Dutch CleanTech Challenge has a winner

A team called Delft Spectral Technologies recently took home the top prize in The Dutch Cleantech Challenge (CTC) with its Fourier Optical Measurement System (FOMS). The five member team will go on to represent the Netherlands at the global finals in London on the April 25 2014

This contest, which originated in London in 2009, is more than just a “green” contest. According to the CTC website, Cleantech is new technology with related business models that offer competitive returns for investors and customers while providing solutions to global challenges.

The Dutch CTC is an initiative of YES! Delft Students, Erasmus University of Rotterdam and the TU Delft Energy Club. Through the process of the contest, teams attend workshops to help them improve their ideas from a business, technical and financial perspective. They are given the opportunity to test the viability of their start-up concept and get practical advice from experts in different fields.

The invention of the FOMS (patent pending) allows manufacturers to test solar cells in a better and faster way than currently possible. This method leads to increased output of solar panels without changing anything in the manufacturing process. “The potential of this idea was obvious to all of us,” said team member Mostafa El-Shinawy who is originally from Egypt. “However we have a technical background and did not have much experience in starting up businesses or getting funding, so we enrolled in the CTC earlier this year, and I have to say it helped a lot.”

“They have a really brilliant plan in a growing market,” said Dutch CTC Chairman, Ruben Kranendonk. The winners received €3,000 and have the chance to win £10,000 in London. Winning the global finals would be a good start for the team as Kranendonk noted that the team needs to raise about €100,000 to make a prototype.

Marc Schouten, who graduated with a master’s from TU Delft, was very pleased to be part of the winning team. “Out of something like forty idea submissions it’s very nice to come out on top,” he said. Schouten commented that the goal of entering this contest is to use it as a platform for getting their business off the ground.

This is the third year the Netherlands will participate in London. The bar has been set very high for this year as Dutch teams won the global challenge the last two years. For more information on the contest visit

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