Nine entrepreneurs’ sustainable innovations are contending for the Herman Wijffels Innovation Award 2014

Dutch entrepreneurs are actively focusing on recyclable raw materials (circular economy) and innovation in society. 594 sustainable innovations in the Netherlands have been entered for the Herman Wijffels Innovation Award 2014. Rabobank has announced the nine finalists divided across three categories: food & agri, health & welfare and circular economy. The award will be presented on 30 October 2014. The public can vote for the People’s Choice Award from 6 October 2014.

The aim of the Herman Wijffels Innovation Award is to encourage entrepreneurs to realise their promising sustainable innovations. Rabobank has been presenting the award every year since 2002. The finalists in each category have a chance of winning a cash prize of 30,000 euros (and 5,000 euros for the People’s Choice Award).


The award amounts to much more than only the cash prizes because the winners will also receive wide recognition and Rabobank will make its network and knowledge available to them. Rabobank Chairman of the Supervisory Board Wout Dekker: ‘Innovation is extremely important for the sustainable development of both the economy and society. Entrepreneurs who innovate deserve a podium that provides them with access to financing, knowledge and networks. We provide such a podium through the Herman Wijffels Innovation Award.’ Herman Wijffels and Wout Dekker will present the awards on 30 October 2014 during the YES!Delft innovation event for entrepreneurs. Herman Wijffels will give an address on ‘Opportunities in the sustainable economy’ at the event. Entrepreneurs will also have the opportunity to participate in an expert meeting about financing their innovation.

Social impact

594 entries for the Herman Wijffels Innovation Award have been received this year from entrepreneurs who want to make society more sustainable through innovative ideas. ‘The large number and quality of the ideas demonstrates that sustainable innovation is on entrepreneurs’ radar and that they possess inventiveness, commercial insight, perseverance and courage’, says Dekker.
All entries will be judged on their innovativeness, social impact, customer focus and profitability by a jury of specialists in the field of innovation and sustainability. The jury members have also made company visits as part of their assessment. There are three finalists per category and the jury will select one award winner per category. The public will also have an opportunity to vote on which innovation they believe has the greatest social and sustainable impact. The public can vote for the People’s Choice Award from 6 October 2014.

List of nominees (all located in the Netherlands)

Food & Agri Category

  • Jacco Boersen – Hortimotion (Oudeschild)
  • Marco Beijersbergen, Marta Brusaca en Jan Rolloos – Condifood (Leiden)
  • Pieter, Hans en Henk van den Boomen - Champignonkwekerij Gemert (Gemert)

Health & Welfare Category

  • Jan Willem Gerritsen, Henny Oord en Andre Elands – eNose Company (Zutphen)
  • Mirjam van der Loo – SMAAKgeheimen (Eersel)
  • Marcel Tanking, Ellen van Acht, Biense Dijkstra en Douwe Faber – Wijkbedrijf Bilgaard (Leeuwarden)

Circular Economy Category

  • Jeoffrey van den Berg – Flowid (Eindhoven)
  • Niels van Stralen – Waste2Chemical (Amsterdam)
  • Erna van Vught – Van Vught Rioleringen (Tilburg)