© 2018 by Foundation Marc Cornelissen Brightlands Award

6 december 2018

Malaria fighter Bart Knols winner of the Marc Cornelissen Brightlands Award 2018

Dr. Bart Knols, MSc (1965, Meerssen) is a medical entomologist affiliated with Radboud University in Nijmegen, and an author and entrepreneur who has been working on the fight against malaria for many years. Bart Knols is working on the development of an inexpensive trapping system that can exterminate malaria mosquitoes sustainably and without the use of insecticides. 

Led by chairman Maria van der Hoeven, the jury had previously chosen three finalists from the eighteen submissions for the award. In addition to Bart Knols, the other two finalists were inventor and (sustainability) artist Ap Verheggen, and the nomination of two Maastricht medical students, Matthijs Bosveld and Sjim Romme, founders of the Mens Achter de Patiënt (“person behind the patient”) platform.

Jury report

The jury report describes Bart Knols as “a man with a passion for the most urgent global problems”. The sustainable way Knols chooses to rid the world of malaria is what held particular appeal for the jury; his method will undoubtedly also be applicable to other infectious tropical diseases in the future. According to the jury, Knols’ intrinsic motivation, his connection to all of the 

knowledge available worldwide - not the least of which includes his ties to the local population - and his perseverance are qualities that make him the ideal match for the work done by Marc Cornelissen and that being carried out at Brightlands.


Bart Knols plans to spend most of the 35,000 Euro cash prize on further research to fight malaria. As a researcher, he lived in Africa for eleven years and contracted the disease nine times during that period.  Bart Knols works closely with an international team to develop the trapping system to exterminate mosquitoes. As members of the international research team, two young Tanzanian researchers will receive a Marc Cornelissen Brightlands Fellowship stipend. Bart Knols also wants to use the award to write the book, Malaria: the then, the now, the endin 2019. The award winner announced he would like to dedicate the book to Marc Cornelissen. 


The Marc Cornelissen Brightlands Award is an initiative of the Marc Cornelissen Brightlands Award Foundation. This award is an homage to Marc Cornelissen, the polar explorer and sustainability pioneer who perished during a polar expedition in 2015. The award is presented each year to a man or woman who, in the connecting spirit of Marc Cornelissen and Brightlands, can also inspire other entrepreneurs, researchers and students in their expedition to a sustainable world.

This year was the second time the award was presented. The first Marc Cornelissen Brightlands Award was presented last year to Prof. Dr. Martine Bouman, founder of the Media & Health Center (CMG) and special professor of Entertainment Media and Social Change at Erasmus University in Rotterdam.

28 november 2018

Three finalists for Marc Cornelissen Brightlands Award

The names of the three finalists for the Marc Cornelissen Brightlands Award have been announced. They are inventor/artist Ap Verheggen, malaria expert Bart Knols, and the third finalist is actually a joint nomination, Matthijs Bosveld and Sjim Romme, founders of the Mens Achter de Patiënt (the person behind the patient) foundation.

On Thursday, December 6, the winner will be announced. The jury, chaired by Maria van der Hoeven, chose these three finalists from a total of 18 submissions. Not only is this a nice number, but according to the jury, the candidates were all of a high caliber. Who, in the jury’s eyes, is the person who, in the connecting spirit of Marc Cornelissen and Brightlands, can also inspire other entrepreneurs, researchers and students in their expedition to a sustainable world? And who will be able to apply the 35,000 Euro cash prize toward making their ambitions a reality? We’ll all find out on December 6.

The three finalists have all provided brief introductions of themselves and what they do. The person who is announced as the winner on December 6 already knows how they plan to put the prize money to good use.

9 august 2018

Application deadline moved towards October 15, 2018

Do you have what it takes to win the 2018 Marc Cornelissen Brightlands Award? Perhaps you know someone who satisfies the winning criteria: someone who looks beyond geographic, scientific and organizational borders and who is working to create a more sustainable world through connecting leadership. Registration is open until October 15, 2018. The jury will nominate three candidate winners and invite them to join the ceremony in December 2018.

16 march 2017

Martine Bouman wins Marc Cornelissen | Brightlands Award 2017

The 2017 Marc Cornelissen | Brightlands Award has been awarded to Martine Bouman. Entertainment and education make sure that the supply of information on health and a sustainable lifestyle become more effective. It helps to reduce the major differences in health in this country. According to the jury, Martine Bouman has tapped into a theme that is extremely relevant for today’s society and for future generations.

Reducing socio-economic differences in health
Martine Bouman is a special professor of Entertainment Media and Social Change at Erasmus University in Rotterdam, and academic director of the Media & Health Center in Gouda. Over 20 years ago, she observed that the lack of effective communication is one of the main factors causing people with a lower socio-economic status to live considerably shorter lives and suffer from health inequalities. More than 1.3 million people have difficulty understanding the information they see in brochures and on websites, and reading and understanding the instructions for the use of medication and living healthy lives, for example. These facts have major consequences for their health and welfare. Reducing socio-economic differences in health is an important driver motivating her work.


Entertainment education as groundbreaking formula
She has created connections between the entertainment world, including companies such as Endemol, and the world of health, science and education via television series and online campaigns, research and educational programs. Entertainment education has become a groundbreaking formula that has garnered national and international recognition from business and government. As the winner of the Marc Cornelissen Brightlands Award, Martine Bouman wants to embark on her next “expedition” that will ensure that the new players in the media landscape unite to form a hub focusing on the themes of sustainability, health and social tolerance; these individuals would include screenwriters, serious game designers, storytellers or bloggers. This is what is necessary to ensure that communication is customized to the target audience, and in this way, can make a significant contribution to meeting the challenges in health and sustainability.


Innovative and daring approach
Jury chairman Maria van der Hoeven: “We are extremely impressed with Martine Bouman’s work. She has tapped into a theme that is extremely relevant for today’s society and for future generations. Her mission is not yet complete, due in part to a society and media landscape that are subject to change. We were particularly taken with the originality of her approach to this complex set of problems. It is not possible to solve challenges such as these with even more technology. What is really necessary is knowledge and insight into people’s behavior and social context, and mostly, how we can reach them. Martine Bouman has also had the courage to place a more or less secure academic career in the balance, and during her expedition, did not allow herself to be daunted by the philosophy of ‘measurement is key’. Time after time, she managed to complete successful expeditions using a creative approach, making government and business aware of the fact that there are other means necessary to bridge this health gap in society. We would be thrilled if other initiatives in the field of sustainability and health could also benefit from her expertise.

In short, Martine Bouman is working on a process that is bearing fruit, thanks in part to her innovative and daring approach. She shows that she will not quit before her mission is accomplished, and she is well on her way to moving bricks around in the proverbial foundation. She has managed to get a large group of followers with diverse backgrounds and expertise involved.”

15 april 2019

Bart Knols, winner of the Marc Cornelissen Brightlands Award 2018 is currently in Tanzania.

There he bundles through the Ifakara Health Institute his passion, knowledge and strengths with local innovators in the fight against malaria. In the spirit of Marc Cornelissen to make the impossible possible.