On October 31st, ETE spin-off company Plant-e won the prestigious Dutch Innovation Award in the category Social Impact. The prize is an initiative of the Dutch broadcasting company AVROTROS and the Erasmus University in Rotterdam. The jury appreciated the company’s innovative solution to the energy problem, its social vision and the intention to supply underdeveloped areas with truly green electricity.
Energy from plants
Founder and CEO Marjolein Helder studied environmental technology at Wageningen University and graduated in the field of energy generation from living plants. During her PhD research, she founded Plant-e. The company develops products that extract energy from natural areas without affecting nature itself.
During the competition, Helder demonstrated her technology by bringing a small Christmas tree, that supplied enough electricity to let its own lights burn. Helder: ‘It is crucial for your credibility to show that your idea is actually working.’
Plant-e has an enormous ambition for the future. ‘We want to generate energy from marshes and wetlands’, Helder says. ‘Our research has shown this is possible and we are acknowledged by a jury of format. Now we want to attract investors to expand our project.’