European Inventor Award nomination for Nereda water purification technology

02 May 2012 by Web editor M&C

The European Patent Office (EPO) has nominated TU Delft’s Dr. Merle de Kreuk, Prof.Dr. Sef Heijnen and Prof.Dr. Mark van Loosdrecht for the 2012 European Inventor Award (EIA) for the development of the water purification technology Nereda® in cooperation with the engineering consultancy firm DHV and the Dutch water boards. The invention enables the purification of industrial and household waste water to be carried out much more efficiently and cheaply in a space four times as small. Which of the three nominees in the ‘Research’ category is to receive the prize will be revealed on 14 June in Copenhagen.

It was already announced last month that Van Loosdrecht will receive the Lee Kuan Yew Water Prize 2012 during the Singapore International Water Week in July. Next week (8 May), his Royal Highness Crown Prince Willem-Alexander will be in Epe to open the first sewage water purification plant to use this new technology. Read the press release on this topic.

Mark van Loosdrecht

Professor in Environmental Biotechnology Mark van Loosdrecht has spent more than twenty years working on improvements to the natural breakdown and reuse of waste materials. In addition to the Lee Kuan Yew Water Prize, he was also awarded an honorary doctorate last year by the leading technical university ETH Zurich for his ‘outstanding achievements in environmental biotechnology and numerous practical applications of scientific knowledge in purification techniques, especially in the field of water purification.’

Merle de Kreuk



Merle de Kreuk has been involved since the outset and has played a key role in further developing the invention to create the internationally applied Nereda technology: ’In 2000, I started my PhD research on aerobic granular sludge technology in the Biotechnology department at TU Delft. During my PhD and postdoc research, Nereda has grown in scale from a three-litre laboratory reactor to  working plants like the one being opened in Epe on 8 May.’ In 2007, she was awarded the Simon Stevin Fellowship Prize by STW and she won the Jaap van der Graaf award in 2010.

Sef Heijnen



Full Professor Bioprocess Technology Sef Heijnen is co-founder of the Delft Kluyver Centre for Genomics of Industrial Fermentation, which researches the practical applications of (parts of) living organisms in industrial production processes and biological purification processes. He has been awarded the Akzo Nobel Science Award, is a member of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences and has recently been selected in the ‘College of Fellows of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering’ (AIMBE)

European Inventor Award

The European Inventor Award (EIA) is presented annually by the European Patent Office (EPO), in alliance with the European Commission. The award is presented in the country of the incumbent EU president, which this year is Denmark. The prize is intended for individuals and teams ‘whose pioneering work provides answers to the challenges of our age and thereby contributes to progress and prosperity’.

More information:

Read the original press release from the European Patent Office sent on 2 May 2012. 

Dr. Merle de Kreuk,  M.K.deKreuk@remove-this.tudelft.nl
Prof.dr. Mark van Loosdrecht, M.C.M.vanLoosdrecht@remove-this.tudelft.nl, +31 (0)6 51560698, personal homepage
Prof.dr. Sef Heijnen, J.J.Heijnen@remove-this.tudelft.nl, +31 (0)15 278 2341, personal homepage.   
Press officer DHV Suzette Schreuder, +31 (0)33 468 20 26, +31 (0)6 29 09 82 38, suzette.schreuder@dhv.com
Science Information Officer TU Delft Ineke Boneschansker, I.Boneschansker@remove-this.tudelft.nl, +31 (0)15 27 88499
More on Nereda®: http://www.nereda.nl/

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