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Data scientist Lindsey Burggraaff has won the second edition of the Krijn Rietveld Memorial Innovation Award. She received the prize this week for her research into bioactive substances in food.
Editorial office / Leiden

The Krijn Rietveld Memorial Innovation Award was created in 2020 by Leiden University Fund and Royal DSM in honour of Krijn Rietveld (1956-2018). The prestigious award is handed out annually for the best thesis (MSc), dissertation (PhD) or post-doc research at Leiden University in the field of biosciences in combination with data sciences, to recognise and reward excellence in innovative research that contributes to a more sustainable world. Krijn Rietveld was a scientist and business leader who dedicated his life to biosciences.

Last year, plant biologist Omid Karami was the the first winner of the prize. This year, seven scientists were nominated. The jury chose Burggraaff as the winner because of the quality of her work and its multidisciplinary character. “Burggraaff’s work is situated at a unique intersection of data science, biochemistry and the fields of food and nutrition,” according to the jury. “Especially the application of a variety of artificial intelligence technologies stood out.”

Burggraaff was researching substances that make for a healthy diet for people with type 2 diabetes. The research arose from a collaboration with Unilever, that was looking for natural bioactive substances with special properties to add to their products.

AI Bioproduction

Scientists increasingly use computers in the search for active substances. For this reason, Royal DSM and TU Delft launched the Artificial Intelligence Lab for Biosciences ( Lab) earlier this year. It is the first lab of its kind in Europe to apply Artificial Intelligence, AI to bioproduction, from the development of microbial strains to large scale industrial process optimalisation and planning.

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