NOMINEES ANNOUNCED FOR THE 2020 TOP SECTOR T&U INNOVATION PRIZE
The nominees of the second edition of the Top Sector T&U Innovation Prize have been announced. The jury has selected the following six nominees from among the twenty-six entries:
Chairman of the jury Harrij Schmeitz of the Dutch Horticulture and Starting Materials Top Sector (Topsector Tuinbouw & Uitgangsmaterialen, T&U) was impressed by the entries. ‘The quality of the entries was high, not only in the breadth of the technology but also in the crops: from greenhouse to cultivation in the open field, and from tomatoes to blueberries. It was not an easy challenge, but the jury nominated these six entries for the follow-up to the competition on the basis of the material presented.’
According to the jury, each of the six nominees presented an innovative invention that demonstrably contributes to the further development of ‘unmanned growing concepts’. Automation and robotisation are important to horticulture. By further automating cultivation, harvesting, grading and packaging in the greenhouse, open field, shed and/or vertical farm, horticulture can take giant steps forward towards the realisation of efficient cultivation techniques, labour savings, a reduction in the use of crop protection agents and a continuous business process.
The Innovation Prize was open to both Dutch and international entrepreneurs (early stage, start-ups, scale-ups) presenting an innovative technology that simultaneously contributes to sustainability and/or circularity.
The six nominees will present their innovations on Tuesday, 6 October at the HeroFestival in The Hague to both the jury and the participants of the event. The ceremony will also be broadcast via livestream. The jury will base its selection on these presentations. The public will also be able to vote from 7 October via www.IMPACT2025.nl. The awards ceremony will take place on 23 October 2020 during the ‘RoboCrops the Gathering’ event to be held at World Horti Center in Naaldwijk. It goes without saying that this event will take the applicable COVID-19 measures into consideration.
TU Delft AgTech Institute
The second edition of this award is made possible in conjunction with the TU Delft AgTech Institute. The winning team will receive:
• A voucher worth 25,000 euros for the further development of their solution or concept and/or the resolution of bottlenecks in collaboration with the TU Delft AgTech Institute, professors and students
• Personalised guidance from a T&U innovation broker (20 hours, worth 2,500 euros)
• Media exposure via KAS Magazine (worth 1,500 euros)
In addition to the jury prize, an audience award will also be conferred. The public favourite will receive:
• A cash prize of € 1,500
• A 6-month HortiTech Startup Membership with access to the network, knowledge and facilities of innovation platform HortiHeroes and World Horti Center
• 1,500 euros’ worth of media exposure via KAS Magazine
YES! Delft, the leading tech incubator in Europe, will make a place available for one of the participants in the YES! Delft Accelerator programme. The nominated participants can also make use of project support provided by groups of students from Delft University of Technology (via the RoboCrops programme) and Wageningen University & Research (Academic Consultancy Training programme) and/or will be given the opportunity to attend the condensed Market Readiness training course provided by World Startup.