Last Tuesday it was show time! 14 student teams of International Business Studies HZ presented their innovative and biobased ideas of their course to the partners; Centre of Expertise Biobased Economy (CoE BBE) and Biobased Innovation Garden Rusthoeve.

23 juni 2020

The course Customer Centered Innovation is part of the module Sustainable Business Innovation of the International Business Curriculum. In this course, Innovation and creativity skills based on research and customer journey mapping are applied by 1st year students. Students apply their creative skills in a systematic fashion using the steps of Design Thinking and Lean Startup, thus combing it with research while empathizing with the end customers.

Biobased applications and local crops

As soon as they started this process of design thinking and practical research, the students were informed about biobased applications and crops that can be grown locally. Students were invited to do research into biobased applications and were offered the possibility to consult experts of the CoE BBE and Charlotte van Sluijs, CEO Rusthoeve. This resulted in several innovative product ideas based on bio-based material and local crops.

Biobased farming

The aim of the course is showing the students that innovation and research are intertwined and that a customer centric approach is important when coming up with an innovative product idea. Moreover, finding possibilities to develop new value chains and applications within the bio-based economy is a first step in getting to know this field of business, and who knows, they made a first step into stimulating the farming sector to think more customer centered and biobased.

Charlotte van Sluijs, CEO Rusthoeve: “The agricultural sector is looking into possibilities to provide more crops that can be used to produce textiles, cosmetics, medicines, building material, etc. In this way the farming sector can contribute to a more bio-based economy; the sector can help lower our dependency on fossil fuels by using environmentally friendly alternatives for the production of customer goods.”

Biobased paint and cosmetics

Several innovative product ideas were presented to the panel by means of a short video. The panel was formed by the IBS lecturers Bianca Bijkerk and dr. Kalina Mikolajczak-Degrauwe, Project Manager CoEBBE Han van Osch, and CEO of Rusthoeve Charlotte Van Sluijs. 1st year IBS students of the HZ showed how cooperation between students, members of the agricultural sector and researchers of the Centre of Expertise Biobased Economy (CoEBBE) can enhance a stimulating learning environment, which results in interesting new product ideas based on Biobased material and local Crop. Some results are biobased paint for children, cosmetics with interesting features and biobased packing, an application of cob as building material and Big Shirts with textile based on flax.

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