Bram Tankink will retire from pro cycling in December 2018. After 17 years racing and 10 years at LottoNL–Jumbo, he is about to start the next step in his career. Tankink will start working as a sustainability ambassador for the Brightlands Chemelot Campus, in the broadest sense. His goal is to give visibility to innovations that can make the difference worldwide in the energy transition as well as sustainability demands. Next to that, he will be a liaison between fundamental technology developments and sustainable applications for end-users and consumers.
“As a cyclist, I encountered exercise-induced asthma as we cyclists ride in highly populated and thus highly air-polluted areas”, Tankink says. “During my cycling career, I started to realize that I wanted to contribute to a cleaner environment for our future generation. I started to develop a huge interest in solar power, because of the enormous potential for clean energy. In 2017 I brought 25 entrepreneurs and investors together to ride up the Annapurna in Nepal to see the impact on communities by bringing solar power to villages without electricity. Solar power replaces fossil fuels and brings reliable energy to communities helping to improve living standards.” Tankink founded the ORE – Off-grid Renewable Energy – that will already start building mini-grids in this year.
Besides having an impact in rural communities in Nepal, Tankink has been was looking for ways to have impact closer to home, in Limburg. “Limburg has a huge economic potential because of the central position in Europe, especially in the sustainable chemical environment. This is how I came in contact with the Brightlands Chemelot Campus, which is working on innovations in chemicals and advanced materials. I think we can have a huge impact on reducing our CO2 emissions and working on technologies to reach our climate goals. I’ve always tried to bring people together in my cycling teams to come to better results and my goal at the Brightlands Chemelot Campus will be to accelerate the transition to a sustainable future.”