Green Dragons’ Den TU Delft

News - 19 January 2023 - Webredactie Communication

Thursday, 19th of January 2023, TU Delft organised the Green Dragons' Den, based on the television programme, but focussed on sustainable innovations. During the Green Dragons' Den, companies were given the opportunity to pitch their idea to a jury. Further exploratory talks will be held with a number of companies.

The reason for the Green Dragons' Den is the great interest of companies to help TU Delft in the transition to a sustainable campus. In the coming years, we will work towards a carbon-neutral, circular and climate-adaptive campus, with a focus on improving biodiversity and quality of life. Sustainability Coordinator Andy van den Dobbelsteen: "During the 2022 Climate Week we released the news that we will invest 100 million to make TU Delft more sustainable; after that, we were inundated with messages from companies wanting to help us and offering their product or service. For the companies, the Green Dragons' Den is a chance to pitch their idea and we can see if something is interesting, yes or no."

Green Dragons' Den

Twelve companies pitched their product or service to the jury, consisting of Marien van der Meer (Executive board), Jaco van Noppen (Director Campus Real Estate & Facility Management), Andy van den Dobbelsteen (Sustainability Coordinator), Mees Walhof (Manager Procurement) and Puck Wijnia (Chair of GreenTU). After the pitch, there was room for in-depth questions. One of the entrepreneurs is Jelle Vijfhuize. "Thanks to the Green Dragons' Den, I actually have the chance to introduce and showcase my concept Wast-e, instead of leaving it to someone's imagination." Daan Beuting, iTapToo: "I found it exciting at first, because you are invited to pitch in front of one of the largest universities in the Netherlands. It enthused me that we have a tangible product, tapable soft drinks, without sugar." 

Climate Action

Making the Delft campus more sustainable is an important part of the Climate Action Programme, which also provides for additional investments in Climate Action research and education.

Read TU Delft's vision for Climate Action here.

Follow TU Delft's approach to sustainability and Climate Action on campus here.

Read the Sustainable TU Delft - vision, ambition & action plan here.

Living Lab

Part of the sustainability budget is spent on facilitating innovations. TU Delft Campus is thus becoming a living lab for innovations. Van den Dobbelsteen: "With this Green Dragons' Den, we will search for a suitable product or service. Our aim is to assess the suitability of the company for TU Delft as an organisation and for the campus; so it is not about (investment) money as in the Dragons' Den on TV." 


Further discussions are being held with some of the companies for a more concrete elaboration. Possible follow-up steps with them will thus be taken next. Van den Dobbelsteen: "We think these companies can help us in the sustainable transition of TU Delft in the broadest sense, and in parts of expertise, knowledge, products or services. In some cases, it will be a pilot project with a product or service, which can be prolonged or expanded upon success. The Green Dragons' Den appears to be worth repeating."