dws-icons-siebers-770pxBlue Energy, Growboxx and Light House are Dutch solutions that have been announced as the three National Icons 2016. Blue energy and Growboxx are two water-related innovative solutions.

Dutch Minister of economic affairs Henk Kamp handed out the three National Icons for 2016 during a popular television show on 19 October.

The prestigious prize is for ground-breaking innovations which provide solutions to global problems. The competition is held every two years.


  Since 2014 RedStack operates a pilot plant (in front) on the Afsluitdijk enclosure dam using fresh water from the lake side (left) of the dam and salt water from the sea side (right)

Top international level
According to minister Kamp the three new National Icons operate at top international level and are ambassadors for Dutch innovation. "All three have huge economic potential and contribute to the Netherlands' worldwide sustainable ambitions."

The three companies will receive support from the Dutch government in finding more partners, financing, as well as putting their product in the European arena.

Energy from salt and fresh water
The first winner is RedStack for its Blue Energy solution that produce energy from salt and fresh water in reverse electrodialysis (RED).

When a small quantity of fresh water is added to salt water in a membrane pile (a stack), ‘osmotic energy’ is generated.

This clean energy can be produced wherever rivers run into the sea, which where most of the world’s cities are located.

dws-icons-groasis-hoff-350pxDirector Peter Hoff of Groasis demonstrating his Waterboxx in California, USA. The bucket catches a little rainwater and water from condensation for the plant to survive, but in order to grow the plant is challenged to develop its taproots to find water itself.

Revolutionary planter
The second winner is Groasis for its Growboxx. An ‘intelligent bucket’ which can be used in arid regions to grow plants using up to 90 percent less water.

The original design was made from plastic but the latest model is made from recycled paper and is biologically degradable.

The third award was for Light House, a solution by ASML to make isotopes without producing nuclear waste and enriching uranium.

About Dutch National Icons
Through the National Icon competition, the Dutch Government aims to inspire the country to keep innovating and to show the world what we do well. Dutch National Icons are groundbreaking, innovative projects that help address larger social issues. 

Each of the National Icons is assigned a minister to support their further development and to serve as an ambassador for the project for the next few years.

This news item was originally published at the website of Holland Trade and Invest.

Read also on this website
Dutch King opens world's first RED power plant driven on fresh-salt water mixing, 26 November 2014
Groasis seeks 600 testers for new Greenboxx to grow plants with very little water, 2 December 2014
Eco landscaping: Waterboxx greens Jordan's desert areas, 13 December 2011

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