Pre-finalists of the Innovation Award 2023 announced!

June 22, 2023

The pre-finalists for the Innovation Award 2023, the Amsterdam competition for innovative ideas that contribute to a better world, are now selected!

Topics that you will see this year are most definitely novel uses of AI, for instance in academia and in health, clever notions on how to deal with the effects of climate change, inspiring solutions in medical care technology, ideas about solving mental health issues, and innovative plans for improving education.

In the overview below are the ideas selected for the semi-finals. Only the main applicant is mentioned. For some ideas, there are multiple co-applicants.
The Innovation Award has three categories: Society, Health and Environment & Climate. In the coming months, all pre-finalists will showcase their idea through a personal video.


  • Christiaan Vinkers (Amsterdam UMC): EvidenceHunt: simple and reliable access to clinical knowledge for physicians, patients, scientists, and policy makers.
  • Hanneke Velthuijsen (HvA): Happy Minds – A high impact stress reduction method for mental & emotional well-being in urban education
  • Gerben ter Riet (HvA): Urban Vitality Open Science Checklist: No Time to Waste
  • Youssef El Bouhassani (HvA): Modular content as a necessary condition for unlocking the potential of algorithms in personalised education
  • Matteo Mazzanti (UvA): Novel quantum logic gates architecture with trapped ions and optical tweezers
  • Pepijn van Rutten (VU): Respira: a laughing gas breath sensor to reduce accidents on the road
  • Emitzá Guzmán (VU): The Best Ends by the Best Means: Bringing Ethics into Software
  • Zora Wessely (VU): Visualome: Visualizing Discoveries
  • Lavinia Bodale (VU): SightShare
  • Sara Geven (UvA): On track: a scientifically-informed ability tracking procedure to enhance equal learning opportunities


  • Georges Janssens (Amsterdam UMC): MyHeBu (My Health Buddy), a wearable device-based and AI-powered digital twin to track your health and aging.
  • Zeliha Guler (Amsterdam UMC): Development of a novel wound-healing implant with localized estradiol delivery
  • Job Calis (Amsterdam UMC): IMPALA: Innovative Monitoring system for PAediatrics in Low-resource settings: an Aid to save lives.
  • Paul Merkus (Amsterdam UMC): BoneMRI of the head
  • Marjon van Rijn (HvA): Journey to the end of life
  • Ewelina Weglarz-Tomczak (UvA): Novel lysosomal protease inhibitors for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease
  • Siwan Aberkane (VU): PULSE – App-connected sportswear allowing athletes to monitor their body & mind, to maximise performance & avoid over-training.
  • Imran Avci (VU): Disposable, ultra-sensitive optical biosensors for early cancer diagnosis (COMB-O)
  • John van der Kamp (VU): Rom & Lupa designed by Lentala: school furniture for active sitting
  • Madalina Riurean (VU): Madglove- helping people get a grasp on spasticity.

Environment & Climate:

  • Ramon de Iongh (HvA): WasteBase – A new purpose for residual streams
  • Riccardo Bonazza (HvA): MatSwap – use your mattress to the fullest
  • Jonathan de Long (UvA): Mitigating drought effects on grassland productivity by understanding grass-fungi-drought soil legacy interactions
  • Ana Cassanti (VU): VU-rtual Reality for Responsible and Smart Education: the use of Virtual Reality to democratise environmental sciences teaching
  • Juan Cruz Tubio (VU): MycoFarming, domesticating fungi
  • Katinka Quintelier (VU): CALS app: an app to Create, Act, Learn & Scale for sustainability
  • Lukas Helmbrecht (AMOLF and UvA): LumetalliX – spray and make Lead light up!
  • Olivier Lugier (UvA): Green synthesis of hybrid core-shell nanoparticles (Nano Hybrids)

The expert jury, chaired by Ruben Brave, together with the public decide which finalists will present their idea during the finals on 21 November at the NEMO Science Museum in Amsterdam. The pre-finalists have a chance to win one of the three Innovation Awards and €10,000.