must be received by 11:59 PM (US Eastern Time) on July 21st, 2019. Late submissions will not be considered.

What is InnoCentive?
InnoCentive is the global innovation marketplace where creative minds solve some of the world's most important problems for cash awards up to $1 million. Commercial, governmental and humanitarian organizations engage with InnoCentive to solve problems that can impact humankind in areas ranging from the environment to medical advancements.

What is an RTP Challenge?

An InnoCentive RTP (Reduction to Practice) Challenge is a prototype that proves an idea, and is similar to an InnoCentive Theoretical Challenge in its high level of detail. However, an RTP requires the Solver to submit a validated solution, either in the form of original data or a physical sample. Also the Seeker is allowed to test the proposed solution. For details about treatment of IP rights, please see the Challenge-Specific Agreement.

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