Are algae the future? Engie Algae team wins Rotterdam100 with sustainable innovation
On the 20th of April the Grand Final of the Rotterdam100 talent competition was held at the Timmerhuis in Rotterdam. There, excellent students used the Get in the Ring concept to pitch solutions to Next Economy cases by regional companies to an audience of 200 innovation managers, corporate partners and students. The winning team developed a high-tech way of converting waste and emissions to energy by use of Algae for the energy company ENGIE. Alderman Visser expressed his admiration for the talents: “the Rotterdam100 proves that the city of Rotterdam is not just a bystander in the field of innovation, but always takes the lead!”

From pollution to resource
The winning ENGIE Algae team aims to reduce the pollution from cargo ships by using the emissions for the growth of algae on the ships. The teams wants to utilise the algae as a natural filter, to not only convert the ships CO2 emissions, but also gasses like nitrogen dioxide and sulphur dioxide that have been proven to be bad for human health. The produced algae could be used as biofuel, but the team also sees opportunities for use as a raw material, a natural fertilizer or even in cancer treatments.

About the Rotterdam100
The Rotterdam100 is a talent competition in which excellent students and young professionals from all over the Netherlands work together with leading companies. During the competition they develop innovative solutions to business cases aimed at the Next Economy. The finalists of the Rotterdam100 have been selected from more than 350 students from all over the Netherlands, and worked on cases by KPN, ENGIE, Port of Rotterdam & the City of Rotterdam, Soundies, CGI and ABN Amro. The Rotterdam100 is an initiative of Stichting Maatschappij en Onderneming (the Foundation for Society and Enterprise) and the City of Rotterdam. The cases vary from searching for creative solutions for fighting disused real estate in the city’s harbour, to finding ways of implementing the Internet of Things for a broad consumer market. The jury, consisting of captains of industry, was very pleased with the solutions the six teams provided. The solutions the teams presented varied from innovative apps to technological solutions for fighting climate change.

Cooperative scaling
The ENGIE team has been rewarded the titel ‘Rotterdam’s Most Excellent’ and will receive a letter of recommendation by mayor Aboutaleb of Rotterdam and former prime minister Jan Peter Balkenende ánd a trip to the international final of the startup pitch competition Get in the Ring in Singapore. “Our first step for this project would be local implementation with the right partners. There are many organisations in Rotterdam that could contribute to and profit from the ENGIE algae plan, such as the harbour and the university.” In the first three years the team wants to develop the ENGIE Algae-units and look for national and international partners and funds to enable the containerunits to start selling in 2020.


For more information about the winning team or other ideas get in touch with Noah Baars through or 06-12124596.