Compete for the Topsector T&U Innovation Prize and be eligible to win a research budget worth 25,000 euros!

Compete for the Topsector T&U Innovation Prize and be eligible to win a research budget worth 25,000 euros!

Are you an innovative start-up? A future maker who can contribute to sustainable horticulture with promising CROSS-BORDER INNOVATIONS? If this sounds like you, you are an ideal candidate for the Topsector T&U Innovation Prize! The registration deadline is Sunday, 15 August 2021.

Topsector Tuinbouw & Uitgangsmaterialen (T&U), the stakeholder organisation for the Dutch Horticulture and Propagation Materials Top Sector, invites start-ups that are working on a product or service that contributes to the further development of circular agriculture, climate-neutral horticulture, improving the health and safety of food and/or the sustainable consumption of water in horticulture.

Key technologies such as artificial intelligence, robotisation, hydrogen technology and ICT play an important role in each of these topics. These technologies help us on all fronts, whether scientific, economic and social, now and in the future, by enabling solutions to issues relating to the climate, health, production, cultivation and mobility, for example.
Ground- breaking innovations that are of interest to horticulture could also have their origins in other sectors. In this edition of the Innovation Prize, Topsector T&U therefore expressly challenges parties from other sectors who can ‘deploy’ their innovations for the benefit of Dutch horticulture to enter the competition. In two words: cross-border innovation. The Innovation Prize is intended for start-ups that integrate innovative technologies into a product or product while simultaneously contributing to sustainability and/or circularity.

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 Wageningen University & Research. In addition, the winner will receive personalised guidance from a T&U innovation broker (20 hours, worth 2,500 euros). StartLife provides the winning team a wildcard for its accelerator programme for agrifoodtech start-ups. Aside from the Jury Prize, an Audience Prize of 1,500 euros plus 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. Both winners will receive 1,500 euros’ worth of media exposure via KAS Magazine.

Coaching & training
Ten participants will be eligible to win a market readiness training course from World Startup. They will work on their business model, strategy, marketing & sales and will, of course, obtain guidance in preparing their pitch to the jury. In addition, entrants will have the opportunity to receive project support from students through Wageningen University & Research’s Academic Consultancy Training programme.

The deadline for registration is Sunday 15 August 2021 at 5 PM via the registration form on An expert jury of entrepreneurs and researchers will assess the entries and select ten finalists who will be invited to pitch their ideas before the jury.

Awards ceremony
The Innovation Prize will be conferred at the National Horticultural Congress on Thursday 7 October 2021 in Bomencentrum Nederland in Baarn, the Netherlands. Three finalists will be pitching their innovation before an expert jury. An interactive workshop will be organised by World Startup, in which the various innovative start-ups and entrepreneurs will be paired up with one another.

About IMPACT2025
Topsector Tuinbouw & Uitgangsmaterialen is organising a series of activities as part of the IMPACT 2025 programme to gather ideas and involve new parties in order to translate both new and established research into concrete applications in practice.

More information
Please visit for more information about the Topsector T&U Innovation Prize. Information can also be obtained from Michiel Roelse, Director of Operations of TKI T&U, at or on +31 6 51407623.

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