For the third time in a row, E52’s High Tech Tech Piek Awards have been presented to the best performing representatives of the high tech ecosystem in and around Eindhoven. For the first time, the ceremony took place in Rabobank’s new office. More than 200 people present saw that Maarten Steinbuch won the main prize. He is thus the successor of Rob van Gijzel (2016) and Guus Frericks (2015).

Over the next nine days, E52 will publish an extensive portrait of each winner.

Here all 9 winners and the jury’s verdict:

Piek: Maarten Steinbuch, Distinguished Professor of Eindhoven University of Technology
Jury: “Maarten Steinbuch has been the ’embodiment’ of what this region strives to be for many years already. Whether it’s robots, smart mobility, the student teams he assists where possible, his medical-technological entrepreneurship or his many dozens of PhD students, Maarten Steinbuch is where the developments are most powerful. And he knows how to play the media with his story.”

Star: Edward Voncken, Director KMWE – BIC
Jury: “Starting a new campus in the region is quite ambitious. Edward has worked hard for the Brainport Industry Campus. The place where what is conceived and developed in this region will actually be made. In this campus, the high-tech manufacturing industry meets and will strengthen each other. The first construction workers have arrived, and KMWE, the company lead by Edward Voncken, will establish itself there next year, as one of the first.”

Star: Rick Scholte, Director and Founder Sorama
Jury: “The entrepreneurial engineer. And then again, Rick Scholte is not just an engineer, he has been crowned the engineer of the year in 2017. But above all, he is a successful entrepreneur with Sorama. The company that contributes to the Smart City Eindhoven with its sound cameras, but which is also used by Stanford University for research into the flight pattern of a hummingbird.”

Star: Marcel Pelgrom from Pelgrom’s Law
Jury: “Electrotechnician Marcel Pelgrom worked for Philips Natlab and NXP for many years and was consulting Professor at Stanford University. In 1989, he devised a formula known as the Law of Pelgrom. A formula that would prove essential in the manufacture of increasingly smaller microchips. For his work, Pelgrom this year received a prestigious IEEE Gustav Robert Kirchhoff oeuvre prize, named after the eponymous physicist. A huge honour, certainly because Pelgrom is the first non-scientist to receive this prize.”

Star: Carmen van Vilsteren, Eindhoven University of Technology
Jury: “As Health Director of the TU/e and CEO of startup Microsure, Carmen van Vilsteren knows where real innovation comes from and what it takes to translate technology into business. With her extensive experience and network at the intersection of health, research, and technology, she always succeeds in connecting the right parties and partners and creating a breeding ground on which startups and scale-ups, with Microsure at the forefront, can grow successfully.”

Knaller: Lex Boon, Director Automotive Campus
Jury: “The Automotive Campus in Helmond has a long history that goes back to the DAF cars. Nowadays this is the hotspot for car and mobility development and education. Lex Boon is busy shaping a new phase in this campus. As a hotspot, the first fine prize has already been received with the organization of the major ITS mobility conference in 2019.”

Knaller: Isabelle Reymen, Director TU/e Innovation Space
Jury: “This year, under the inspiring leadership of Isabelle Reymen, the Eindhoven University of Technology launched the pioneering initiative Innovation Space, a multidisciplinary hub in which students learn to convert their research results into solutions for the business community. In a short space of time, the TU/e Innovation Space has grown into a vibrant place where students and researchers work together in multidisciplinary teams and come up with innovative solutions for contemporary issues with a scientific approach.”

Knaller: Ramon Haken, CEO and Founder of Avular
Jury: “Avular has already won E52’s Top 10 Startups-to-watch in 2015. Now Ramon himself is the winner, to show that the development of a startup is not a straight line. With a pivot from petrochemical industry to a generic platform, the company is entering a new phase. The Curiosity Platform is a fundament on which many innovative drone applications can be developed.”

Knaller: Fleur Besters, Founder of Tech Playgrounds
Jury: “Talent does not appear out of nothing, neither does it grow by itself; it needs to be supported. And as for PSV, the striker of 2032 is nurtured on the Johan Cruijff playing fields, the Steinbuch of 2040 can today be found at one of the Tech Playgrounds. Fleur Besters tirelessly and enthusiastically built a network of tech playgrounds off the ground where talent can develop at an early age.”