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Grand Finale WUR ReThink Waste Challenge 2023

Omnia Auditorium, Hoge Steeg, Wageningen, Netherlands

Six months ago, 190 students from 33 different countries started their journey with the ReThink Waste Challenge to come up with a circular and biobased innovation to reduce, reuse or recycle waste. After two milestone reports, entrepreneurial trainings and several workshops, only 46 of them are still in the competition. The top 10 teams are now preparing to face the Rethink Waste Challenge Jury on 21 June during the Grand Finals.

The finalists teams are traveling from all over the world to meet the Jury composed of Huub Maas (V.O. Patents & Trademarks, chair), Sophie van Weede (Shift Invest), Edgar Suarez Garcia (Revyve), Ernst-Jan Mul (Renewi) and Peter Berben (TKI Chemie, Biobased Economy and Circularity). The Jury will assess the projects both by reading the reports and meeting the participant in the Dragon’s Den, where each team will present their video pitch and answer the Jury’s questions.

Meet the young entrepreneurs

The afternoon part of the Grand Finals is open to general audience and will revolve around the theme ‘Rocking the boat: making the transition towards biobased economy happen’. In the lunch break, during the Innovation Market, student teams and partner companies will present themselves and their ideas. It will be an opportunity to connect with people who are leading the transition towards biobased economy and get inspired by their work.

During the Award Ceremony, culminating with the reveal of the winners of the Challenge, Ugne Dirdaite (EU Bioeconomy Youth Ambassador), and Cees Leeuwis (professor of Collaborative Research, Communication and Change at WUR) will dive deeper into the topic presenting their (hands-on) contribution towards the transition.What is needed to create a shift towards the biobased economy? Where are we in the process? And what is the role for young professionals?

The spectators will also have a chance to speak their mind, as a special Audience Award will be assigned to one of the teams.


In a 4TU context, the format of the ReThink Waste Challenge will be used in 2023 to organize similar contests at all 4 technical universities (TU Delft, University of Twente, Wageningen University & Research and TU Eindhoven). The entries of these contests will have the chance to participate in the ‘Dutch 4TU Impact Challenge’. More information about this challenge can be read on the website (www.4tuimpactchallenge.nl) and social media channels.

V.O. is business partner of this event. For the ReThink Waste Challenge, the firm is represented by Huub Maas and Sara Tekavec.

Website WUR ReThink Waste Challenge

Present on our behalf

Portretfoto van Huub Maas

Huub Maas

  • European and Dutch Patent Attorney, European Patent Litigator
  • Partner
Portretfoto van Sara Calitz

Sara Calitz

  • Trainee Patent Attorney