biobased battle


The Biobased Battle is a model for an educational development. During the battle Dutch and Brazilian students with different backgrounds work together to solve an issues that comes from a company. At the beginning of the week, the students receive an assignment from the company and throughout the week, students are subjected to some competitive elements. Students will also visit a company and follow lectures via video conference from Dutch and Brazilian lecturers/professors. The battle ensures that students must quickly turn on a complex issue and that they have to work together with students with different backgrounds, like chemical engineering and environmental sciences. This ensures that students learn to recognize each other's field of expertise and use it to achieve a good result at the end of the week. Moreover, the company can use the results. Every year Living Lab Biobased Brazil wants to organize and execute a battle with Brazilian and Dutch partners.


"Biobased Battle is an international contest in the Biobased Economy space aimed at developing novel concepts for real world challenges of a give business segment. We believe that, by decreasing the distance between University-Market, we would be better qualified to understand the challenges, demands and bottlenecks thus calibrating our expectations and helping sharpen our focus. In a intergrated and collaborative work environment, we expect to enhance the relationship with companies augmenting in number and quality our technology transfer agreements".


The Biobased Battle concept is made possible by financial support from the Dutch Embassy in Brazil.

Partners of the Biobased Battle concept

Biobased Battle 2020

In the week of December 14, 2020, the 8th Biobased Battle took place, organized by Living Lab Biobased Brazil. This time, fully online. More than 45 students from Avans Hogeschool and Universidade Federal de Ouro Preto (UFOP, Brazil) were asked to find a solution for the residual flows of rice processing (rice husks) or sugar, beer and olive oil production ( bagasse). The biobased battle works according to a pressure cook concept. On the first day, each group of 4-5 students had to come up with as many solutions as possible for one or more residual flows. On the second day, a choice was made on the basis of a multi-criteria analysis (MCA) for the best solution in their opinion. This solution was then further developed. On the last day, the groups pitched their idea to a Brazilian / Dutch Jury that consisted of Erik Lammers (province of North Brabant), Willemien van Asselt (Top Sector Agri & Food), Sergio Aquino (UFOP), Julia Mendes (UFOP) and Jappe de Best (Center of Expertise Biobased Economy). The pitches were assessed by the jury on a number of criteria such as technical feasibility, originality and market potential. In third and second place came groups who had devised a solution for the skins of rice grains. These can be used in biobased concrete or insulation mats. The group of Tim, Joanna, Samuel, Paula & Mateus was declared the unanimous winner. They opted for regional processing of bagasse from sugar and beer production into a protein bar. In addition to a nice certificate, the winning group received an offer from the province of Noord-Brabant to see whether it is possible to further develop their idea through the Brabant-wide start-up support program Braventure. A nice final to a successful week.


Biobased Battle 2019


In the week of October 21st, 2019, the Biobased Battle took place. Students from UFV and Avans worked together with a common goal: to generate a feasable idea (financially, technically, socially) to reuse tailings and residues from mining.

The tailings were very much in the spotlight earlier last year, when a dam of tailings was ruptured in Minas Gerais, causing deaths and a big environmental impact. After learning a bit more about the process of iron mining and the characteristics of the residues, the students worked in groups via video conference, to come up with sustainable and innovative ideas to tackle this problem.The group with the best idea was elected winner of the competition by a group of professors and professionals from the Brazilian side.

Biobased Battle 2018/2

In December of 2018, a second edition of the Biobased Battle 2018, an international bioeconomy competition, took place at the Federal University of Minas Gerais (UFMG), in Brazil, and at Avans University of Applied Sciences, in the Netherlands. The goal of this edition was for the students to generate a feasible idea to reduce the loss of fruits and vegetables in Brazil, and nine groups of students from both universities participated in the competition.



Some of the presented ideas were:

  - To use straw in transport boxes;

  - A digital market place to better align supply and demand of these products;

  - To create an application that promotes the sale of fruits and vegetables closer to expiration.


The international jury was composed by Caio César Coimbra (Faemg), Pierre Vilela (INAES), Guilherme Leal (CTIT), Jacomine Ravensbergen (Avans), Johan Raap (Royal Dutch Cosun) and Willemien van Asselt (Netherlands Enterprise Agency).



The ideas were pitched by the students and evaluated according to the development of the technical concept, marketing, finances and environment. The idea of using a biofilm to protect mango's won first prize in the competition. 

Biobased Battle 2018

The Biobased Battle 2018, an international bioeconomy competition, took place at the Federal University of Viçosa/Brazil (UFV) and at Avans University of Applied Sciences. Over five days of competition, Brazilian and Dutch students students were challenged to develop innovative proposals for real industry demands.



The winning group, composed by Anna Luiza Adas (Food Engineering/UFV); Isabela de Souza (Chemical Engineering/UFV); Daniel Gualhano (Agricultural and Environmental Engineering/UFV); together with Daan Vangerven and Brianna Kook of Avans University in the Netherlands, created a new biodegradable plastic. Entitled BB Plastic (Blue Biodegradable Plastic), it would consist of a main layer of thermoplastic starch between two thin layers of polylactic acid. The product differential would be the blue coloring, taken from the Clitoria ternatea extract, allowing it to be easily identified by a consumer on the shelf of a supermarket.


This type of plastic could be disposed with organic waste, thus enabling a cooperative of food industries plus agents, BlueVolution, which would use this material to generate biogas and turn it into electricity. The final proposals of the group were: (1) reduce the amount of plastics in the world, (2) reeducating of the population and (3) be harmless for the animals if they have contact with the material.


The participants worked in multinational and multidisciplinary groups simultaneously in Brazil and the Netherlands, and had the support and supervision of teachers and professionals. For the competition, nineteen UFV students were selected along with ten Dutch students, divided into five groups of five to six participants each.


Information on the 2015, 2016 and 2017 issues can be found on this site. 


Biobased Battle 2017

The preparations of the Biobased Battle 2017 are almost complete. Due to the success of the 2015 and 2016 editions, we have chosen to double the number of students. This means that in October 80 students will participate (50% NL and 50% BR). The students come from Brazil and several companies in Europe, like the Netherlands, Spain and Finland. We also sought collaboration with the Secretary of Economic Development, Science, Technology and Higher Education (SEDECTES) of the Minas Gerais State. As a result, we will work together with UEMG and UNIMONTES during the battle of 2017, in addition to our partner UFMG.


The theme of the upcoming edition is the relegation of residual streams of a Brazilian distillery producing cachaça.According to the Brazilian Agriculture, Livestock and Supply Ministry, agribusiness already stands out as the sector that most contributes the strengthening of Brazilian economy.


The production of cachaça has a great representatively in this segment, and it’s responsible for the generation of 600 thousand direct and indirect jobs. The drink stands out in the preference of the consumers, being the second drink more consumed in Brazil and third in the world. The cane vinasse is one of the by-products of sugar industry, a liquid residue obtained from the distillation process of the alcohol, with the chemical potential to be used as an organic fertilizer to achieve agriculture and animal feed industry improvements through technological innovation.


Vinasse application as fertilizer is a great opportunity to avoid of the wasting, and also to achieve economic and ecological advantages related to the use of artificial fertilizers. The residue contains between 2,5% and 7% of organically bound nitrogen and can be used on all soil types, due the fact potassium the proportion is up to 25 percent. 


The week is organized by SEDECTES, CTIT and Living Lab Biobased Brazil. The host of this edition will be the State Government of Minas Gerais in cooperation with UFMG. The company that will serve as a client during the week is Cacharia Vale Verde Betim.

Business partners Biobased Battle 2017:

Biobased Battle 2016

After the successful first edition Avans and UFMG organized the second edition of the Biobased Battle. The coffee industry was the appointed industry in this edition. 20 Dutch students and 20 Brazilian students worked together in teams of four people. The students came from different studies, such as Chemistry, Chemical Engineering, Environmental Engineering, Law and Economics and Management.


Considering the Brazilian market, the coffee production in the state of Minas Gerais is representative. With more than one million hectares planted, Minas Gerais produces more than 50% of the Brazilian coffee crop. The main export commodity in Minas Gerais agribusines and, coffee is sold to over 60 countries worldwide. Also, all the Brazilian coffee exportation to the Netherlands was from Minas Gerais in 2014. And finally, the Netherlands is the main country in Europe that traded coffee with Minas Gerais (imports and exports) in 2014. 

Furthermore, Brazil accounted for 15% of total coffee’s imports to the Netherlands in 2014, the biggest share when compared with other developing countries. The Netherlands is the eight-largest importer of green coffee in Europe, accounting for nearly 4% of all imports.  In 2014, Dutch imports of green coffee beans amounted to a total volume of 132 thousand tonnes (€328 million). The environmental impact of the industry in both countries is high and therefore interesting to work with.

Business partners Biobased Battle 2016:

Biobased Battle 2015

The dairy industry was appointed industry in the first edition of the Biobased Battle. 20 Dutch students and 20 Brazilian students worked together in teams of four people. The students came from different studies, such as Chemistry, Chemical Engineering, Environmental Engineering, Law and Economics and Management.


The dairy industry was appointed, because both the Netherlands and Brazil are major producers of dairy products. The Brazilian Ministry of Labor published that 2,840 dairy manufacturing companies are located in Brazil and 30% of these companies are located in Minas Gerais. The Netherlands produces 8% of Europe's milk production. Moreover, the dairy industry accounts for 30% of the total food industry in the country. Therefore, the impact generated by this industry in both countries is significant. Via Biobased Battle concept Avans University of Applied Sciences and UFMG want to propose solutions to both dairy industries regarding re-use of process water and residues from the production.


Some competitive elements ensured that a 'battle'' was delivered and that all students were keen to come up a good result. During the week professors from Avans and UFMG supervised the teams. At the end of the week, each group pitched their solution in front of an international jury in the Netherlands and Brazil. 

After movie Biobased Battle 2015:

Business partners Biobased Battle 2015: