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TU Delft and WUR have won Dutch 4TU Impact Challenge

Thursday, 19 November 2020
Team ZED (TU Delft) goes to the World Expo in Dubai.

Team ZED has won the Dutch 4TU Impact Challenge. The start-up from the Delft University of Technology designs a B2B IoT solutions provider, which enables companies to harness the potential of wireless 'batteryless' applications. Reshore from Wageningen University & Research has won the public award. They developed floating breakwaters that are able to replace the current gray lifeless breakwaters with flourishing ecosystems.

This year, for the second time, the technical universities in the Netherlands have organized a joint innovation competition where students can showcase their groundbreaking solutions to societal challenges. Likewise, this year’s winner will also go on a trade mission to the World Expo in Dubai in 2021, together with representatives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and a number of companies. 

The technical universities in Eindhoven, Delft, Twente and Wageningen each organized their own preliminary rounds throughout the previous months. In the end, eight finalists made it through to the 4TU Impact Challenge. 

“It’s amazing, we really look forward to showing our innovation to the world!”
Team ZED

Team ZED (Zero Energy Development) from the TU Delft Impact Contest was crowned the winner of the Dutch 4TU Impact Challenge 2020. They develop batteryless applications for a broad range of companies, which will reduce the 35 million batteries that are in use currently. Hereby, they improve sustainability, and working circumstances. “It’s amazing, we really look forward to showing our innovation to the world!”, says team ZED. They will now start taking the next steps towards the World Expo in Dubai next year, where they will represent The Netherlands.

Additionally, the audience casted their vote for the Audience Award, which has been appointed to Reshore from The WUR Student Challenges. They develop floating breakwaters that are able to replace the current gray lifeless breakwaters with flourishing ecosystems. Their project combines coastal protection, ecosystem restoration, and food production. This award, worth €1500, enables them to continue improving and pursuing their project.

Impact on our daily lives

Some of the reasons why the independent jury chose ZED was because of their inspiring idea, how they address various problems in their project and of course the passion that the team showed in their pitch as well as the Q&A. Nevertheless, the jury admitted that it was a tough decision.

Each of the teams have brilliant solutions for societal problems. From a network of unmanned aerial vehicles to floating breakwaters. Sustainability is a big theme recurring in various dimensions in all of the projects. For instance several problems in the food sector are addressed by team FarmVent through new food production methods, while team Respire develops a network of sensors to combat air pollution, and team GOAL3 aims to improve healthcare globally using a smart monitoring system, to name a few.

Pitch bootcamp

In preparation of the online Finale, the student teams followed a pitch training, to finetune their story and deliver the perfect pitch. “To convert an innovative technology into a business plan is the first step, though convincing others to do business with you is the next essential step,” says Pitch Academy trainer Nathalie Mangelaars. “These students have managed to explain their complex technologies in a way everyone can understand. And that’s clever!”At the end of the training, students stated that explaining the idea in a simple way is important but certainly not an easy task.

You can rewatch the online Finale via our website: and read more about the winners and other participants.