Key findings pathfinder project “Sustainable Campus Launching Customer”

Sustainable Campus foto EA klein Last spring the Climate-KIC Pathfinder project “Sustainable Campus Launching Customer” (SCLC) has come to an end. The project team of SCLC would like to share some key findings of the project with the Climate KIC community.

The SCLC concept
Campuses have all it takes to invent and develop sustainable system innovation: brilliant minds, international networks with governments, companies and other scientists, sufficient space and access to equipment and future generations to make climate innovation happen. However the test-bed function, including testing technologies and University Real Estates’ has been underutilized. This project helped to narrow the often experienced gap between researchers and operations staff to start experimenting more and more at the university campus.

The main trigger to start the project was the observation more and more sustainable technology innovations are available. However, these technical solutions often lack crucial strategies and processes for real economic, environmental and behavioral change to turn these technology inventions into real innovations for serious positive societal impact. Learning between project partners how to set up these strategies and sharing several technologies with each other has been the main outcome of this project to make more use of their own university campuses grounds as test-beds for innovation.

Technologies and valorization-processes: diamonds!foto 3
Best practices of campus sustainability approaches different Universities have started and research-valorization examples were shared amongst the partners. This network came up with the best examples of technologies university campus stakeholders are working on, called ‘diamonds’ and were assembled in a digital open community at the project website Project partner Utrecht University showed a selection of sustainable research diamonds to a wider community in a temporary greenhouse at the university campus. You can find a blog post and pictures here (Dutch only).

SCLC for the future
This Pathfinder project has been a catalyst for a transition at university campuses, to use the science parks as a test bed for ‘in-house’ developed innovations. For an impression, please watch this and a short documentary. By the end of the project, two more academic Climate KIC partners joined the consortium, which proofs the potential for this concept. The project website will stay live and a part of our collected Diamonds will be integrated in the Valoriz platform, an initiative of the Climate KIC Education pillar, which will be launched at the Climate Innovation Event on June 17th in Utrecht.

Take a look at Valoriz.

Showcase and call for more Living Labs

In July was launched, a website showcasing living labs in Delft relating to the environment, the economy, housing, healthcare, people and mobility. The municipality has appointed its very own living labs case manager who can help interested parties who would like to try out their idea, invention or innovation as a living lab in Delft.

For more information see

Creating University campuses as regional climate innovation engines throughout Europe

With the start of the pathfinder project Sustainable Campus Launching Customer (SCLC), the first steps were taken to create an European campus network with campuses functioning as regional climate innovation engines. SCLC aims to bring climate innovation research into the market, making use of the nine European university campuses as test-beds prior to implement climate innovations into the market. As a first step best practices of approaches and research-valorisation examples were shared amongst the partners. Secondly all campuses were visited by TU Delft and Utrecht Sustainability Institute to start the inventory of potentially significant innovative research with the ability to be implemented.

Andrew Todd, Warwick University:
“The site visit was a fantastic opportunity to view sustainability issues through fresh eyes and bring the experience and expertise of other universities into discussions with Warwick’s researchers and campus management.”

Three pilot campuses, Delft, Berlin and Utrecht, are chosen to demonstrate the lessons learnt of the first phase in this project later this year. The site visits also aimed to start the strategic discussions about the role of the campus in bringing research to the market via innovation. Next steps in the project are to formulate the regional demand for innovation, exchange and test the innovations on different campuses and finally implement them in the right markets throughout Europe.

Károly Bakos, University of Debrecen:
“The dedication of a transition team can boost these innovations and innovative and sustainable thinking in itself, but adding up with the collaboration of these groups across Europe we can only see clear benefits for our institute.”

Jeroen Nagel, Utrecht Sustainability Institute:
“It was very nice to hear an Executive Board member summarise my presentation as a new meaning of the concept sustainability. From looking at your organizations footprint to the campus’ role as sustainable innovation engine to generate positive impact for your region and beyond.”