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Omid Karami wins Krijn Rietveld Memorial Innovation Award

Plant scientist Omid Karami is the first winner of the Krijn Rietveld Memorial Innovation Award. The jury praises the outstanding quality of his scientific research as well as the positive societal impact and commercial potential of his work.

Omid Karami

Through an online meeting on 5 June, Omid Karami received the news that he is chosen as this year’s winner of the Krijn Rietveld Memorial Innovation Award. Karami, who works as a postdoctoral researcher at the Institute of Biology Leiden (IBL), receives a sum of 10,000 euros to connect his scientific achievements with commercial and industrial opportunities. Head of the jury Wim Klop from Royal DSM brought Karami the good news and was the first one to congratulate him, along with Scientific Director of the IBL Gilles van Wezel and Karami’s supervisor Remko Offringa.

Plant longevity

Karami’s research focusses on the molecular basis of plant development. Recently, he published about his work in the renowned journal Nature Plants. He discovered a gene that is involved in plant longevity and allows annual plants to grow after flowering, instead of dying. These results may be promising for example in agriculture, where many of the crops are annuals. It now becomes conceivable to harvest multiple times from the same crop, and thus increase the yield per plant.

Brighter society

The Krijn Rietveld Memorial Innovation Award is an initiative of Leiden University Fund and Royal DSM in honour of Krijn Rietveld (see frame), to recognize and reward excellence in innovative research that contributes to a brighter society. It is the first time the award is handed out. The award will be given annually to the best thesis (MSc), dissertation (PhD) or post-doc research at Leiden University in the field of bio-sciences or data sciences in relation to nutrition.

About Krijn Rietveld

Krijn Rietveld (1956 – 2018) dedicated his life to bio-sciences. In 1985 he received his PhD from Leiden University, after which he started his life-long career at Royal DSM. Rietveld was known for his optimism and sense of humour and knew how to build bridges between business and the academic world. For him, science and innovation were all about looking at the world, studying the challenges we face and working together across disciplines to deliver innovative solutions that contribute to our planet and the people living on it. His ideas form the basis of the Krijn Rietveld Memorial Innovation Award.

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