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Innovation prize

Innovation is a key focus for RIVM. To stimulate further innovation, the Board of Directors launched the Innovation Prize in 2014. Personnel with an innovative idea to solve an urgent problem were invited to present their ideas. From the 36 ideas presented, three winners were chosen.

‘I am suffering now’ app

Joost Wesseling’s team (environmental quality) will enable users to report easily via the ‘I am suffering now’ app whether they have or do not have respiratory problems. Users then receive information about air quality at their present location. This also helps RIVM to gain better insight into the role of local air quality in respiratory complaints, and the user is better informed and receives customised advice.

Presenting of the innovation prize 


Elena Pinelli Ortiz’s team (immunology) is developing FAST-IMM, a quick, easy and cheap test for immune responses. The test is based on a small drop of blood instead the large quantity now required to perform these tests. This reduces costs and dependence on commercial tests. Because of its simplicity, the test is easier to use in developing countries and in large-scale population screening via biobanks.

‘Quick, safe and simple'

Peter Keizers’ team (health protection) presented a proposal for a handheld detection device (spectrophotometer) to carry out chemical analyses quickly and simply on the spot. This would enable, for instance, the inspection services to make a pre-selection of laboratory samples, or to screen for party drugs at dance events.

The three winners received the same amount in prize money to work out their ideas further within a year. Joost Wesseling’s team received the challenge trophy.