Zijn algen de toekomst? ENGIE Algea team wint met duurzame innovatie Rotterdam100

(This article is in Dutch.  Scroll down for English information)

Op 20 april vond de Grand Final van de talentencompetitie Rotterdam100 plaats in het Timmerhuis te Rotterdam. Excellente studenten presenteerden hier volgens het Get in the Ring principe hun oplossingen voor Next Economy cases van bedrijven uit de regio aan een publiek van 200 innovatiemanagers, corporate partners en studenten. Het winnende team ontwikkelde voor ENGIE een high-tech manier om afval en uitstoot via algen om te zetten in energie. ​​ sprak zijn verwondering uit voor de talenten: “Rotterdam100 bewijst dat de stad Rotterdam geen toekijker is als het gaat om innovatie, maar hierin altijd de leiding heeft!”

Van vervuiling naar grondstof
Het winnende ENGIE Algea team streeft ernaar om vervuiling die containerschepen produceren tegen te gaan door hun emissies te gebruiken om algen aan boord te laten groeien. Het team wilt de algen laten fungeren als een natuurlijk filter, om zo niet alleen de CO2 die door de schepen wordt afgegeven om te zetten, maar ook gassen zoals stikstofdioxide en zwaveldioxide, waarvan aangetoond zijn dat  ze slecht zijn voor de menselijke gezondheid. De geteelde algen kunnen als biobrandstof worden gebruikt, maar het team ziet ook mogelijkheden om deze te gebruiken als grondstof, als een natuurlijke mest of zelfs voor kankerbehandeling.

Over de Rotterdam100
De Rotterdam100 is een talentencompetitie waarbij de meest excellente studenten en young professionals vanuit heel Nederland samenwerken met toonaangevende bedrijven. Hierin bedenken zij innovatieve oplossingen voor business cases die gericht zijn op de Next Economy. De finalisten  van de Rotterdam100 zijn geselecteerd uit meer dan 350 studenten uit heel Nederland, en werkten dit jaar aan cases van KPN, Engie, Port of Rotterdam & Gemeente Rotterdam, Soundies, CGI en ABN Amro. De Rotterdam100 is een initiatief van Stichting Maatschappij en Onderneming (SMO) en de Gemeente Rotterdam. De cases variëren van het zoeken naar creatieve oplossingen voor het bevechten van leegstand in de Rotterdamse haven tot het vinden van manieren om the Internet of Things ook voor een brede consumentenmarkt te bewerkstelligen. De jury bestaande uit captains of industry was erg te spreken over de oplossingen van de zes teams. De oplossingen van de teams varieerden van innovatieve apps tot technische oplossingen voor het tegengaan van klimaatverandering.

Gezamenlijk opschalen
Het team van ENGIE heeft de titel ‘Rotterdam’s Most Excellent’ bemachtigt en krijgt daarmee een aanbevelingsbrief van burgemeester Aboutaleb en voormalig premier Jan Peter Balkenende én een reis naar de internationale finale van de startup pitchcomeptitie Get in the Ring in Singapore. ‘’Onze eerste stap in dit project zou zijn om het lokaal te implementeren met de juiste partners. Er zijn veel organisaties in Rotterdam die kunnen bijdragen en profiteren van het ENGIE Algen idee, zoals de haven en de universiteit.’’ In de eerste drie jaar wil het team de Engie Algea-eenheden ontwikkelen en nationale en internationale partners en fondsen zoeken zodat in 2020 de containerunits kunnen worden verkocht.


English information:

The Rotterdam100 is a talent competition in which the most excellent students and young professionals work with leading companies and create innovative solutions for challenging business cases which are focused around the Next Economy.

Students and young professionals who participate in the Rotterdam100 will develop entrepreneurial skills and cross-sector insights, receive unique career opportunities and build a valuable network. The winners of the Rotterdam100 receive:

  • the title ‘Rotterdam’s Most Excellent’
  • A recommendation letter from the Mayor of Rotterdam
  • A allinclusive trip to the Global Final of Get in the Ring in Singapore, Boston or … ?!

The Rotterdam100 is an initiative of SMO in co-creation with the municipality of Rotterdam, CGI, ABN AMRO, Port of Rotterdam, Rotterdam Partners, KPN, ENGIE, Erasmus Centre for Entrepreneurship and Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences.

The article above (in Dutch) is about the winning team.

New to the Netherlands / Net in Nederland

In April of 2016 the New to the Netherlands website was launched. This is a website from the Dutch Public Broadcaster NPO where you can watch popular Dutch television programs and the daily Dutch NOS news all with Dutch, English and Arabic subtitles. By using a selection of on-demand media, New to the Netherlands wants to offer refugees and immigrants a guide to Dutch society and a unique way of learning Dutch.

New to the Netherlands is a so-called ‘experimental channel’ from the NPO and is financed with the own funding from the participating public broadcasters. An independent editorial staff selects videos from the existing programming from the participating public broadcasters. There are programs for all ages. One of our most popular programs is the NOS News which is posted on our website every weekday. The website is updated on a daily basis and we also offer a great Facebook page with lots of useful information including short original in-house clips and numerous interesting links in Dutch, English and Arabic.

In November of 2016 there were 5 internship positions created at New to the Netherlands for refugees with a media background. Since that time these five colleagues, who come from Syria, Iraq, Iran and Somalia, have been gaining practical work experience in the Netherlands which will help them secure other work later on. This group is very motivated and have proven themselves to be hard working and inquisitive. They often make short videos about their experiences here and other subjects of interest which are posted on the New to the Netherlands Facebook page.

New to the Netherlands is an initiative of the public broadcasters AVROTROS, BNN-VARA, KRO-NCRV, VPRO, EO, MAX and HUMAN and is supported by the NPO, NTR and the Dutch Institute for Image and Sound.
This platform has proven to be most successful and I wanted to share this information about our website with you are your readers. Being able to watch more than 25 shows for all ages with Dutch and English subtitles offers a rare opportunity to get a taste of home for the Dutch living abroad. The concept of our website has also had great success with Dutch people who want to learn English.




European Summer Time starts Sunday 26th March 2017

This Sunday, at 2am, clocks in the Netherlands will “spring” forward one hour to 3am.  So if you are in the Netherlands, your digital clocks will probably automatically adjust, but you’ll need to change wall clocks.  If you’re in Australia and keep in contact with family or friends in the Netherlands, you may like to keep this change in mind.

Growing up in Queensland, Australia, I still remember the referendum for Daylight Savings Time in 1992, after a three year trial.  The proposal to continue with daylight savings was defeated with 54.5% where observations were made such as “the cows will get confused” and “the curtains will fade” though I sometimes wonder if the media made that up!

Here in the Netherlands, I like the change to summer time – firstly, it makes me feel like I have officially survived the winter!  It also heralds the start of the longer summer evenings, which I love.  The warmth is also on its way.

Clocks are moved an hour back again in the last weekend in October.

More information in Dutch: https://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zomertijd  and in English: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Summer_Time_in_Europe


Meet Dutch Australian Lesley Weston

My love affair with the Netherlands started 6 years ago, when I went to Europe from Australia for the first time – on a Contiki tour! My first stop was Amsterdam, before Berlin, Prague, Rome, Florence, Venice, and London. I can remember immediately liking Amsterdam, and that it was much more beautiful than I had imagined! My time was short, with a whirlwind 2 days participating in super touristy activities from riding bikes in Edam, visiting a Clog maker, eating cheese, sampling Heineken and sampling more Heineken in the Red Light District. After these 2 days in Holland, where I also ate the best fries in a cone of my life, I hoped in the future I could return for another much calmer visit.

Fast Forward to 2014. I had moved to London a year earlier to work and travel Europe on my weekends. On my first bigger trip (6 days in Morocco) with friends, I was fortunate enough to meet 2 lovely Dutch blokes over breakfast in my hostel. As hostels are the easiest places in the world to make friends (even if only for a day), my group of 4 friends and the 2 Dutch blokes decided to hang out for the day and sight-see Marrakech.

By dinner time that day, one of the Dutch blokes and I had become quite friendly and it was here, in the Jemaa el-Fnaa night market, that I realised I’d be going to Amsterdam again very soon!

And so 3 months later I flew to Amsterdam to visit my new Dutch friend and love blossomed. We embarked on a long-distance relationship between London and Amsterdam, exploring each-others cities on our weekends, or meeting up in new European cities in order to travel and see each other at the same time. Many of these travels feature on my travel blog Everywhere Bucket List.

Eventually, the discussions came about “Where are WE going to live?”. With my parents in Australia and his so close in Amsterdam, we made the decision that I would move to The Netherlands, where I didn’t speak the language, or have a job, or friends. Sounds like a good idea right?!

Well, it was the best idea ever! I love exploring my new city, and finding ways to feel at home even though things are more foreign to me here than in London. I love riding my bicycle to get around and enjoy how funny it still is to me when my bike is loaded up with groceries, plants, and even pots and pans! I have fallen into a deep love with Bitterballen that not even my fiercest new year’s resolutions can tame, and I’ve become part of a Dutch family that welcomes me into all of the interesting and quirky Dutch traditions.

I miss Australian weather and the ease of watching any television station and know what is going on immediately. Being able to pick up a newspaper, and listen to the radio djs discussing newsworthy topics (I’m taking more Dutch lessons soon though!). And I miss my family. We keep in touch regularly via whatsapp and we have a Skype date every Sunday, which keeps me connected so I don’t feel as far away as I am.

My Dutchie and I also live quite close to Drovers Dog – the Australian café – so when I’m feeling particularly needy for a dose of Aussie food and an accent, we head there for brunch and see if we can score a homemade lamington!

I don’t know what is to come for us or where we will settle down and have a family. We both enjoy living in Europe and having taken my Dutchie down to Australia last Christmas – he likes it there too! With positives and negatives for both places, I think that when the time comes to really decide where we will end up – that is not going to be easy! I love living in The Netherlands and feel privileged to be able to call it my home, and also call Australia home! Being in a two-nationality relationship gives us Australia and Holland as both of our homes forever, and I am alright with that!