On Tuesday 18 October minister Henk Kamp (economic affairs) announced the three winners of the 2016 National Icon election. The Dutch cabinet has selected three projects that illustrate the innovative strengths of the Netherlands, able to develop technological solutions for societal challenges. In Ovo was among the ten finalists in this competition and got pretty close, but did not end up in the top three.
National Icons in DWDD
The three winners, Lighthouse (ASML), Blue energy (REDstack) and Growboxx (Groasis) are the new National Icons. Minister Kamp made the announcement live in the very popular and daily talkshow DWDD (De Wereld Draait Door), where all candidates were present.
This was the second time the government organized this election. In 2014, four companies were awarded with this honour. All National Icons get support from a ministry and get assigned a minister as ambassador for three years.
The jury, led by former minister Hans Wijers, praised the entrepreneurial spirit of the two founders of In Ovo, as well as the collaboration with the knowledge sector (Leiden University). In their report, the jury members acknowledge the fact that the next phase is crucial, as it will show the definite feasibility and scalability of the technology. In Dutch:
De jury heeft een hoge pet op van de ondernemersgeest van de eigenaren van In Ovo en van de samenwerking met de kennissector die deze doorbraak mogelijk maakt. De technologie biedt een oplossing voor een concreet probleem dat in diverse landen op de agenda staat. Cruciaal zijn de volgende stappen die de haalbaarheid en opschaalbaarheid van de technologie moeten laten zien. De jury zal dit met belangstelling volgen.
At this moment, In Ovo’s team is working around the clock to make sure this next step in the development of a full scale gender sorting device for chicken eggs can be started, in order to enable the first kill-free hatchery in the world.