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Sustainability at the core of new student competition with Microsoft Italia and three top business schools

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A competition aiming to tackle societal, economic, and environmental challenges has been launched by three major European academic institutions – POLIMI Graduate School of Management, EDHEC Business School, and ESMT Berlin.

Supported by Microsoft Italia, INNOVA Europe invites students from bachelor to master’s level to submit innovative proposals that address any one of the specific challenges outlined in the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).“Technology and innovation are the key forces behind tangible action on environmental and social sustainability. This challenge was launched precisely to provide skills and guidance to young students and entrepreneurs who are committed to devising effective solutions to address the challenges that the European Union has identified as fundamental for the coming years and to shaping a better future for all,” explained Tommaso Agasisti, Associate Dean for Internationalization and Quality at POLIMI Graduate School of Management.

With collaboration and entrepreneurial thinking at the heart of this initiative, the three leading business schools from, Italy, France and Germany believe this competition will generate new products and solutions that can target a particular problem relating to at least one of the 17 UN SDGs.

“Our economies, societies, and cultures are facing unprecedented challenges, creating both threats and opportunities. Cooperation across countries is fundamental to instigate the rapid change needed, and we believe that fostering responsible entrepreneurship as well as bringing up the contribution of student innovators can be decisive in what the future holds,” said Ludovic Cailluet, Associate Dean for The Centre for Responsible Entrepreneurship at EDHEC Business School.

The winning team will receive a prize which consists of €5,000, and vital incubation services offered by the three academic incubators of the partner Schools – PoliHub, EDHEC Entrepreneurs, or Vali Berlin.

 “With the Student Challenge for Sustainable Development Impact, we are creating a new form of international collaboration that prepares students for the challenges of tomorrow. In the process, they not only learn entrepreneurial thinking and develop innovative creativity, but they also gain access to a network from which they can benefit far beyond the competition,” said Baris Efe, manager and co-founder of Vali Berlin at ESMT.

 “Together with POLIMI Graduate School of Management, we are looking for innovators capable of promoting positive change in Italy and Europe through digital. Technological innovations, beginning with Cloud and Artificial Intelligence, are more strategic than ever for driving sustainable growth and a more equitable society. We need to join forces and put systems in place to achieve a common goal: that of ensuring a better future for ourselves and for the new generations,” said Matteo Mille, Chief Marketing and Operations Officer at Microsoft Italia.

 On February 10, 2023, the finalists will be chosen from each school. For further information, please visit the INNOVA Europe website, or contact Olivia Nieberg at BlueSky Education –

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