Bringing ideas forward

Making Waves helped innovative ideas to get past the ‘promising stage’ by connecting them to investors, organizations and policy and decision makers during a unique event at the Afsluitdijk.

See what happened in the aftermovie above

In acceleration sessions the people behind these innovations were connected to professionals like you. Hundreds of participants shared their expertise and helped push innovations forward!

Take a look at the photos


During six events over the past year over fifty innovations competed for a place on the Making Waves stage. From these innovations, 32 engaged with the audience in one of the accelerations sessions. Some of them were present on stage for a debate or a one minute pitch. Only 17 innovations were selected by the jury for a full pitch. These 17 competed for a place in the final of Ideas From Europe. Micreos won the jury prize and Rain(a)way won the public award. Read more on the winners here. Find out more on the innovations below.

See all innovations


Seventeen breakthrough innovations
Three captivating keynotes
Six acceleration sessions
Innovative food and drinks
Unique venue and location
Can-do attitudes

09:15 Registration

10:15 Welcome & start program

10:30 – 11:00

Keynote speech Kofi Annan + Q&A

The growing impacts of climate change are exacerbating the challenges and risks for a growing world population with an ever-growing demand for water, food and energy. Mr Annan will set the scene for today in his opening address.

11:00 – 11:15

Keynote speech Melanie Schultz van Haegen

Whether we talk about food, health, safety, peace, climate or energy – the basis of all global challenges we face today is water. Mrs Schultz will stress that crossover innovations are needed to tackle these problems.

11:15 Pitches round 1

Village Pump, GrowX, NaFRAd, Honey Highway, Bluerise

12:00 Coffee break

12:15 Pitches round 2

Plastic Road, H2O Barrier, Aquafarm, Slow Mill, Micreos, Rain(a)way, Shallow Geothermal Wells

+ debate on stage with TAHMO, Flash Flood Forecasting App  & Texelmeet

13:15 Lunch break

14:15 – 14:30

Keynote speaker Tom Middendorp

Mr Middendorp will focus on global challenges such as freshwater scarcity from a security perspective and the way in which the armed forces can serve as a launching customer for innovative solutions.

14:30 Pitches round 3

Sunglacier, aQuista Barsha Pump, Fish Flow, Ioniqa Technologies, Dutch aWEARness

+ one minute pitches from Elemental Water Makers, Phario, GEOWALL and Power to Protein

15:30 Acceleration sessions

  1. Dealing with (traditional) procurement
  2. Public investments in pilots: constraints and opportunities
  3. Challenges for materials made from waste
  4. Building an international network
  5. Innovation and legislation
  6. Financing an international scale-up
  7. How to link business cases
  8. Creating a workgroup on bees
  9. Transition Agenda Plastics: coalition of the willing
  10. Development of new business models in the circular economy

17:00 Announcing the winner for Ideas from Europe

Followed by drinks


Making Waves media coverage

Please find a short overview of Making Waves media coverage below (mostly in Dutch). Newspaper: 'Ik noem Nederland vaak als voorbeeld hoe het moet' (AD/Algemeen Dagblad, 07-9) Newssites: Denk groot, begin klein, maar begin…

Making Waves - the winners

During Making Waves seventeen innovations battled to represent the Netherlands at the semi-final of Ideas from Europe. The difficult task to choose one of them was in the hands of the Making Waves jury. Besides one winner, four runners-up were…


The Afsluitdijk protects the Netherlands from the Zuiderzee, was innovative in 1932 and is still operational to this day.

It is an “old” icon that is becoming a new icon in today’s zeitgeist of innovation, art, and repurposing. It is a place where energy, food, and water meet on multiple sustainability fronts.

Exactly 85 years ago the final stones were laid to seal the Afsluitdijk.

In Breezandijk, right in the middle of the Afsluitdijk, a venue will be built that can accommodate 600 people. From this location a livestream will be sent to side events in the Netherlands and at embassies around the world.

Making Waves: part of a bigger plan

Chain of events

Making Waves serves as the grand finale in the selection process for the innovation that will represent the Netherlands at the European level. Beyond a stand-alone event, Making Waves is part of a chain of events and activities serving a greater purpose such as Ideas from Europe and the Innovation Expo 2018.

Ideas from Europe

Ideas from Europe inititated an EU-wide search in 2015. Entrepreneurs with potential solutions to global challenges were selected to share their ideas on TEDxBinnenhof 2016. The program has developed a methodology and is building a platform to validate ideas, validate constraints and opportunities and facilitate the joint development between stakeholders.

Making Waves timeline

Qualifying rounds
Ahead of the event
  • June 23, 2017

    Final video presentation of qualifying ideas

  • From July 7, 2017

    Presentation of winning pitches

September 7, 2017

 Making Waves event, Afsluitdijk

November 22, 2017

Semi-finals Ideas from Europe, Estonia

March 2018

Finals Ideas from Europe, The Netherlands

Fall 2018

Innovation Expo 2018, Rotterdam, the Netherlands


Making Waves is organized by the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment together with the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs.

Among the participating organizations are research institutes, government agencies, and private companies. The partners of Making Waves are the Dutch Water Authorities, regional partners of the Afsluitdijk project, the Water Topsector, Hoogheemraadschap van Delfland, the Dutch Ministry of Health, Welfare, and Sport, NLingenieurs, AT Osborne, Synergos Communicatie, and Yes!Delft/VP Delta.