On Wednesday 14 November the winners of the Herman Wijffels Innovation Prize 2012 were announced in the Evoluon in Eindhoven. Rabobank organised an event themed ‘circular economy’, which was presented by Jan Douwe Kroeske. During the afternoon several examples of companies with a strong focus on circular thinking were presented. Attendees took their chances to debate with these entrepreneurs and with Herman Wijffels.
Besides the plenary programme, visitors where able to attend different workshops, follow a masterclass with Willem Lageweg (director MVO Nederland), speed date with Rabobank account managers and get to know sustainable companies on the central meeting square.
During the weeks preceeding the event, the general public could vote via Facebook for their favorite innovation. A number of nominees tried very hard to get as much votes as possible. After leading the charts for quite some time, In Ovo was eventually overtaken by Salusion. Unfortunatly the difference proved to be too big and Salusion won the public election with their product Sensotive.
Winners Herman Wijffels Innovation Prize
After the announcement of the public election winner, the ten nominees were presented one by one with a short introduction movie, in which each explained their innovation and where they got their inspiration from. Together with Herman Wijffels, Pieter Moerland, chairman of Rabobank Netherlands, handed out the awards. In Ovo won the young talent award and a prize of €10,000.
The third prize was awarded to the other competing biotech company ClearDetections. The second prize went to Flex Solutions and the overall winner of the Herman Wijffels Innovation Prize 2012 is IBIS Power.
The jury awarded entrepreneurs Wil Stutterheim and Wouter Bruins the young talent award as motivation to further develop their in ovo sexing test, in order to put a stop to the yearly killing of millions of day-old male chicks. Their motivation is preventing animal suffering and for this they are utilizing biotechnological knowledge. The first tests and results are very promising.