© Albert Jan Rasker
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Why we write about this topic:

In our weekly recap on Sunday, we, as editors, look back at the past seven days. We do this at the suggestion of our cartoonist Albert Jan Rasker. He chooses a subject, makes a drawing, and we take it from there. If you’d like to receive this weekly recap directly in your mailbox every Sunday morning, just subscribe here.

Happy New(s) Year!

Before we head to the highlights and predictions, as always, we focus on Albert Jan’s choice of the week.


After giving birth, the newborn baby gets all the attention. How the young mother feels often remains underexposed. As well as the problems that have arisen due to complications during childbirth or because she imagined everything to be completely different from how it is. This is why Astrid Gyllenkrok Kristensen and Sandra Wirström decided to use their start-up Leia to educate women about the problems they may face after pregnancy. “Not many people know it takes a year for a woman to recover hormonally, physically, and mentally after giving birth. This is something we try to convey in the app.”

Leia is one of more than 300 start-ups featured in our daily “Start-up of the Day” series last year. All of our reporters, spread across Europe, participate in it. The start-ups are selected for their innovativeness and social relevance. Looking back, they were primarily energy, healthcare, and digitalization initiatives. For a reason: these are some of the big tasks of our time there. My prediction for next year: again, over 300 interesting, relevant and pioneering start-ups at Innovation Origins.

Not a prediction

That prediction is actually more of a planning exercise. After all, start-ups abound, as do social issues. For actual predictions, keep an eye on our sites next week: we asked part of our network about their expectations for the coming year. We asked them two questions: what will happen in 2023 in your field with great certainty, and what will probably not happen but would be very much needed? Your own answers in this regard are – obviously – just as welcome: just let us know at [email protected].

Someone who already pushed the question aside – with strong substantiation – is Rudy van Belkom, director of Stichting Toekomstbeeld der Techniek (STT). Fortunately, he came up with a good alternative, which you can read here:

Of course, there was much more to enjoy last week. Here you can check everything, and here’s our selection:
‘Failing now would hurt a lot more’ – Sono Motors is on a mission to save its solar car – In an exhibition hall located just outside of Amsterdam, a black car is the center of attention of everyone. Visitors take pictures, scrutinize every little detail.
Floor Alkemade is researching how the energy transition can be sped up – Many countries have ambitious sustainability plans, however, achieving them is often challenging.
Roy van der Meel develops RNA nanotechnology. ‘I’m a kind of postie who delivers medicines’ – When he explains at a birthday party what he researches, the scientist compares himself to a postal delivery driver.
Biobased construction is still misunderstood by many – There is a good chance that the next generation of housing will be built from flax, wood fibers and elephant grass.
Fast food from Freggies is sustainable and healthy: ‘I prefer to call it good food fast’ – Butcher’s son Mike Maduro founded start-up Freggies intending to produce plant-based snacks that are not only convenient but also healthy.
Enjoy your New Year’s Day; we’ll be back next Sunday. In the meantime, have a safe and innovative week!