On 11 June 2013, MIC students Elanna Jonker-Veldman, Seda Sözügecer, Suheyla Urfalioglu and Frieza Putri, participated in the finals of the Gasterra Transition Award. It had started with developing a new business model for Friesland Campina as part of a study project. They submitted their concept for the Gasterra competition and were selected as one of the ten best submitted projects. The teams behind the ten projects were invited to the Finals of the Gasterra Transition Award 2013 in “De Fabrique” in Maarssen.
Elanna, Seda, Suheyla and Frieza had developed a business model focusing on the transition to solar photovoltaic energy, turning sunshine into energy for the dairy farm industry. Their research shows that dairy farms can significantly reduce their use of fossil fuels, reducing the green house effect. Investing in high quality solar panels will enhance farms and will enable a sustainable future in the farming industry.
In addition, the project focuses on creating a newly integrated communication network, linking farmers in the Netherlands to exchange ideas and share knowledge on sustainable farming: “The Farming Footprint.”
In the below video, the students explain their concept, which they call “Farmers in Foqus”:
During the finals, each of the ten teams had an information booth, where they explained their concepts and projects to visitors, CEO’s from many businesses coming from several different industries, and the jury members.
In the afternoon, each team had to pitch their ideas in front of the audience and jury members. The jury then met for a final discussion of all ideas to reach their final verdict and announce the winning teams. It was not solely the jury that decided on the winners though. People were also able to vote online for their favorite concept in the weeks prior to the finals, and those votes also weighed in.
The tension was rising as the winners were called out. Then the announcement came: ‘Second prize goes to Farmers in Foqus.” Moments later, another announcement came: “The Internet Prize for most online votes goes to Farmers in Foqus.” The winning teams were called on stage, and celebrations started. the MIC ladies have won €30.000 with their business model. Part of this will be invested in realising their business model, and a nice part of it is for the students themselves!