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Climate-KIC Champions Multidisciplinary Approach at the Start of Europe’s Biggest Climate Change Summer School

London, United Kingdom, July 07, 2014 --( Europe’s biggest climate change summer school brings together nearly 300 students from across Europe to create ‘the climate entrepreneurs of the future’.

Students selected from multiple disciplines including design and architecture as well as climate science to encourage inter-disciplinary collaboration to mitigate the impact of climate change.

The five week summer school will culminate in a real-life pitch challenge judged by Europe’s leading venture capitalists, start-up entrepreneurs and scientists.

Nearly 300 students from 40 countries, representing 71 disciplines, will today embark on Europe’s largest climate change education programme – the Climate-KIC summer school. The five week-long course will offer a unique combination of academic study and real-world business experience with the aim of creating the climate change leaders of tomorrow.

Encompassing 18 locations across Europe, this year’s programme is Climate-KIC’s largest summer school to date and is divided into six separate groups. Students from each group will journey across three countries, gaining insight and experience from a selection of Europe’s best universities and most innovative businesses.

Climate-KIC’s multidisciplinary approach to climate change mitigation and adaptation is reflected in the academic background of the summer school participants: Just 34% of the students have science and environment related qualifications with the majority specialising in business, humanities, architecture and other engineering courses from aerospace to construction.

The programme culminates in a challenge where students pitch their ideas for solutions to real-world climate related issues. Based on their own creativity and climate change knowledge, students must present a detailed business plan to a judging panel consisting of venture capitalists, start-up entrepreneurs and scientists.

Building on successful partnerships with private companies such as Sainsbury’s and Schiphol Airport in previous years, this year’s participating partners include pharmaceutical company Bayer AG, Zugspitze meteorological institute, industrial biotechnical company Novozymes and leading window specialist VELUX.

Focusing on the transformation of the built environment, VELUX Group is hosting a site visit as well. Programme Director Lone Feifer commented: “We are keen to welcome the emerging talent pool of graduates that will be attending the Climate-KIC summer school. We especially look forward to entering a dialogue with the students and share insights on how innovation can help create more sustainable living in buildings and mitigate climate change.”

82% of students from the 2013 summer school said the programme improved their understanding of the business opportunities resulting from the climate change challenge. Last year’s summer school student Loulou van Ravensteijn from Wageningen University commented: “I had a fantastic time at the summer school, meeting and working with so many talented people from different areas has been very inspiring.

“Especially the practical insights into the water management issues gave me clear insights into how my degree can help counteract climate change.”

Mary Ritter OBE, Chief Executive Officer of Climate-KIC said: “People are crucial to our fight against climate change. One of our core aims is to nurture young talent and give today’s students the tools they need to make an impact on the global effort to adapt to and stop further climate change. The Summer School will give students from a multitude of backgrounds a whole new skillbase and mind-set to equip them with the entrepreneurial skills that will really make a difference.”

Throughout the summer school students will be given a thorough analysis of the challenges and opportunities presented by climate change through academic lessons and practical business and entrepreneurship tasks.

Week 1 & 2

Course leaders focus on providing students with information about climate change.
Students will attend lectures by some of the best global researchers including guest lectures from professors teaching at MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology).
Students will meet with a variety of world-leading private companies and independent start-ups to learn about business opportunities deriving from climate change challenges.

Week 3 & 4

Students will travel to the second location of their journey and focus on entrepreneurial business coaching and content.
Students will work towards a business idea to be presented at the finals in week 5.

Week 5

Students will travel to the third and final location of the journey and pitch their business cases and receive hands on feedback from a jury of experts.

About Climate-KIC
Climate-KIC is the EU’s main climate innovation initiative. It is Europe’s largest public-private innovation partnership focused on mitigating and adapting to climate change. Climate-KIC consists of companies, academic institutions and the public sector.

The organisation has its headquarters in London, UK, and leverages its centres across Europe to support start-up companies, to bring together partners on innovation projects and to educate students to bring about a connected, creative transformation of knowledge and ideas into products and services that help mitigate and adapt to climate change.

Climate-KIC is one of the Knowledge and Innovation Communities (KICs) created in 2010 by the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT), the EU body tasked with creating sustainable European growth while dealing with the global challenges of our time.

Contact Information:
Angela Howarth, Head of Communications
+44 (0) 20 7492 1972
Contact via Email

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