19 June 2023

Three top business schools come together at the ‘INNOVA Europe’ final held at Microsoft Italia HQ


On Thursday 15th June, three major European academic institutions – POLIMI Graduate School of Management, EDHEC Business School, and ESMT Berlin, hosted the final of ‘INNOVA Europe’ – a competition launched in 2022 to tackle societal, economic, and environmental challenges.

Supported by Microsoft Italia, INNOVA Europe invited students from bachelor to master’s level to submit innovative proposals that address any one of the specific challenges outlined in the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

With technology and innovation at the heart of this initiative, the three leading business schools from Italy, France and Germany launched this competition with the aim of generating new products and solutions to target a specific problem related to at least one of the 17 UN SDGs.

At the final event, the teams from each school – ‘Oyster2Life,’ ‘Dooda,’ and ‘One Planet’ – presented their remarkable innovations to a panel of experts.

‘Dooda’ was announced as the winning team. ‘Dooda’ produces insect-based ingredients, an alternative source of nutrition that can feed the world more sustainably. Their products are 100% natural, highly nutritive and generates zero waste. Through their sustainable agriculture system, they work on improving food security while mitigating climate change impacts.

“Dooda” will now receive €5,000 in prize money and free incubation services offered by the three academic incubators of the partner Schools – PoliHub, EDHEC Entrepreneurs, or Vali Berlin.

“Fostering entrepreneurship and driving positive impact are at the core of our school. By collaborating with EDHEC Business School and ESMT Berlin, we emphasized the importance of technology, innovation, and collaboration in creating products and solutions that have a meaningful and lasting impact. We are proud of this initiative and believe that it inspires our students to become change-makers and contribute to a better future” – explained Tommaso Agasisti, Associate Dean for Internationalization and Quality at POLIMI Graduate School of Management.

The other two finalists also impressed the panel with their creativity, dedication, and entrepreneurial spirit. ‘Oyster2Life’ aims to help and preserve the marine ecosystem, giving a second chance and life to oyster shells.

‘One Planet’ offers a simple and effective marketplace for companies that want to purchase Biodiversity credits – an economic instrument that can be used to finance actions that result in measurable positive outcomes for biodiversity.

“INNOVA Europe participants showed us what’s possible if we bring entrepreneurial insights and creative thinking together, and they really impressed us. I was also pleased to see that students were focused on creating sustainable products and businesses from the get-go because this is the way we must think and act from now on. Thank you to Microsoft Italia for sponsoring this competition and helping business students understand the enormous impact they can have on future generations.” – Ludovic Cailluet, Associate Dean, Centre for Responsible Entrepreneurship, EDHEC Business School

 “By empowering the creativity of tomorrow’s leaders, this competition works as a catalyst for change. Young innovators unite to tackle societal, economic, and environmental challenges head-on and learn to be the change-makers the world needs,” said Roland Siegers, Director of External Engagement & Early Career Programs, ESMT Berlin. 

“Digital innovation is, now more than ever, an essential enabler for the design and adoption of highly impactful and innovative solutions for sustainable development. Technologies such as Artificial Intelligence and Cloud Computing are able to combine care for the environment and support for European economic growth, and it is precisely for this reason that it is becoming essential to offer new generations of students a wealth of skills, knowledge and competences for building more sustainable economies and societies,” commented Matteo Mille, Chief Marketing and Operations Officer di Microsoft Italia.

19 June 2023

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