Participants of 2021

First prize winner

Breaking the walls of protecting coral reefs from space

Marcel Kempers

Marcel Kempers is a serial entrepreneur focused on bridging the gap between high tech innovation and social needs. After completing his military service in Singapore, he moved to the Netherlands to study Aerospace Engineering leading to inventing a technology for smallholder farmers in Indonesia. From this, Marcel saw another opportunity to bring aerospace technologies to protecting another important ecosystem: Coral reefs. Since 2019, together with Reef Support, Marcel has worked with WWF and research stations in building a software toolkit for coral conservation. He is currently finishing his MSc at TU Delft in Management of Technology.

Find out more about Marcel and his project here!

Second prize winner

Breaking the walls of hypnotherapy in western medicine

Vanessa Bastek

Vanessa Bastek is a 6th year medical student from Groningen. After initially finishing her Bachelor in Industrial Engineering she has found the courage to start all over again with her passion and the study of medicine. Connecting worlds is what she enjoys the most, whilst trying to think outside the box and challenge the status quo. Sometimes, she believes, it’s good to redefine what has been defined before, staying open to new possibilities, for ourselves and within the fields of medicine.

Find out more about Vanessa

Third prize winner

Breaking the walls of mental health in pregnant asylum seekers.

Elena Soldati

Elena Soldati will complete her study in medicine at the University of Groningen this year. During her studies she volunteered multiple times in Greece and Italy, both in refugee camps for medical NGOs. After those experiences she wanted to learn more about what can be done withing medicine to address inequalities and provide high quality care to everyone. During her master thesis she investigated accessibility to mental healthcare of pregnant asylum seekers.

Find out more about Elena

People’s Award

Breaking the walls of chronic pain

Naila Loudini

Naila Loudini is a medical student. She sees herself as a problem-solver. The CanMEDS roles framework sparked her motivation to undertake new challenges as an aspiring physician. A few months ago, she tackled a challenge in collaboration with a team from different backgrounds. This made her realise that physicians, in collaboration with other professionals, have the potential to play a major role in improving the healthcare industry. In fact, she strongly believes that doctors have always sought the best interest of patients when solving a problem, which is essential when figuring out healthcare solutions that work in practice.

Other participants

Breaking the walls of neglected public spaces

Martha Seitandiou

Martha Seitandiou is a passionate young architect from Greece currently based in the Netherlands and she is developing her skills in Urban Design. She as a special interest in projects that combine various scales. When designing, her goal is to create spaces that are both functional and pleasant. She also loves working in a group and sharing ideas. Her motto: work hard, work together, design for people and make the world better.

Find out more about Martha and her project here!

Breaking the walls of energy transition: the electric dilemma

Marco Bertoncin

Marco Bertoncin recently obtained his Master’s degree in Electrical Energy Engineering at the University of Padova, in Italy. He worked on his Master’s thesis in Ireland, in collaboration with the Technological University Dublin (TUD), where he established his knowledge on the electric distribution network conditions and needs. Now he is further developing its research through modelling and power flow analysis, with the purpose of contributing to a sustainable network for the incoming future.

Find out more about Marco

Breaking the walls of the biomedical research

Ahmed Khalil

Ahmed Khalil Founder & CEO of ELEMENTA LABS, MSc. Medical and pharmaceutical drug innovation. Ahmed is passionate about science and together with the ELEMENTA team, they are on a mission to transform the drug discovery process into a more sustainable and efficient era.

Find out more about Ahmed and his project here!

Breaking the walls of new temporality: uchronia

Dr Helga Schmid

Dr Helga Schmid is an artist/designer, researcher and educator. She is a resident at Somerset House and Course Director for BA Graphic and Media Design at London College of Communication. In 2018, she was a Designer in Residence at the Design Museum in London. Her work has been exhibited worldwide, including the Serpentine Gallery, the Design Museum, Dia Art Foundation NY, Z33 in Hasselt and V&A Museum. She is the founder of the Uchronia Platform. Here she opens up a new world of temporality (lived time) situated at the intersection of design, sociology and chronobiology. In 2020 she published the book Uchronia: Designing Time.

Find out more about Helga and her project here!

Breaking the walls of healthcare (improving mental health in carers)

Junkai Zhu

Junkai Zhu is a third-year medical student at University College London currently intercalating or taking a year out to study Management at Imperial College London. Junkai is very passionate about entrepreneurship and startups especially within the healthcare space and developed the idea of BetterCarer after researching about carers as part of his dissertation at Imperial and reflecting upon his personal experiences of volunteering at care homes in the past and speaking with informal carers.

Find out more about Junkai

Breaking the walls of the professional sports world

Eric Tchepanou

Eric Tchepanou is 28 years old and currently studying Psychology at the University of Groningen. He was born in Cameroon, however, at a young age his twin sister and he moved to Germany to live with their mother, who was also following her studies there. His desire to create Equilibrate Tuxn started when he was still finishing high school. At that time, he was a young, striving athlete and encountered may difficulties when tyring to become a professional athlete. These obstacles still exist today, and that is why he decided to do something about it.

Find out more about Eric and his project here!

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