WUR Innovation Contest: ReThink Protein

WUR Innovation Contest: ReThink Protein


With a booming population and the effects of climate change already invading our daily lives, it is increasingly recognized that we need to drastically change the way we think about proteins for consumption. We are on the edge of the protein revolution. We need to find new ways to meet global protein needs, that are better for the people, planet and animals, whilst making an attractive business case. For this reason Wageningen University & Research will initiate in 2019 the WUR Innovation Contest: Rethink Protein.

The Contest

The WUR Innovation Contest: ReThink Protein is an international competition for students and student start-ups. They are challenged to come up with business ideas that help provide 9 billion people with enough protein in a way that is healthy, affordable and good for the planet.

In a 3-month period students submit and further develop their revolutionary idea related to one or more of following themes: – consumer behavior; – new protein sources; – new protein foods; – processing efficiency (incl. conversion). Throughout the competition students intensively interact with coaches from the private and public sector as well as academia and follow a number of entrepreneurial-skills workshops.

The WUR Innovation Contest takes place from March until June 2019. The best Wageningen teams will be invited to battle with the best students from the other Technical Universities in the Netherlands (4TU Contest) in October 2019.

The Scope

Students need to submit a business idea or prototype that offers an innovative approach to meeting human protein needs. It needs to integrate the following aspects: sustainability, social desirability & impact, health, technical feasibility and, of course, economic viability.

The Entries

Entries are presented in the form of business plans. Finalists will pitch their solution to an expert jury at the end of June 2019.

The Prizes

The best three ideas and prototypes receive cash prizes of €5000 (winner), €3000 (2nd place) and €1500 (3rd place). In addition the winning teams will receive start-up development support from StartLife in the form of trainings and coaching and possibly a loan.

The Corporates

This contest offers corporates in the food and agri industry the unique opportunity to meet the most entrepreneurial and creative students and scout innovative technologies and entrepreneurial talent from around the world. Both food and agri corporates and high tech and IT corporates with applications in food and agri are targeted. Corporates must have an infrastructure that facilitates corporate-start-up collaboration.

Looking ahead

It is WUR’s ambition to organize the contest biannually, alternating with Student Challenge Design the Ultimate Urban Greenhouse. We expect participation of students from Wageningen University, and other Dutch and international universities within the food and agri domain.


The Contest is organized by Wageningen University

Andjela Komnenic
Andjela Komnenic
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