An opportunity to apply for the development of a business idea in the innovation promotion project
Latvia University of Life Sciences and Technologies (LBTU) participates in the NOBALIS international project, the aim of which is to analyse and promote innovations in the higher education process. As part of the project, students and student-stuff teams are invited to apply for the development of innovative business ideas for food, biotechnology or bioresource products or services.
Participation in the program provides international experience, as teams from universities in Latvia, Estonia, Norway and Sweden participate in the program.
Within the framework of the innovation promotion program, three stages are implemented: a Hackathon, a Mentoring program and a Demo Day.
The program starts with a Hackathon on October 4, 13.00-17.00 (CET). The Hackathon will involve the initial development of ideas. Within one week after the Hackathon, all teams are invited to submit idea descriptions, based on which the best teams are selected to continue their participation in the mentoring program.
The Mentoring program includes 3 seminars on such topics as sustainable product development, sales and marketing, fundraising (public and private), pitching skills, etc.
On December 13, on the Demo Day, the teams will present their business ideas to an international jury, claiming the main prize of 1000 EUR and other prizes from NOBALIS universities.
The program is conducted in a hybrid format - online sessions and face-to-face activities at the university represented by the team.
In the first innovation development program of the NOBALIS project, 30 teams from the project's member states applied for the hackathon. On the demo day, nine teams presented their ideas to the jury, including several teams from LBTU. Students from the Faculty of Economics and Social Development (ESAF) developed an idea for the production of protein supplements from Spanish nudibranchs, which was well received by the jury and thanks to which the team won the award-winning 3rd place.
The representative of the team, Felipe A. Nuno, a 4th-year student of the bachelor study program "Economics" admits: "To broaden my horizons was that draw me exactly to join the NOBALIS hackathon. In the NOBALIS project together with different mentors we research, how to use different resources and innovation to create a product, and in the result how to implement it, manufacture and produce, and how to test it and brake into the market. The main difference in NOBALIS project in the comparison with regular study process is the great international collaboration that we did – in every step of the way we had different experts guiding us, if there were any questions arising, they were always there for us."
In 2021, the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) launched a new initiative "HEI Initiative: Strengthening Innovation Capacity for Higher Education", with the aim of promoting the innovation ecosystem and partnerships in Europe, highlighting the role of the knowledge acquisition process in the creation of innovation. The NOBALIS (Nordic Baltic Universities boosting entrepreneurial and innovation systems) project is one of the projects financed by the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT), which is implemented by partner universities and institutes in Norway, Sweden, Estonia and Latvia. Latvia is represented in the project by the Latvian University of Biosciences and Technologies (LBTU).
Information about NOBALIS project is available at: https://nobalis.eu/.