Marc Cornelissen Brightlands Award
Challenging pioneers to create a sustainable world
The Marc Cornelissen Brightlands Award is an incentive prize that promotes the beliefs of sustainability pioneer Marc Cornelissen (1968-2015). His passion, respect and love for our planet and the people around him, as well as his general outlook on life connects the award with promising entrepreneurs and scientists who are on their way to helping people and our planet.
Based at Brightlands Chemelot Campus since last year with his startup company Vertoro, Panos Kouris is the winner of the 2021 Marc Cornelissen Brightlands Award. His advanced plans to extract lignin from wood waste, which in turn can be used as fuel for ships and as a raw material for plastics, garnered the most favor with the jury. Dysmus Kisulu of Solar Freeze and Werner Schouten of the Youth Climate Movement shared second place. The winner of the biennial award, a work of art and a cash prize of €35,000, was announced and presented during an event at the Geleen campus by Theo Bovens, King’s Commissioner in Limburg.
The need to push the boundaries of sustainability is becoming ever more obvious. The United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals provide direction to this sustainability transition. In practice, however, this road is often littered with bumps and potholes that stand in the way of arriving at breakthroughs that matter. It is a road paved with patience that is reserved solely for true sustainability pioneers with a mission. Marc Cornelissen was just such a sustainability pioneer who displayed courage and leadership in tackling climate change up until the day he died. In order to create a sustainable world, many talented pioneers like Marc are needed.
Interview with Maria van der Hoeven in Brightlands.News
On January 20, 2021, the Marc Cornelissen Brightlands Award was presented for the third time. This is an award that focuses on true sustainability pioneers. “And considering the challenges that lie ahead, we cannot have enough of these pioneers,” new chairman, Maria van der Hoeven, says. “We’re looking for candidates with a mission, who are en route to the next station on the way to achieving their dream. This award encourages them to never stop persevering, and to show courage and leadership in making their contribution to a sustainable world a reality. A conversation about the meaning of this award and an invitation to join the search for the next winner.
Dreaming, daring, doing
This was Marc's motto. The Marc Cornelissen Brightlands Award is a way of encouraging talented pioneers to persevere, show courage and leadership on the road to achieving their sustainability dream. The award competition offers all participants a Brightlands platform for knowledge, networking and collaboration, and for the winner, a cash prize of € 35,000 to accelerate the realization of their dream.