"Willie Wortels" from TU / e Campus won a million euros

3 Mar 2021

It was an exciting week for InnovationSpace. On Tuesday it was announced that they have won the first Dutch Higher Education Prize. With a price of 1.2 million euros. Great recognition for all the innovative work! Today the Eindhovens Dagblad is devoting a nice article to Innovation Space, which we would like to share.

A controller with which blind people can app? Or an ingenious installation that releases energy from iron powder? These are a few success stories that stem from innovation Space on the TU / e Campus, where students work hard on innovations in teams. The new way of education has been noticed in The Hague. The first Dutch Higher Education Premium will go to Eindhoven. The pioneers in prototyping also turn out to be pioneers in education. For TU / e professor Isabelle Reymen, co-initiator and scientific director of TU / e innovation Space, it must almost feel as if she has won the lottery. Flowers are delivered to your home and apps keep pinging. Reymen: “Yes, it really feels like recognition for what we have achieved in five years.”

Innovation Space

The glass building of innovation Space on the pond on the TU / e campus houses 37 student teams. In corona time, this is mainly digital. Students receive project education in various teams, both at bachelor and master level and from different fields of study. They work with partners from industry and social organizations on practical challenges. It is intended as a preparation for later. As an engineer, they also have to work with all kinds of people.

"Students must contribute to major challenges in society" 

Isabelle Reymen, Scientific director TU / e innovation Space


Reymen is familiar with examples of success: “We want students to contribute to major challenges in society. For example, two years ago, students were given the completely free assignment, "do something useful with satellite data". A team set to work with seaweed, which is sustainable, cheap and nutritious. The aim was to have enough food for the world population by 2050, but then the existing seaweed farms will have to scale up. After six months there was the start-up SpaceSea that helps seaweed farms via satellites to monitor seaweed in the sea, instead of having to sail up and down with a boat. ” As far as is known, the mussel farming industry has already shown interest.

First controller for the blind

And there are more examples; Hable, the world's first controller that allows blind and partially sighted people to operate their smartphones, Falcon Electric Aviation that wants to become the Tesla among aircraft manufacturers and Team Solid that is working on a new form of energy production: fuel from iron powder.

TU / e has the ambition that by 2030 this educational concept will be widely rolled out across the study programs. A challenge for Reymen and her team: “How can you combine traditional education subjects with challenges? How are you going to organize that per student? We are still looking for the balance. ”

Congratulations team Innovation Space, great recognition for your great work!

Written by
Saskia van de Schoot

directeur new business

Saskia van de Schoot
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