Count sheep and not frost-damaged crops

Team Vsycle won the national Bio-based Innovation Student Challenge (BISC-E) which took place at the event of Circular Flanders 'Bioeconomy: from ambition to action' on 28 March 2023.

Three teams competed to be the Belgian finalist to represent the international BISC-E competition later this year.

Team Circulo presented their integrated and automated hydroponics on fish excrement. Their concept is to use a serie of two different hydroponic systems to grow tomato and lettuce. Here the nutrients are provided by manure from trout aquaculture. All this is automated on every possible level.

Team Sludge Shield shown a durable treatment using alginates extracted from sewage sludge to make textiles water-repellent. This as a replacement for PFAS often used in water-repellent textiles.

Team Vsycle presented a sprayable antifreeze product based on antifreeze proteins to protect blossoms against (spring) frost. They want to discover novel protein biomaterials to redesign water based freezing processes, on earth and in the sky. So, with the proposed technology  you can count sheep and not frost-damaged crops.

Team Vsycle convinced the jury and the audience with their idea and are the Belgian finalists.  We look forward to seeing them compete in the EU final organised by BIC-Bio-based Industries Consortium with teams of about 10+ other EU member countries to bring home the bio based European Championship trophy. This includes a financial award of 5000€, a free one-year membership to BIC and a lot of publicity as the competition really aims to bridge the knowledge gap between students and bio-based materials.  

Hopefully this will inspire even more students and more countries to participate to the next edition of this European BISC-E competition. The goal of this competition is to move forward to actual entrepreneurship! Of course, we are here to help: if you want to start your own national bio-based innovation student competition and/or have a team of students working on relevant projects, you can contact: or

Congratulations to all the teams for their excellent ideas!