2015 Herman Wijffels innovation award
An ‘after brood container’, a PET recycling technique and a healthcare robot, they are the winners of the 2015 Herman Wijffels Innovation Award. One2Born, Ioniqa and the LEA (Robot Care Systems) each won €30,000 which can be used to further develop these innovative products. They have also been given access to Rabobank’s international network.
Wiebe Draijer, Chairman of the Executive Board of Rabobank, and Herman Wijffels presented the awards during the Herman Wijffels Innovation Event on the Automotive Campus in Helmond on Thursday November 13th. Wiebe Draijer: “As a social and cooperative bank, Rabobank wants to stimulate entrepreneurs to look for possibilities regarding renewal and sustainability. Innovation, sustainability and entrepreneurship are crucial for the economic development of the Netherlands and all of this comes together in the Herman Wijffels Innovation Award.”
Rabobank has awarded this annual innovation award for several categories since 2002. The applications are judged on innovative capacity, societal impact, sustainability, client focus and cost-effectiveness. Moreover, the Audience Award (€5,000), for which people can vote online, is awarded to the innovation that the general public expects to have the most social and sustainable impact.
Winning the Herman Wijffels Innovation Award brings more than just money and media attention. It often also helps innovative entrepreneurs gain the confidence of potential clients and investors. Flowid won the Herman Wijffels Innovation Award in the Circular Economy category in 2014. ‘We’ve already noticed that the market is reacting to this. In the past, approaching potential customers was an intense and long process. But now that’s speeded up by about a factor of ten,’ said Jeoffrey van den Berg. ‘The award is exactly what we needed to get the wind behind us.’
Herman Wijffels Wijffels is a Dutch economist. During his career, he has held several high-profile positions. He was chairman of the Executive Board of Rabobank Nederland, chairman of the Social and Economic Council of the Netherlands (SER), and a Dutch director at the World Bank in Washington.
Wijffels was an informateur who advised on the formation of the Balkenende IV Cabinet. He is currently co-chair of Worldconnectors and professor of ‘sustainability and societal change’ at Utrecht University.
From 1981, Wijffels worked at Rabobank Nederland and, from 1986 until 1999, he was the chairman of the Executive Board. After his departure, Rabobank created an award in his honour, called the Herman Wijffels Innovation Award.
LEA is a healthcare robot with a functional form and state-of-the-art technologies and possibilities. It does not replace human contact, but it does ensure that elderly people can stay independent for longer. The distinctive design has already proven its functionality and stimulates mobility. Because of this combination, the robot will be accepted sooner.