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Final countdown in Van Oord Innovation Challenge

Rotterdam, the Netherlands, 20 November 2018 – The eight finalists in the Van Oord Innovation Challenge will meet each other in Rotterdam this week. Chosen from more than a hundred competitors, the eight start-ups have spent the past few months under Van Oord’s guidance gearing up for their final pitches. The winner will be announced on Friday 23 November during an international symposium.

Van Oord launched its Innovation Challenge for the first time this year as part of the celebrations marking its 150th anniversary. The company views the Innovation Challenge as a quest to enter into new partnerships with start-ups that are making vital contributions to addressing society's problems, for example the reduction of carbon emissions, energy storage or digitalisation.


After reviewing more than 100 applications, Van Oord selected eight international start-ups keen to work with the company on prioritising a sustainable future. Get to know the shortlisted nominees in the latest issue of our online magazine.


Van Oord has been coaching and supervising the eight finalists since July. Working closely with Van Oord’s own experts, each of the start-ups is putting together an impressive pitch about its innovative business plans. In the final week of the programme, all eight finalists will travel to Rotterdam to iron out the final details and – for one of them at least – go on to claim victory. Based on the recommendations of the jury, made up of experts in marine engineering and sustainability, Van Oord will announce the winner on 23 November. The winning start-up will be granted an exclusive, one-year partnership contract with Van Oord. The contract is focussed on the next step to evolve the business plan of the start-up, for example by setting up a pilot project.

Innovation is vitally important to an organisation’s survival. Van Oord has been an innovator for 150 years, but with the help of our Innovation Challenge, we will leverage the knowledge available in the market to solve real-world problems. The offshore wind market is especially dynamic and Van Oord is seeking out innovative ideas to help us retain our position of leadership there.

Giuseppe Petrina, member of the Van Oord Corporate Innovation, Research and Development team
Giuseppe Petrina, member of the Van Oord Corporate Innovation, Research and Development team

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