Technasium © Brightlands
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The Marc Cornelissen Brightlands Award will be expanded to include a Young Talent Award. The intention is to award it for the first time next year to a team of graduating students from one of the 105 Dutch Technasium schools. “It is a call to schoolchildren to think along about innovative solutions in the fields of health, sustainability and digitalization, the themes of the four Brightlands innovation campuses,” said the organizers.

The Marc Cornelissen Brightlands Award is a tribute to sustainability pioneer Marc Cornelissen, who died in 2015. After five editions, the organizers decided to involve high school youth in the thought process of the award. “We have found the ideal partner for this in the Technasium Foundation,” said Maurice Olivers on behalf of the Marc Cornelissen Brightlands Award Foundation. “Technasium schools pay a lot of attention to engineering, research and design aimed at a healthy and sustainable future.”

Olivers says entrepreneurs apply for the “big” award with fantastic, revolutionary projects: “With technical solutions against global warming, reducing CO2 emissions, moving towards a circular economy and stopping the melting of the polar caps. We are convinced that schoolchildren, encouraged by their teachers, also have fantastic ideas for their own future. We want to encourage that.”


Fabiènne Hendricks, board chair of the Technasium Foundation, is enthusiastic about the Young Talent Award. “This award aligns perfectly with our goals: bringing students into contact with practice. For the subject Research & Design, they work in teams on their exam project to work out a concrete issue for a company or organization. This can, of course, be an idea emphasizing circularity and sustainability. How cool is it that the teams can win a prize in addition to being assessed by the school. We are extremely curious about all the teams that will participate.”

Professional jury

The Marc Cornelissen Brightlands Award Foundation and Technasium announced the Young Talent Award on March 20 during a school leaders’ meeting of all Technasium schools. After the summer vacations, havo and vwo examination students can decide whether they want to compete for the award with their teachers. Only entries in materials, health, nutrition, smart services, and data/AI will be considered. A professional jury will make a selection, after which six teams will get the chance to pitch their idea and compete for the Marc Cornelissen Brightlands Young Talent Award. Key questions that day: How will your idea help the world become circular? And what is innovative about your solution?


The Young Talent Award will be presented on April 17, 2025, just before the exam period and ten years after the death of Marc Cornelissen. Students on the winning team will receive one year’s tuition for college or university studies. “And they get access to the networks of the Marc Cornelissen Brightlands Award Foundation,” says Fabienne Hendriks. “This is a great opportunity to turn their idea into a concrete product and thus contribute to a more sustainable world. Moreover, it’s good for our own image. STEM education cannot get enough attention.”

STEM project education

Technasium stands for “true to life” STEM project education at havo and vwo schools. The subject of Research & Design (R&D) is central to this, from bridge class to the exam. In teams, students work on innovative solutions to current problems for real clients. Because of this type of education, more students choose to study science and technology and are extra driven to complete their studies. Over one hundred secondary schools throughout the Netherlands have the Technasium designation and are affiliated with Stichting Technasium. With this network, 34,000 students now receive meaningful science and technology education.