Marc Cornelissen Brightlands Award 

Challenging pioneers to create a sustainable world

The need to push the boundaries of sustainability is becoming ever
more obvious. The United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals provide direction to this sustainability transition. In practice, however, this road is often littered with bumps and potholes that stand in the way of arriving at breakthroughs that matter. It is a road paved with patience that is reserved solely for true sustainability pioneers with a mission.

The Marc Cornelissen Brightlands Award is a way of encouraging talented pioneers to persevere, show courage and leadership on the road to achieving their dream. The award competition offers all participants a Brightlands platform for knowledge, networking and collaboration, and for the winner, a cash prize of €35,000 to accelerate the realization of their dream. 

Marc Cornelissen Brightlands Award 2021


25 sustainability pionieers working on  innovations for

Tomorrow’s life

6 candidates are selected by the jury to the pitch event on December 8.

Marc Cornelissen (1968 - 2015) was just such a sustainability pioneer who displayed courage and leadership in tackling climate change up untilthe day he died. In order to create a sustainable world, we need many talented pioneers like Marc. Learn more about Marc Cornelissen and his legacy:

Suggest a pioneer or apply yourself and win a cash prize of €35,000 to accelerate the realization of a dream. 

Marc Cornelissen Brightlands Award

Sustainable world

The Marc Cornelissen Brightlands Award is intended for candidates who set themselves apart in keeping with the spirit of Marc Cornelissen in their collaborative leadership and cross-border partnerships to make our world more sustainable. Candidates are able to fulfill the role as ambassadors of this award and that of the Brightlands organization.

Marc Cornelissen

Thinking, dreaming, daring and doing, across geographical, scientific and organizational boundaries: this was who Marc Cornelissen was until his unexpected death in 2015. As a professional adventurer he had one passion, creating a sustainable world, and he was not afraid to choose paths other than the traditional ones to achieve this goal.







Brightlands is a community of 24,000 ambitious entrepreneurs, researchers and students. They team up at the four Brightlands campuses to take on global challenges in health, sustainability, digitalization and nutrition. Brightlands is the initiator and co-namer of this award and facilitates the organization of the event, fundraising and candidate recruitment. 

Award Prize




The Marc Cornelissen Brightlands Award consists of a memento and a cash prize of € 35,000. The amount is to be spent on the activities identified by the candidate during the application and nomination process.

Candidates and application

Sustainable people and planet

Candidates set themselves apart through their collaborative leadership to make the world more sustainable

Talent that celebrates Marc's spirit

Promising entrepreneurial talent with courage and leadership to realize innovative solutions for the sustainability challenges of our society for present and future generations.


Candidates originate from all over the world.  


Application deadline for candidates 

November 15th, 2020

Pitches from top candidates: 

December 8th 2020, Venlo

Announcement of finalists: 

December 8th, 2020

Awards ceremony: 

January 20 2021, Geleen

Become a friend

If you want to support the Marc Cornelissen Brightlands Award and young enthusiastic, progressive entrepreneurs and researchers, you can make a donation to become a Friend of Marc Cornelissen Brightlands Award.

Learn more about the details and benefits.

Previous editions

Winner first edition

Martine Bouman

Winner second edition

Bart Knols

Winner third edition?

Marc Cornelissen Brightlands Award Partners:

Stichting Marc Cornelissen Brightlands Award

Postbus 18 

6160 MD Sittard-Geleen

Subscribe to our newsletter

© 2020 by Foundation Marc Cornelissen Brightlands Award | Privacy policy

Follow us on: