The winners of the annual Global Impact Challenge were announced on the 18th of April during a SingularityU NL event about Climate Change. Creative and innovative people inThe Netherlands were invited to identify solutions to prevent or mitigate the impact and consequences of climate change. Jonathan Breemhaar and Lex Hoefsloot both win a ticket to participate in the 9-week Global Solutions Program at Singularity University in Silicon Valley with a value of $50.000.

Climate Change: a critically urgent global challenge.

2016 was a record breaking year in regards to the increase of CO2 & methane emissions and global temperature rise. With far-reaching and potentially devastating consequences. Climate change has an impact on most of the 12 Global Grand Challenges – worldwide problems that are too big to ignore – that have been identified by Singularity University. Technological innovations have the potential to prevent or mitigate the negative effects of climate change.

Inspiring talent from The Netherlands

A great number of participants joined the Global Impact Challenge this year and brought forth inspiring ideas and solutions that can positively impact a billion people in 10 years, varying from reduction of waste and pollution to new sustainable energy sources and alternative food supplies. Out of these amazing entries, 3 finalists presented for the jury, consisting of Monique Giggy (Director Startup Accelerator, Singularity University), Hajo van Beijma (Director & co-founder, Text To Change Mobile), Arash Aazami (Founder, Kamagir) and Olivier Maes (CEO, Justdiggit). They appointed Jonathan Breemhaar and Lex Hoefsloot as the winners.

Lex Hoefsloot (left), a 27 year old Automotive Technology student from TU Eindhoven, wants to make solar powered cars a central hub for both mobility and energy so no charging infrastructure is needed. 

Jonathan Breemhaar (right), a 27 year old Mechanical Engineering student from TU Delft, aims to develop a machine that can scale up the production of cultured meat.

Jonathan Breemhaar and Lex Hoefsloot receive a full sponsorship to attend the 9-week transformational Global Solutions Program at the NASA Research Park in Silicon Valley. They will join a selection of bright minds from all over the world to create new startups that have the potential to impact a billion people positively.

The other finalist was Michiel Roelofs: He is developing tailor-made flexible and modular Photovoltaics (PV) to integrate solar energy in our everyday lives.

Michiel Schuurman, Global Impact Challenge organizer at SingularityU The Netherlands: “I’m amazed by the solutions that some of the brightest minds of the Netherlands came up with for our Global Impact Challenge. I’m proud to have Jonathan Breemhaar and Lex Hoefsloot represent The Netherlands and am really looking forward to see what will come out of these nine life-changing weeks.