There is an industrial segment that, in terms of sustainability, “has a grand history to tell”. There is a university inside which a department focalized on innovation is operating. And there is a category association that launched a challenge for the international students that frequent the school. UNIC – Italian Tanneries promotes the initiatives, while the UniTrento School of Innovation participates it. The objective: finding “fresh innovative ideas”, explains UNIC, to “communicate the responsible innovation that characterizes Italy’s tanning industry. And to be able to “improve the perception of the segment’s processes and products”.
UNIC challenges UniTrento School of Innovation
UniTrento, explains UNIC, “holds a yearly course, as a part of its School of Innovation, focused on entrepreneurial education. The goal is to get students closer to the demands of the professional world and prepare them”. The last step of this initiative is the participation in a “Challenge Based Learning project that UniTrento organizes as a member of ECIU (European Consortium of Innovative University)”. There is reciprocity in this project: “On one end are participants that face a real challenge, and on the other are companies that have the opportunity to collect solutions and make them their own during the application phase”.
The challenge on leather
The choice of “provider” this year falls on UNIC, with its project focused on resolving the matter / urgency of communicating in a new way, the relevance and excellency of leather to a reference target of consumers between the ages of 13 and 45. Last week (November 10th and 11th), the first step of the challenge took place, involving 15 students from all over the world (on the right in photo). Simply put, the students came from Italy, Spain, India, Ukraine, Russia, Egypt, France, Japan, Finland and Bangladesh.
The kick-off meeting is concise, and after a short theoretical lesson, the practical phase began. Students have visited the inside of the Vicenza tanning district, entering tanneries Montebello, Corichem, Medio Chiampo and ILSA. This activity “offered students a complete vision of the district and the values it holds dear. They showed great enthusiasm and interest, closing this first phase with increased awareness over a segment and product that carry a reality they defined as unexpected”.
Next steps towards a solution
The project includes the division of students into groups, as a first step. Then: a preliminary revision meeting to look through the students’ projects. Lastly: the period during which “each group will present its solution to the provider’s challenge. The latter will decide which idea is the best and will be able to adopt it without reservation if it wishes to do so”. Will the students of UniTrento School of Innovation be able to beat the challenge posed by UNIC?