Impact story

Academic Consultancy Award 2020

The Academic Consultancy Training Award is to inspire ACT student teams to create science-based value for society. The Awarding Committee decided that the ACT Award 2020 goes to...

11 May 2020

The Academic Consultancy Training (ACT) Award, organised by the Society Based Education team (formerly known as Onderwijsloket) is an annual celebration to inspire and motivate ACT student teams to create science-based value for society in a joint effort. The ACT award
is established during the farewell of Tiny van Boekel, the previous Dean of Education (2012-2017). Tiny van Boekel is well known for his work in the field of interweaving education with society.

The ACT course engages every year about 1,000 students working in small teams (5 to 7 students) on real life challenges, in collaboration with about 150 communities and organizations in society. The course is supported by over 200 university staff, contributing as academic advisors, coaches and ACT course coordinators. The ACT projects are creating science-based value for society. Wageningen University and Research finds it important that those projects do not go unnoticed and hopes this ACT award contributes to expressing her appreciation.

The Nominated project

After an in-depth discussion and sharing impressions and perspectives, the members of the Awarding Committee, consisting of Arnold Bregt (Dean of Education WUR), Perry den Brok (Chair holder Education and Learning Sciences WUR) and Liesbeth Luijendijk (Director
Agri-food & Environment OnePlanet) decided that the ACT Award 2020 goes to the project REEFolution. This team was selected out of 169 ACT projects that were conducted from the academic period 3 2018-19 till period 2 2019-20. The Awarding Committee was very impressed by the collaborative team spirit and the tool they developed based on literature and expert input. The Awarding Committee also awarded the impact of the outcomes: The framework developed is already used some times by the commissioner to assess several locations and provided them with important insights.

Watch the video to learn more about the project REEFolution:

Hereby we would like to congratulate: Felix Arum, Luca Marsaglia, Luis Prima, Margarida Fernandes, Robert Hagen, Roberto Cappabianca and Rose Qamar, the student members of the project REEFolution. We also would like to thank and congratulate Tinka Murk, the commissioner and chair of the REEFolution Foundation and Luuk Huijgen as coach and Rolf Groeneveld as academic advisor of this ACT project.

Two other exemplary projects

The Awarding committee was very impressed by two other projects on the shortlist, and we would like to mention those two projects here as well. 

  • The project Lightning the way: A report on the possibilities of HortiPower™ dynamic lighting for vertical farming. Team members were Annalise Thornhill, David van der Zande, Francesco Giacomin, Inge Derks, Karsjen Tamminga and Xin Yuan. The commissioner of this project was Jille Kuipers (LuxBalance Lighting Limited). The project coach and academic advisor where Waiyin Sun and Leo Marcelis.
  • The project Developing design principles for a ‘healthy’ canteen for the Dutch Marine Corps. Team members were Elline van Bennekom, Paulien Brandsen, Lars de Jong, Jetty Kok, Lisa Pool and Loyce Wuite. The commissioner was Captain Marine Corps Reserve André BekMsc (Fieldlab Manager Marine Corps Training centre). And the coach and academic advisor were Suzane Tuju and Saskia Meijboom.

    For more information about the ACT award 2020 please contact