Winners 2023

For the 16th time, the Innovation Awards have been presented to the winners: Zeliha Guler, Pepijn van Rutten and Olivier Lugier! An expert jury, led by Ruben Brave, awarded the winners by category: Society, Health, and Environment & Climate. These winners offer innovative solutions for a wide range of societal issues; they each receive 10,000 euros to further develop their idea and go to market.

Let’s meet the winners:

Zeliha Guler (Amsterdam UMC, category Health), developed an innovative degradable implant for a much more effective treatment of pelvic organ prolapse, with fewer complications. An average of one in four women will experience prolapse. The chance of prolapse increases to 60%, as women get older and have given birth vaginally.

Pepijn van Rutten (VU) from team Respira, are developing the world’s first, sensitive and reliable breath sensor for laughing gas detection. In contrast to alcohol and other drugs, there has not been a good way, until now, for the authorities to detect laughing gas abuse by drivers.

Olivier Lugier (UvA, category Environment & Climate), developed Nano Hybrids, a more sustainable technology for the production of nanoparticles. These extremely small materials can revolutionize industries with a major social impact, such as sustainable energy. The innovation makes the production of nanoparticles significantly more environmentally friendly.

Jury chairman Ruben Brave (tech entrepreneur and investor) praised the quality of the submissions and the live pitches stating:

‘All of the finalists paid a lot of attention to the added value of their innovations for society. The commercial awareness by the finalists was also striking, as the innovations must ultimately be brought to market.’

The Innovation Awards are an initiative by the Innovation Exchange Amsterdam (IXA), purporting to  award innovative ideas from young scientists whom are all affiliated with the Amsterdam universities and knowledge institutions. After a short live pitch by the 9 finalists, the jury judged the innovativeness of the ideas, the societal benefit, and if they can be developed commercially.