22 november 2008
Dutch cross-border innovations for the developing world
The innovations will be presented in four themed workshops: food scarcity and economic opportunity, energy in developing countries, innovations in cities and ICT as a catalyst of socioeconomic development. The technical aspects of innovation generally present little problems. Its getting their product to market that is the biggest obstacle facing most innovators. Consequently the workshops will concentrate mainly on questions such as how do I get my product onto the market, how do I locate partners and how should I link with local market needs? The workshops, organised by TNO, Slumworld and Business in Development (BiD), are part of the ‘Innovatieproeftuin 2028’, of the Dutch Innovation Platform which is chaired by Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende.
In the food scarcity workshop, the Dutch chemical group DSM will present its newly developed NutriRice. In June 2007 DSM and Buhler opened a production facility of their Chinese joint venture Wuxi NutriRice Co, which is primarily intended for market development. As a staple food, rice provides a high percentage of the daily caloric intake of the Chinese population. However, since many of the nutrients in rice are lost during the rice whitening and polishing process, milled rice has relatively low micronutrient content in comparison to un-milled rice. The traditional rinsing of rice is another challenge to rice enrichment since vitamins and minerals can potentially be washed off. In response to these hurdles, NutriRice offers the possibility to efficiently encapsulate multiple micronutrients inside the rice kernel. Nutrients such as vitamin A and B as well as iron and zinc can be chosen for inclusion. DSM has indicated that research into the technology behind NutriRice is on-going. In March DSM announced a global partnership with the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP).
Another promising innovation to be presented is the Flying Dutchman, developed by the Mobile Factory in collaboration with Dutch engineering company DHV, Syscom, a supplier of recycling equipment and Decistor, a consultancy firm for waste management. The Flying Dutchman – still a prototype – is a recycle and production facility that sorts, cracks (pulverizes) and washes debris of buildings. Through this process artificial grint is created which replaces natural gravel. The process also creates a substitute for natural sand, so only new cement and water need to be added in order to create a new concrete building material which has the same quality as existing concrete.
The Flying Dutchman can be used in developing countries to restructure cities and create new and better housing, and also in countries where a natural disaster has occurred or where a (civil) war has taken place. The Flying Dutchman is based on existing and proven recycling techniques and is designed in such a way that it can be transported in 10 to 14 standard containers. The Flying Dutchman is partly powered by renewable energy and equipped with a special filtering system to purify contaminated water.
P+ webtip: InnovatieproeftuinP+ webtip 2: The Flying Dutchman