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Frans van Leijden Award

  1. Frans van Leijden Award


Ben Flikweert & Miles Bühlmann, Hester Schilt and Youri Timmermans are nominated for the Frans van Leijden Award 2021, announced the jury today! You can vote for your favourite from 10 May. On Thursday, 10 June 2021, eighteen months after the death of our beloved and highly esteemed colleague Frans van Leijden, the very first Frans van Leijden Award will be presented during the GROW event in tribute to him.


The jury nominated 3 candidates from 63 submissions:

  • Ben Flikweert & Miles Bühlmann, because of the incredibly impressive and fair goal that they're pursuing and wholly committed to.
  • Hester Schilt, because she is responding creatively to market developments to connect consumer and products.
  • Youri Timmermans, because he has the courage to make a difference in an industry where it's not easy to please everyone.


Professional promotional videos will be made shortly of each nominee. These will be posted on this site from 10 May. From then on, you can also vote for your favourite. Ultimately, the decision rests with the jury, which has its own vision of the criteria but will, of course, take into account the preferences of the public.


The very first Frans van Leijden Award will be presented by the jury during the GROW event on Thursday, 10 June 2021. Besides attention and publicity, the winner will receive a physical trophy and a cheque for € 1,000. This cheque can be used for a development goal related to the idea, initiative or company. This could be coaching or advice, or the purchase of a product, material or resource.


The jury consists of:

  • Yvonne Kerstens, wife of Frans, and their children: Cas en Hannah van Leijden
  • Doctorandus D.J. Pouwels, former chair of the Executive Board of HAS University of Applied Sciences
  • Ms Esther Vennekens, university lecturer and co-starter of HAS University of Applied Sciences in Venlo


During the GROW event on 10 June, students in the Limburg agri-food area will surprise the business community with fantastic, innovative agri-food concepts. It’s an opportunity for new talents to show their best side to potential employers of the future. GROW will be held (as far as possible) at the Brightlands Campus Greenport Venlo and online.

More information about the programme and registration can be found at GROW 21 | Brightlands.


Under the leadership and direction of Frans van Leijden, HAS University of Applied Sciences in Venlo became a vibrant place. To get to this stage required a pioneering spirit, a willingness to explore boundaries, think and act outside the box, the occasional breaking of imposed boundaries, and entrepreneurship, persistence and hard work. We created the Frans van Leijden Award in tribute to his work. With this award, we’d like to give a helping hand to a student or recent graduate of HAS University of Applied Sciences who shares these or similar qualities, and puts them into practice.