Science - September 16, 2011

No lottery prize for Plant-e

In spite of all the auspicious signs, the Wageningen spinoff Plant-e was not among the winners in the Poscode Lottery Green Challenge. ‘It is tough now, but a lot is going to change anyway.’

It was announced on Thursday that Nick Christy won the Green Challenge with his recycling shower.  Plant-e didn't even come second. 'But if there had been a prize by public vote, we would certainly have won it', says Marjolein Helder, referring to the big response she has had. 'Of course only the jury saw our business plan, and they don't think we could be on the market within two years.'
Yet jury chair William McDonough, who is the brain behind Cradle-to-Cradle, supports the idea. 'He thought we should have won, and he wants to help us in any way possible', says Helder.
She does not regret taking part because the competition has opened new doors. 'The head of sustainability at IKEA was on the jury too. He said that if we don't win he would still like to sponsor a roof at IKEA.'