The Dutch Innovation Award 2018

The nominees

As you may know, Youwe is nominated for the Dutch Innovation Award 2018. In total there are just three companies nominated and as you may understand is this a huge honor for Youwe.

In addition to Youwe, KPN and Machinefabriek Boessenkool B.V. are nominated and all three organizations have been chosen by the Erasmus Center for Business Innovation research institute of the Erasmus University of Rotterdam and the research has been executed by the Erasmus Competition and Innovation Monitor. Prof.dr. Henk Volberda, who is responsible for this research, said the following: “The Erasmus Competition and Innovation Monitor is considered one of the most extensive annual surveys in the Netherlands, looking at a wide range of innovation forms. There are numerous of companies in this large dataset, including a number of outstanding companies. The three nominated companies for the Dutch Innovation Award 2018 are an example of this.”

The Erasmus Centre for Business Innovation also announced the reason why the three companies are nominated. And if we start with ourselves, we are nominated because:

“Youwe is a full service internet company with a focus on the digital transformation of its customers. Among other things, it offers cloud-based software solutions for the online channel. Often it requires solving complex issues of smart products that take the processes of the company to a higher level through the use of data, technology and algorithms. Youwe uses artificial intelligence, among other things, to better serve its clients in the field of digital transformation, intelligent multichannel commerce platforms, product information management systems or digital marketing. Most of the activities of Youwe are in the area of data warehousing, business intelligence, e-commerce platforms and the integration with the infrastructure. An example of a new solution is the ‘Best Price Calculation’. This artificial intelligence tool makes estimates of prices that competitors are expected to use in the B2B market. If new data arrives in the tool, this can lead to another recommendation of the tool for a better sales price. Furthermore, the organization recently set up a offshore branch where own developers can be deployed elsewhere. Employees take a prominent role in the company. This has to do with the shortage of suitable employees, but also partly with the high development speed in the sector. The company has developed a model for this, the so-called ‘circle model’. The circles are self-managing and form an ecosystem of specialized knowledge hubs, which together form the organization and can support each other in projects. This makes employees more involved to think along and to cooperate with its innovations and a higher speed of action. This way it is possible to start a new team quickly with this model. A completely new discipline can be started within a few days. Furthermore, Youwe strives to adequately use the knowledge, skills and talents of employees, for example by the Youwe academy (which facilitates courses) and the 9 grid (potential performance). Youwe also has a range of external partners available and she works with her clients. This could include the joint organization of events and campaigns. The company also invests significantly in new technological developments.”

Machinefabriek Boessenkool B.V.
“Machinefabriek Boessenkool B.V. is focused on designing and manufacturing machines that are a challenge for them. An example of a new solution is the Emergency drone involving wounded soldiers, they can be removed from a dangerous area without other lives being directly at risk. Another example concerns the development of a sort of flywheel that uses peaks and troughs from the electricity grid. Furthermore, the Dutch company has also developed a recycling machine which can dismantle spray cans (including contents) in an environmentally friendly way and can be completely re-used. A characteristic here is that the company, based on a specific problem of the customer, comes up with an ingenious solution that can be realized with precision equipment. The technology that underlies the solution is not always completely new (for example drones and flywheels). The novelty is more in the new application of a certain technology on which is being built.”


“KPN is active in a branch of sport where developments concerning the fourth industrial revolution have implications for its functioning. By focusing on innovation, the organization strives to play a leading role in the digital transformation of the Dutch society. Previously, the emphasis of the activities was the role of the telecom provider. However, there is a shift from traditional calls to digital services and connectivity. Through the combination of fixed and mobile services over integrated networks, KPN separates itself from its classic competitors as well as parties in its new playing field. Some examples of new activities that the organization uses are data-driven solutions (where KPN offers a data platform), cloud and security services, in-house services (such as home security or lighting), e-health services (such as monitoring or a remote ECG), and by experimenting with blockchain. With the launch of the LoRa (‘long-range low power’) network in 2015, the company anticipates the arrival of the Internet of Things (IoT). Meanwhile, more than four million “devices” are connected via KPN’s IoT networks. Due to the rapid developments in its environment, the organization uses a flexible and fast approach to new initiatives within the frameworks of data and connectivity. Staying attractive (or become more attractive) for employees, customers, and solutions that are also considered of value to the organization itself are also taken into consideration. In the case of a success, the new initiative can be scaled up. “

It is clear that all three organizations are incredibly innovative, but you and we have to wait until June 13th to find out who is going to win the Dutch Innovation Award, fingers crossed for Youwe!