SynchUp! is initiated by REWIN

100% reuse of our water

Challenge closes in:

2021-05-08 17:00


How can we clean and reuse 100% of our waste water?

Cargill uses water to process natural raw materials such as corn and wheat, and some of that water is already being reused. However, we now want to achieve a fully closed-loop water system. It is possible in theory, but there is no cost-effective solution yet. That is our goal, that’s the challenge. 

Water is essential to our process: it is used at various stages of production and reused after upgrading by centrifuges, membranes, etc. Currently, however, we still discharge a wastewater stream containing minerals and a small amount of organic matter to wastewater treatment systems. At our site in Bergen op Zoom, for instance, we pre-treat the water with our own wastewater treatment plant, after forwarding it to Rilland-Bath for treatment, where it ends up in the surface water. More or less similar processes are in place at all our plants all over the world.

To reduce our dependence on fresh water, it would be best to reuse this wastewater stream in our process. How can we turn it into usable water, whilst remaining cost-efficient?! Help us achieve 100% water reuse!

What are we looking for?

A cost-effective, innovative and smart way to recover pure water from wastewater streams, preferably with a prior industrial application either within or outside our own industry. 


What aren’t we looking for?

  • Expensive technologies such as evaporation. We are already familiar with such technologies, but they are not very cost-efficient.
  • New production process to make corn and wheat processing less water intensive. This is a separate field of research, which we are also working on, but which is not the purpose of this challenge. 
  • Applications of this residual water flow outside our own premises. This would be possible for specific locations, but our goal is to find a technology that we can apply at our own plants anywhere in the world.


What’s in it for you?

  • Chance to win a €20,000 contract to develop and test a prototype/pilot with us.
  • Chance to work in an innovative testing environment.
  • Interesting partner network.
  • Chance of a follow-up project, opportunity to scale up the pilot, or a lasting partnership after a successful pilot.
  • On top of that, you can count on the support of and cooperation with creative, inspiring specialists who will challenge you to keep improving your product


How can BioVoice benefit you?

An Innovation Contract. After concluding an innovation contract, you can get started with the development process. You’ll have access to:

  • funding (€10,000 vouchers, to be spend in the regional ecosystem on, for example, lab- and demo-facilities, NDA or IP advice, etc.)
  • (international) markets
  • knowledge and partners
  • resources and research facilities
  • business and upscaling opportunities
  • and: a launching customer!


The BioVoice program

BioVoice is an initiative of REWIN West-Brabant, Green Chemistry Campus, the joint Rabobanks of Southwest Netherlands and the province of North Brabant. Dockwize, Impuls Zeeland, Centre of Expertise Biobased Economy and Midpoint Brabant have also joined as implementation partners. Together, we want to give innovative entrepreneurs and up-and-coming biobased/circular talents the space and opportunities to develop and market their idea/product, so as to achieve our common goal: accelerating the transition to a sustainable economy. BioVoice is made possible by financial contributions from the Regional Deal for Central and Western Brabant, the Province of North Brabant, the Province of Zeeland and Rabobank.  


Conditions for participation

  • Entrants must be willing to collaborate as partners, whilst protecting each other’s respective intellectual property.
  • Entrants must be able to demonstrate a working prototype/product/service.
  • Entrants must be able to start a pilot project within 3-6 months.


Your pitch (max 6 pages / 18 slides)

  • Concept description: Describe your concept in as much detail as possible.
  • Pilot description: Please provide a brief description of what it will take to prototype and/or pilot and what you will need from us to do so.
  • Team description: Provide a brief description of the company and team that plans to work on the pilot.

There are no formal requirements for the pitch (presentations, slide decks & letters are all allowed), apart from the fact that it must be uploaded as a PDF file (A4, landscape or portrait) with a max. size of 30MB. Videos, example websites and so on can be included as links.  



  • 2nd March 2020: Challenge launches – open for entries
  • 8th May 2020 – 17.00 uur: Challenge deadline – entries must be submitted before 5 am
  • 15th May 2020 at the latest: Shortlist announcement – Announcement of which start-ups/scale-ups will be invited to introduce and explain their solution 
  • Week of 25th May or 1st of June: Digital introduction talks challengers/entrants + information sessions on IP and NDA’s
  • September ‘20: Work sessions, during which challengers & entrants seek to conclude innovation contracts + voucher granting
  • End of September 2020: Closing event – celebrating the innovation contracts and partnerships resulting from the challenge + voucher hand-outs
  • June 2020: Start of development & partnership (pilot)



If you have any questions about this challenge, please head to the contact options below. For more information about the challenge program, click here.


Background information

Cargill provides food, agricultural, financial and industrial products and services throughout the world. Together with farmers, customers, government agencies and the companies around us, we help people grow and develop, drawing on our expertise and over 150 years of experience. Our 160,000 employees in 70 countries all over the globe work every day to provide the world with responsible food, to reduce our impact on the environment and to improve the societies in which we live and work.

We buy and process grains, oilseeds and other products destined for the food and feed industries. In addition, we provide relevant services and products to livestock keepers and farmers.

We supply high-quality ingredients, including health-promoting ingredients and ingredient combinations, meet and chicken products to food and beverage companies, to service providers in the food industry and to the distribution sector.

Cargill also supplies its products to industrial users of energy, salt, starch and steel products, developing and selling sustainable products made from agricultural, renewable raw materials.

We offer financial and risk management solutions to our agricultural, food, financial and energy customers all over the world.

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