Innovation Prize 2020

Innovation Prize 2020


The nominees of the second edition of the Top Sector T&U Innovation Prize have been announced. The jury has selected the following six nominees from among the twenty-six entries: 

According to the jury, each of the six nominees presented an innovative invention that demonstrably contributes to the further development of ‘unmanned growing concepts’. Automation and robotisation are important to horticulture. 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 reduction in the use of crop protection agents and a continuous business process.


The six nominees will present their innovations on Tuesday, 6 October at the HeroFestival in The Hague to both the jury and the participants of the event. The ceremony will also be broadcast via livestream. The jury will base its selection on these presentations.

The public will also be able to vote from 7 October via awards ceremony will take place on 23 October 2020 during the ‘RoboCrops the Gathering’ event to be held at World Horti Center in Naaldwijk. It goes without saying that this event will take the applicable COVID-19 measures into consideration.


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.


  • Harrij Schmeitz  – chairman IMPACT2025 program
  • Gerard Verbiest – Assistent Professor Acoustic Sensing & Peter Steeneke – Professor Dynamics of Micro and Nanosystems – TU Delft
  • Marie-Claire ten Veldhuis –  Associate Professor Hydrometeorology  – TU Delft
  • Neil Yorke-Smith –  Associate professor Socio-Technical Algorithmics & Tamas Keviczky – Associate professor Control and Dynamical Systems – TU Delft
  • Jan van den Ende – Professor Innovation and Technology Management at Erasmus University Rotterdam
  • Ronald Hoek –  CEO Blue Radix – AI specialist
  • Herbert ten Have – CEO Fizyr
  • Kees Rijnhout – CEO Jaguar
  • Gerben Ravensbergen – owner Lillies of Life
  • Sebastiaan Breugem  – owner Breughem Horticulture
  • Sadiq van Overbeek – Physee Technologies en winner T&U Innovation Prize 2019


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Chairman of the jury Harrij Schmeitz of the Dutch Horticulture and Starting Materials Top Sector (Topsector Tuinbouw & Uitgangsmaterialen, T&U) was impressed by the entries.
The quality of the entries was high, not only in the breadth of the technology but also in the crops: from greenhouse to cultivation in the open field, and from tomatoes to blueberries. It was not an easy challenge, but the jury nominated these six entries for the follow-up to the competition on the basis of the material presented.