Ten sustainable startups nominated for Herman Wijffels innovation award 2012

The Herman Wijffels award is a prize for innovative inventions that encourage sustainability, sponsored by the Dutch co-operative bank Rabobank. On October 4th the top 10 companies or ideas were announced. Read here a short overview of all ten companies here. As of October 22nd you can vote for your favorite. Not nominated yourself? You can join next year’s competition as of February 1st 2013.

The top 10 companies were selected by the jury on the basis of four criteria: innovative potential, social responsibility, customer focus and financial potential (including the ability to fund itself). The jury will pick the overall winner on November 14th, and this company will receive € 50.000 in prize money. All companies can also win the audience by collecting votes via the Rabobank facebook page.

Looking at the ten nominated companies, one can see three themes: energy, environment and social, with one odd one out. These are the ten nominees clustered by these themes.


O-foil is an alternative for ship propulsion. Instead of an ordinary screw propeller they use an O-shaped wing.

Flexsolutions creates high power solar cells.

Irwes has created a wind energy system suitable for use on tall buildings in cities. The name stands for Integrated Roof Wind Energy System


Go green compost us created a new biodegradble packaging material based on sugarcane leftovers.

JP bucket crushers (no website available) makes an add-on for excavators that can be used to change blocks of concrete into small bits that be re-used immediately on a demolition/building site.

Sustainable winners has developed a proces for converting wood sniplets in energy without burning it. Instead they use bacteria to generate heat.

Cleardetections helps detecting and combatting nematodes, small earthworms that live in soil and damage crops.

Social and other

Sprinq chair

Sprinq develops chairs that help elderly people or other people that are less fit to easily stand up after sitting down. Existing chairs use electricity and motors for this purpose, but the Sprinq chairs use springs and muscles. Because of this, people stay fit for longer.

Salusion has developed in intelligent diaper for use in care centres. It contains a chip that senses when a change is needed.

Inovo (‘the eggsperts’) has developed a system for determining the sex of chick while they are still in the egg. By removing the male eggs, no male chicks have to be killed later on.

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