InnovPlanet - Summer School
Free 3-week course where you will develop entrepreneurial skills and acquire knowledge about sustainable agriculture and targeted nutrition to create a new innovative product
There is only one planet Earth. Yet, by 2050, the world will be consuming as if there were three. At the same time, the European Commission acknowledges that 2/3 of our soils are degraded, estimating that Europe can only provide 60 more crops if soils are not restored. We are facing all of this under a scenario of climate change. This programme offers a unique and intensive immersion on the topics of sustainable agriculture by linking the role of soil health to target nutrition towards better health and wellbeing.
Guided by an entrepreneurial mindset participants will think of solutions to challenges under sustainable agriculture: how to promote local produce, enhance ecosystem services such as biodiversity and soil carbon sequestration, and reduce children obesity through Mediterranean diet products under the digital framework. Participants will have the opportunity to ideate around these topics namely on how sustainable agriculture can improve nutrition and increase safety and consumer confidence in the food systems, with the support of real examples of the digital transformation in agri-food.
We are seeking undergraduates, MSc students, PhD students, Postdoctoral researchers, young professionals and/or aspiring entrepreneurs interested in innovating in the food system and in improving the lives of specific segments of the population by providing them with safer and healthier products. We are interested in enrolling individuals from multidisciplinary backgrounds (e.g. Food Science, Other Sciences, Engineering, Business/ Marketing, Informatics and Computational Science).
InnovPlanet Summer School will integrate entrepreneurship training with food system innovation, enabling you to create solutions to global challenges such as climate change and health.
The programme has been developed, and will be delivered by an outstanding collaborative group composed of European universities, institutes, food industry companies, farmers, and agri-food startups. This unique programme features teaching by highly skilled mentors in entrepreneurship in the food system from Food4Sustainability (Portugal), University of Beira Interior (Portugal) and Lunds University (Sweden).
The programme is augmented by world-class specific entrepreneurship teaching, which will be delivered by a team from the BGI - Building Global Innovators (Portugal).
You will work in interdisciplinary teams with personal mentoring/coaching by experts from the universities, start-ups and companies throughout the 3 weeks of the programme. Your team will receive feedback on your ideas after pitching them in front of an expert jury.
Training in entrepreneurship and innovation in sustainable agriculture and targeted nutrition can create career opportunities for you as a university student, early career researcher and young entrepreneur:
- Through the creation of start-ups based on the ideas developed during the summer programme
- By boosting your chances of being employed by start-ups, SME and bigger companies across the sustainable food system.
- By improving your chances of being employed in local, national and international activities in administration, teaching and training
- By improving your chances of being employed by NGOs and media companies
The training of students on sustainable and smart farming can make a difference for the current and future generations that will have a reference to follow due to this capacitation. The creation of new businesses will provide a reduction in the current sectoral unemployment but also fill a gap in sectoral innovation.
Duration & Dates
The course lasts 3 weeks, July 4th to July 15th (exclusively online) and week 3 will run from 25th to 29th for the students selected from the final assessment of week 2.
Audience & Eligibility
University students (more info under Objectives)
Registration Open & SeatsOpen
LocationOnline (1st and 2nd weeks) + onsite (portugal; 3rd week)
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Structure & Modules
A cohort of motivated participants from across Europe will join our InnovPlanet Inspire Summer School. Over 2 weeks, the programme will provide a dynamic and supportive environment for you to develop your knowledge of sustainable agriculture and smart farming techniques, and to explore the development of food products for targeted groups of the population. During the full programme, you will develop your entrepreneurial mindset and learn how you can transform your ideas into business propositions. At the end of week 2, the top-performing applicants will be invited to travel to Portugal for week 3 (25th - 29th July), where they will further develop their knowledge on circularity, sustainable value chains, green finance, among others. The applicants' entrepreneurial skills will also be trained for the final pitch competition.
During the first and second weeks, the programme will take place online with a combination of asynchronous learning resources and live (synchronous) interactive virtual sessions:
- July 4th. Welcome session and general introductions to the course syllabus
- July 5th. The soil: biotic and abiotic perspectives and their involvement in soil fertility
- July 6th. Soil management: current practices and case studies
- July 7th. Ecosystem services and carbon farming
- July 8th. From the soil to the gut: impact of food in health. Targeted nutrition
- July 11th. Sustainable diet principles
- July 12th. Applied systems science in food system transformations. Systems Modelling
- July 13th. Smart farming and Remote sensing.
- July 14th. Energy-saving processes for sustainable agriculture. Precision agriculture and smart irrigation.
- July 15th. Assessment
- July 25th. Welcome session and introduction. The connection between smart farming and circularity
- July 26th. Sustainable value chains. Design thinking methodologies.
- July 27th. Green finance. Open labs onsite visit.
- July 28th. Pitch clinic and training. Open labs onsite visit.
- July 29th. Final pitch competition