The new EU project Nobalis to promote innovative and sustainable business ideas
Nobalis is a Nordic-Baltic consortium of five higher education institutions which was established to develop entrepreneurship and innovative business ideas with focus on sustainable food production, circular economy, and development on new green value chains. The project now enters the next stage and was recently granted SEK nine million for continued activities in 2023.
Nobalis is intended to increase the capacity of students, teachers, researchers, and administration to think and act in an innovative and entrepreneurial way. The project started in summer 2022 and is divided into two stages. The funding comes from the EIT HEI initiative (European Institute of Innovation & Technology Innovation and Capacity Building for Higher Education) and the EU.
The first stage, which was concluded in December, has primarily focused on arranging support for students’ business development and development of course elements for integration of entrepreneurial elements in teaching. During the period, some 150 students took part in such training.
“Now the project enters the next stage and a few weeks ago we got were informed that EIT grants an additional SEK nine million for the upcoming stage, from January to June 2023. This makes it possible to scale-up all activities and to include more students, teachers, researchers, and administrative staff”, says Per Servais, professor at the Department of Marketing and director for Linnaeus University’s part of the project.
A number of concrete activities are planned for this spring, such as hackathons, implementation of syllabi, and start-up support and mentorship through which students as well as academic and non-academic staff will receive training in entrepreneurship and innovation.
Some more specific areas that the project will focus on and support are, for instance, new health-promoting food products, sustainable packaging methods and technologies, use of renewable, biological resources in food products, and sustainable waste management.
“One of the greatest benefits of this type of collaboration is that we can map out and share good examples between the different higher education institutions. In the joint learning and development between the institutions, we ensure that the transfer of skills is optimised”, Servais concludes.
All Nobalis partners
- Linnaeus University
- Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences
- Norwegian University of Life Sciences
- Latvian University of Life Sciences and Technology
- Estonian University of Life Sciences
- Ard Innovation (Norway)
- Baltic Innovation Agency (Estonia)