Are you an innovative food, tech or agri entrepreneur? A future-maker with a promising idea about how UNMANNED GROWING CONCEPTS  in horticulture can be made possible? If this sounds like you, you are an ideal candidate for the Top Sector T&U Innovation Prize! You can register to take part until Tuesday, 1 September 2020. 

Automation and robotics are becoming increasingly important within the horticultural sector.  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 continuous business process and a reduction in the use of crop protection agents. The Innovation Prize is for entrepreneurs (early stage, start-ups, scale-ups) whith innovative technologies that contribute to sustainability and/or circularity at the same time.


The Dutch Horticulture and Starting Materials Materials Top Sector (Topsector Tuinbouw & Uitgangsmaterialen, T&U) invites entrepreneurs who want to develop an innovative idea, solution or concept that demonstrably contributes to the further development of unmanned processes in horticulture to compete this prestigious award.


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);
  • 1,500 euros worth of media exposure via KAS Magazine.  

There is also an Audience Prize, which consists out of:
  • a cash  prize of 1,500 euros;
  • a 6-month HortiTech Startup Membership with access to the network, knowledge and facilities of World Horti Center and the HortiHeroes innovation platform will also be awarded;
  • 1,500 euros worth of media exposure via KAS Magazine.  

YES!Delft, the leading tech incubator in Europe, provides one of the participants with a place in the Yes!Delft Accelerator program.

Selected participants can also make use of project support provided by groups of students from Delft University of Technology (RoboCrops programme) and Wageningen University (Academic Consultancy Training programme) and/or will be given the opportunity to attend the condensed Market Readiness training course provided by WorldStartup (more info >>) to follow.


The winner will be announced during a conference on 23 October 2020 (which will possibly be held online). Established companies, start-ups and scale-ups in the horticultural industry and beyond will share their knowledge, network and latest innovations during this conference.  Top Sector T&U will organise this conference together with HortiHeroes.


The challenge is open to entrepreneurs with the following profile:
1. Early stage, startups or scale-ups;
2. With both economic and social motives;
3. Innovative technology;
4. Preferably work on sustainability and / or circularity.


A virtual kick-off was planned on July 30, 2020. During this webinar you heard more about the Top Sector T&U Innovation Prize tells the 2019 winner about his experiences and there is room for questions.

Click here to watch the video.


Develop an innovation, solution or concept that contributes to unmanned growth in horticulture.


For more information, please contact Team IMPACT2025 via