Professor Clemens van Blitterswijk from the University of Twente has been voted ‘Most Entrepreneurial Scientist of the Netherlands’. The announcement was made today by Jury Chairman Sijbolt Noorda (Chairman of the Association of Universities in the Netherlands, VSNU) during the annual Valorisation Day. Van Blitterswijk, Professor of Tissue Regeneration, and until recently Scientific Director of the University of Twente MIRA research institute, has been the driving force behind numerous spin-off companies. Throughout his career, Van Blitterswijk has always managed to combine leading science with successful entrepreneurship.
The award for the 'Most Entrepreneurial Scientist of the Netherlands' is presented to the candidate who demonstrates the best ability to combine scientific excellence with entrepreneurship. The biennial competition is organized by Science Alliance in cooperation with, among others, the National Valorisation Committee, the Association of Universities in the Netherlands, and the Technology Foundation STW. The competition was created to honour the efforts of those who successfully combine science and entrepreneurship, a combination that in societal terms is gaining increasing importance. The winner was announced during the annual Valorisation Day event (Dag van de Valorisatie), which was held today at the Beurs van Berlage in Amsterdam. In recognition of his achievements, Van Blitterswijk also received a cash prize of € 5,000.
Van Blitterswijk considers it a true honour to be awarded first prize in the competition. "The wonderful thing is, I was also recently appointed a member of The Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences, which promotes scientific and scholarly endeavour. And here I am receiving an award in the field of entrepreneurship. This is the perfect combination for me. It is also a great tribute to the University of Twente. It’s fantastic that the most entrepreneurial scientist of the Netherlands now comes from the most entrepreneurial university in the Netherlands. Twente has the astounding record of being the birthplace of over 700 companies." Van Blitterswijk also made a strong impression back in 2008 when he came second place in the competition.
Van Blitterswijk is considered an authority in the field of regenerative medicine. He has an impressive list of scientific publications and several patents to his name. The University of Twente professor has also been the driving force behind more than ten spin-off companies. As Scientific Director of the university’s MIRA research institute, Van Blitterswijk always made promoting entrepreneurship one of his top priorities. Last year alone, the Research Institute for Biomedical Engineering and Technical Medicine produced six new companies.
Note to the press: Further details about the award and the Valorisation Day can be found here. For more information, please contact the Science Information Officer at the University of Twente, Joost Bruysters, on +31 (0)53 4892773/+31 (0)6 10488228.