European second price for turning fruit waste into a novel activated carbon solution

The European BISC-E final was embedded in BioSYNERGISE 2022. During this online event, the 5 finalists (Belgium, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania and The Netherlands) had to present their innovative idea to the major players in the biobased industry on the basis of a promotional video and a presentation with a question session at the event. During this exciting meeting, the Italian team GENAB won the European final of the student competition. Belgium finished in the second place and the Netherlands took home the third prize.

The final was embedded in BioSYNERGISE 2022, B2B networking event organized by the Bio-based Industries Consortium (BIC) at its annual gathering of top bio-based industry experts. 

The GENAB team won the first prize with 25.1% of the votes (1-year free BIC ‘Full Member’ membership, free publicity and € 5000) with an idea for the production of rubber from renewable raw materials. The jury and the public appreciated the entry because it is an interesting new system.

The Belgian team Valorised Carbon presented their idea to produce activated carbon from residual flows from the fruit industry. The team managed to win 24.9% of the votes with their very complete idea and wins the second prize (€2500). With their idea to upgrade food waste to activated carbon, they can offer a local solution to a global problem since these components are now often incinerated. Currently, the majority of activated carbon still originates from coal and lignite. To guarantee a sustainable future, waste products from the food industry such as fruit kernels can serve as raw materials for the production of activated carbon.

Prynt3D from the Netherlands attracted 21.7% of the votes with their idea for personalized insoles from a 3D printer. These soles are made from residual flows from the mushroom industry. The team received €1000 for their third place. The jury was very charmed by the high-end application and of the use of 3D-printing.

Hopefully this story 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