Filigrade Sustainable Watermarks B.V.

FiliGrade was founded in 2014 by Johan Kerver. Initially, the company focussed on copy detection solutions. Its invisible digital watermarks are currently successfully in use by large corporations to fight counterfeiters.

In 2016, the idea was born to find a solution for sorting and recycling plastics using “watermarks” as a way to contribute to fighting climate change and making the plastics economy circular.  In 2018, FiliGrade managed to embed the first digital watermarks in packaging. When showing this to Petcore Europe, its executive director Christian-Yves Crépet spoke the  words “either you are a charlatan, or this is the HolyGrail“.  This is where the HolyGrail 1.0 project got its name from.

FiliGrade’s CEO Johan Kerver is one of the co-founders of HolyGrail 1.0. The project, led by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, concluded that digital watermarks demonstrated a promising potential for improving post-consumer recycling and solving the challenges in achieving a circular economy. In this phase, FiliGrade used modified Digimarc technology for the development of watermarks. Today FiliGrade uses proprietary PCT patented (or patent-pending) technology for embedding digital codes in packaging. 

In 2020 FiliGrade concluded that the digital watermark technology it had developed thus far, was still too complex. To stimulate market acceptance and a win-win business case for all stakeholders, Filigrade developed a simple and cheap sorting solution which is easy to integrate in existing sorting plants. These efforts lead to the development of CurvCode, which was tested and rated at TRL level 6 in March 2021 by two independent universities.  Industrial testing of the technology as part of the Coalition 2.0 Food2Food is planned for March/April 2022. The first packaging with CurvCodes can already be found in Dutch supermarkets as of December 2021.

Since 2021, FiliGrade Sustainable Watermarks B.V. was made responsible for the technical development and commercial deployment of CurvCode development. To support the growth of CurvCode activities, Willem Hellendoorn en Marien de Lint have joined the organization as partners, while Bart Jan Constandse and Ben Noteboom have joined the Advisory Board.

Bart Jan Constandse, former CEO of Cehave and The Greenery and Chairman of the Board of Superunie until 2020, is an experienced director with a broad network within brand-owners
and retailers. Ben Noteboom is also an investor in the company.

  • Johan Kerver, founder / CEO
  • Wim Nijhof, CFO
  • Willem Hellendoorn
  • Marien de Lint
  • Bart Jan Constandse
  • Ben Noteboom
  • Han Meiberg, Business Development Director
  • Ton van Rooij, Project Director