Amsterdam Science & Innovation Awards 2023 for Pepijn van Rutten with Respira

December 1, 2023

Pepijn van Rutten, along with co-founder Edcel Salumbides, won the Amsterdam Science Innovation Awards (AmSIA) organized by Innovation Exchange Amsterdam (IXA) with their company Respira. Respira is developing a sensor to detect nitrous oxide in breath, with the aim of reducing traffic accidents.

In addition to the use of alcohol and drugs by motorists, laughing gas also causes many traffic accidents, resulting in dozens of deaths and injuries. There was not yet a good way to detect nitrous oxide use. Until now: Pepijn van Rutten from team Respira develops the world’s first, sensitive and reliable breath sensor for nitrous oxide detection. The police are happy with it; a major preventive effect is expected if motorists know that they can be caught abusing nitrous oxide.

The jury was impressed by the societal impact Respira can make with the nitrous oxide detection, said jury chairman Ruben Brave. “The roads become a lot safer due to the preventive effect that nitrous oxide detection can provide. In addition, the jury foresees many more possible applications, including in the medical field.”
Watch here the video of Pepijn Rutten with Respira

Impact Award presented to Toby Kiers

During AmSIA in NEMO, Toby Kiers (Demonstrator Lab Alumna) received the Impact Award in the Environment & Climate category from Chairman of the Executive Board Margrethe Jonkman. Toby Kiers received the impact award for her research of  the role of fungi in underground ecosystems. Fungi are crucial in curbing global warming through the absorption in carbon in their networks. With the Society for the Protection of Underground Networks (SPUN), she encourages more researchers in local communities worldwide to take samples from, investigate and understand underground ecosystems. Watch the video below about Toby Kiers and the impact she has achieved. Watch the video of Toby Kiers.

More information about AmSIA and the other winners can be found here.

Photography by Bastiaan Aalbersberg