Circular Economy in the Food System

Challenges in the food system require a mind-shift and a thrilling change in the awareness and competencies of young people. Skills for the Future is a one-year challenge giving students (15 -19 years old) in southern Italy the skills to bring the food economy toward a sustainable future.

With mentorship from agro-food sector leaders, students take on the challenge to reduce food waste and increase efficiency in the food system to the realisation of winning project-ideas through an eye-opening and skill development training.

Company Programme 2020-2021

Students who participated in the Idea Camp 2020 further developed their business ideas in the Company Programme 2020-2021. At least two mentors helped each student class and guided the students to the final implementation of their product or service.

On 19 May 2021, a final Regional Competition was organised for all the teams involved in the Skills for the Future programme in Italy. 22 business ideas from 20 different student classes participated in the online competition. Students showed their business solutions to a jury composed of ten local agricultural entrepreneurs and professionals active in regional and national businesses and start-ups.

Two teams were selected to participate in the National Company Programme, which was held online on 3 June 2021:

  • Agridron – the team developed a monitoring system for fields and crops with the use of drones, sensors, and weather stations which would help farmers to reduce crop waste.
  • ECO-OZON – the team developed a device to sanitise air and water using ozone. The device was prototyped and shown during the competition. The team also won the “Client Focus Award” during the competition.

Italy Idea Camp 2021

The Idea Camp in Italy was held online on 25-26 November 2021, where 140 students, 13 teachers, and 23 industry mentors were present. On the first day, students developed business ideas with the help of school teachers and mentors from the University of Catania. On the second day, each team presented their ideas through a three-minute pitch and a presentation.

Students worked on one of the following three challenges:

  1. Food losses and/or waste
  2. Agriculture 4.0
  3. Healthy nutrition and prevention of non-communicable diseases

After students presented their ideas and video pitches, an expert jury gave them feedback and suggestions on developing and taking their ideas forward to the Company Programme.

The best ideas were the following:

We Are Looking for Mentors!

Join us and share your knowledge and experience with student teams a few times over the academic year.