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.​