Marc Cornelissen | Brightlands Award

The Marc Cornelissen | Brightlands Award will be awarded for the first time in 2017. The award is an initiative of the Foundation Marc Cornelissen Brightlands Award, paying homage to an arctic explorer and sustainability pioneer who died during a polar expedition in 2015. The cash prize incentive of € 25,000 is intended for candidates who distinguish themselves in the spirit of Marc in their collaborative leadership and cross border collaboration to make our world more sustainable. Candidates who can radiate ambassadorship for this award and Brightlands.

Foundation chairman Prof Dr Jan Cobbenhagen: ‘This is about candidates who, in the spirit of Marc Cornelissen, have set themselves apart through their unifying leadership and cross-border partnerships that aim to create a sustainable world, and who therefore exude the ambassadorship of this award and Brightlands. These are people who develop initiatives that contribute to solutions for broad social issues in areas such as a climate-neutral economy and society, affordable health care, healthy nutrition, mobility and so on.’

Dutch version

About Marc Cornelissen

Thinking, dreaming, daring and doing, across geographical, scientific and organizational boundaries, this was Marc Cornelissen until his unexpected death in 2015. As a professional adventurer he had one passion, creating a sustainable world. Therefore he dared to choose other pathways than the usual ones. This attitude and spirit is also the basis of which Brightlands scientists, students, entrepreneurs, professionals work together and connect across boundaries, to the great challenges of sustainability and health. His ideas, courage, enterprise and impact is praised by international top scientists, opinion leaders and entrepreneurs. They say, “let’s keep his work and spirit alive”. With the introduction of the Marc Cornelissen | Brightlands Award, Brightlands contributes to his great heritage.

Marc Cornelissen

Profile candidate

The Marc Cornelissen| Brightlands Award is awarded to candidates who distinguish themselves in the spirit of Marc in their collaborative leadership as well in collaboration across borders to make our world more sustainable. Candidates are able to radiate ambassadorship of this award. With a contribution to a sustainable world is not only meant initiatives that contribute directly to a climate neutral energy, economy or society, but also solutions to problems in areas such as affordable care, healthy food, etc... Nominees are candidates who are driven by an ideal for which other paths are chosen from the usual ones or even just going outside paths looking for solutions. The candidate is driven by his ideals, and will look beyond the beaten path to achieve these. He is also interested in how different areas relate to one another, such as what is necessary to enable a new technology or medication to yield returns. Behavior and ethics are usually inherent components of this.

They are “in transit” as Marc was, for solutions to issues of sustainability in relation to the Brightlands themes materials, health, nutrition and data science & smart services. At the same time, they show that their work and people oriented personality, has an impact not only on what they do but also on how they achieve results.

The award

The award is an initiative of the Foundation Marc Cornelissen Brightlands Award. The award consists of a memento and a cash prize of € 25,000. The amount is to be spent on the activities identified by the candidate at the nomination. The jury will nominate three candidate winners and invite them to join the ceremony on March 16, 2017. The holder of the award 2017 is explicitly asked to be present at the 2018 edition and share in a presentation on how the award helped with the next steps.

Jury and Board of Trustees

The Jury of the Award consists of:

  • Maria van der Hoeven (chair), CIEP (Clingendael International Energy Program) en Supervisory Board Rocky Mountain Institute (USA),
  • Ellen Cornelissen, on behalf of family Cornelissen,
  • Bert Kip, CEO Brightlands Chemelot Campus,
  • Prof. Mariëlle Heijltjes, Professor Managerial behavior Maastricht University.
  • Prof. Emmo Meijer, Member of the Advisory council for Science, Technology and Innovation.

The Board of Trustees of the award consists of:

  • Theo Bovens, Commissioner of the King, Province of Limburg, The Netherlands,
  • Prof. Robbert Dijkgraaf, Director Institute for Advanced Study Princeton (IAS),
  • Prof. Martin Paul, president Maastricht University, The Netherlands,
  • André Kuipers, astronaut, author.

Registration & Conditions

Nominations for candidates may be submitted up to and including 31 January 2017 via a registration form. The conditions for the award nomination are part of the registration form.



Here you will find an introduction of the Marc Cornelissen Brightlands Award (in pdf).

application form

Application form

If you want to be nominated, you have to reach out to the data practices described in this application. The form must be signed by the candidate as well as by the person/organization that supports the candidacy.

Please note that the application is archived as a pdf file. Please download Adobe Acrobat to fill in the application. To sign a PDF document or form, you can type, draw, or insert an image of your handwritten signature. You can also add text, such as your name, company, title, or the date. When you save the document, the signature and text become part of the PDF.

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