What idea will you
contribute to a
zero-waste future?
grand finals

And the winners are...

The ReThink Waste Challenge resulted in creation of twenty-seven cutting-edge business solutions that contribute to the biobased economy. Three of them made it to the podium. The winner of the Challenge is team Afterlife, converting agricultural food waste into a source of protein with the help of fungi. The runners up are team Pomace, with their idea to transform the waste apple pomace into a natural aroma to flavor food, and team Cult Factor turning agri-food waste into nutrients needed for cultivated meat production by using microorganisms.

Would you like to discover the ideas of the ten finalists of the Challenge and learn more about the second edition? Check out the ReThink Waste magazine.

WUR Campus

Meet the participants

More than 190 students from 72 Universities in 33 countries are participating in the ReThink Waste Challenge. Their goal? To come up with a business idea or a prototype that contributes to a circular biobased economy.

It could be anything from a new material made out of biomass or a new technology to extract valuable products from biomass residue, to a more efficient production process or services that bring a zero-waste future one step closer.

From January until June 2023, with the support of top experts, they will develop their idea into a solid business proposition, ready to pitch to the jury and potential investors. Curious to learn more?

Meet the teams
The Challenge
WUR Campus

Working together to make a difference!

 At Wageningen University & Research top scientists and students from all over the world join forces to work on projects that make a difference to the quality of life. As the call for a circular, biobased economy is getting louder and louder we are working on solutions to make a reality. We run applied research programmes, support the transition in private-public partnership projects and offer numerous bio-economy courses. ReThink Waste Challenge is an unique initiative of Wageningen University & Research giving students from all over the world an opportunity to work on this important topic with support of over twenty industry leaders.

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Partners & participants about the Challenge


Proteins fermented by fungi win the ReThink Waste Challenge

Team Afterlife won first prize for with their concept of converting agricultural foodwaste into a source of protein with the help of fungi. The jury commended the team for focussing on a waste stream that is a challenge to ferment. The team is awarded € 6.000 ...

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Human capital indispensable for scaling up biobased production

Over the past 30 years, WUR has co-developed many new circular products. Many of these are still in the market 10-20 years after launch. Think of circular packaging coatings, pet toys, planting pots, biobased car tires and green insulation materials. But also safe ...

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Discussing our zero waste future with student innovators during the ReThink Waste Challenge

The student teams competing in the ReThink Waste Challenge have received essential advice from industry experts. It has taken their ideas to the next level by honing in on the essence of their innovation, challenging them to communicate ...

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Impact Partners



The ReThink Waste is organized by Wageningen University & Research with support of a broad network of partners.