The Climate KIC Journey is a 3-week summer school program that "has been especially created for students from outside Europe and will introduce [students] to 21 of the continent’s cutting-edge low carbon research centres and business initiatives." The program takes place in various locations over the course of the summer. One of its attendees provides an inside perspective on this amazing program.
Trip to Rimini. Photo: Muhammad Awais]
Journey 3 – Bologna – Munich – Helsinki
Weeks 1 and 2 (02 – 15 July 2017)
In an ever-changing, technology-driven world, the significance of innovative research in climate change science increases exponentially. I wholeheartedly believe that technical competence and application of core engineering principles will help solve majority of the climate related problems. In my experience so far in the Climate KIC Journey, I have witnessed the impressive convergence of multiple disciplines, enabling knowledge transfer and interdisciplinary collaboration, which are essential qualities for innovative ideas.
My first leg of the Journey in Bologna, Italy included a variety of activities like networking, team building, climate startup and several site visits. The networking event started with a ‘get-to-know’ event followed by a treasure hunt in the old town of Bologna. The Journey participants came from different parts of the world and varied backgrounds to focus on one theme – fighting climate change. Lectures were delivered by professionals and academics from different fields of climate science. One of the interesting topics was fighting food waste where the participants were given hands-on training by EUROSPAR, Italy. Sessions on electric mobility were delivered by Italy’s largest electric bicycle producer, “FIVE”, to emphasize the importance of an e-transition.
On 07 July 2017, we travelled to Rimini, Italy – a small town south of Bologna for the “Creative Industries and Sustainable Tourism” session hosted by the municipality of Rimini. The ever-growing $1260 billion global tourism industry generates enough carbon dioxide emissions that, if it were considered it’s own country, it would rank third among major contributors to global warming, after China and the United States of America. The importance of sustainable tourism and community-based tourism was explained to the participants. The tour also included a 3D printing workshop where we were taught how to model materials of our choice with Computer Aided Design (CAD) software and print them.
The second week of the Journey comprised of the team formation and selection of themes aligned with climate change. Some of the topics of the groups were sustainable mobility, sustainable fast fashion, energy markets, mixed materials, food waste and more. The teams worked on challenges within the themes to identify solutions and create a presentation. The proposal was then pitched before a panel of judges from University of Bologna, ASTER and Climate KIC Director of Italy.
A nice way to end the exhausting two weeks was to have a traditional midsummer eve celebration in Bologna. Climate KIC organised a dinner in the old railway yard of Bologna Centrale with the blissful sunset and wine, with more networking.
Throughout the Journey, sustainable and green practices were employed to keep the carbon footprint of the Journey to a minimum. This includes walking for short distances, using public transport, cycling, using reusable lunch boxes, staying in sustainable and energy friendly accommodations, travelling by trains and ferries between the three locations, using bio-plastic bags among others. The food provided during the official meetings was vegetarian to promote a healthy and sustainable diet. A reusable thermos was provided for coffee which could be used throughout the Journey and plastic bottles were recycled after use for a refund.
Such practices had a huge impact on the participants and similar practices should be adopted in future InnoEnergy Programs.
After the first two weeks in Bologna, Italy. Photo: Kiran Rajan Dayal
Bicycle trip in Bologna, Italy. Photo: Kiran Rajan Dayal
The Journey Ahead
The impact of one million people from the developed world has a direct effect on the three million and more in the developing world. As the future game-changers, it’s our responsibility to stand up against climate change. The Climate KIC Journey is one such collaborative environment where I believe I have access to highly competitive minds and the research environment required to produce innovative climate tools. I relish this opportunity in the Journey and I am looking forward to the next week in Munich.
in collaboration with The CommUnity Post