Cindy Gerhardt wins NBV Zilveren Zandloper Award

On 29 September 2023, Cindy Gerhardt was awarded the Zilveren Zandloper for her instrumental role in developing and strengthening the start-up ecosystem in industrial biotechnology in the Netherlands in the past few years.

Cindy Gerhardt is managing director of Planet, a unique scale up ecosystem that contributes to the transition towards a biobased circular economy. Planet provides biotech infrastructure at the Biotech Campus Delft, and offers a growing network of biotech expertise to support the growth of young biotech companies. Her efforts contributed to significant growth of biotech activity in the Netherlands, and formed a crucial basis for a 500M€ investment by ASR Dutch Science Park Fund for long-term development of the Delft location and therewith future growth of this important biotech ecosystem in the Netherlands.

In addition to this great achievement, the Zilveren Zandloper jury praised Gerhardt’s pivotal role in the conceptualization of the Cellular Agriculture programme for education, research and scale-up efforts in the realm of cultured meat, supported by a 60M€ grant from the The National Growth Fund. Furthermore, she played an important part in getting the “150 years yeast in Delft” exhibition organised, which gave the general public insight in the crucial role of microbes and biotechnology for life and earth and their potential in tacking global challenges on climate, energy, circularity and food security.

The Zilveren Zandloper Statue and € 2500,- prize money  was presented to Gerhardt by the president of the NBV Jan Wery during the Netherlands Biotechnology Congress. With this yearly award, The Dutch Biotechnology Association (NBV) honors innovations in the field of biotechnology in education and research.

Click here for more information about the NBV Zilveren Zandloper Award.