5-Day Innovation Challenge

Students Sprint is a vibrant 5-day innovation sprint physically taking place at NOI on February 21-25, 2022.

South Tyrolean companies are asked to come up with a business challenge they are facing within the field of the circular economy.

The Free University of Bolzano will form challenge-specific interdisciplinary teams of 3-5 students that will respectively propose solutions under the mentorship of experts and scientists.

Companies and students are invited to apply, and a committee of experts will choose three business challenges and a pool of 36 students to get started during the sprint.

The win
for businesses

  • Get fresh ideas  from and collaborate with young talents working as interdisciplinary teams;
  • Get inspired and motivated for finding new paths;
  • Boost your visibility as an innovative company that thrives on young talents.

The win
for students

  • Hands-on experience of working in an interdisciplinary team;
  • Deep-dive into the challenges companies are facing;
  • Showcase your creativity to companies and win exciting awards;
  • Apply your knowledge and skills into real-life complex problems and learn how to find innovative solutions to them.


VOG Products

Develop solutions based on apple pomace to optimise the environmental footprint of logistics in the commercial experience with apple cooperatives and their umbrella organisations, food retailers, VOG Products and the end consumers.


VOG Products elaborates 300.000 tons of fruit per year to produce concentrates, fruit pulp and consumer products. The production process results in large amounts of by-products (pomace) that could be re-used in a circular economy perspective, leveraging on multiple cascading applications, ranging from circular packaging ideas to energy production.



Generate a solution to support building contractors and buyers in the construction of circular buildings, that rethink material uses at end-of-life and supply processes, resulting in lower environmental impact.


Vivius Konsortial is an innovation cluster focusing on "Sustainable construction in alpine environment", consisting of 7 companies of the construction industry. The objective of the cluster is to rethink the construction process to deliver buildings that are socially, environmentally and economically more responsible. In particular, constructors and buyers could optimise the environmental, social and economic impacts of the building across the entire life cycle through a tool supporting the conscious choice of recyclable materials, circular building methods and local suppliers.



Design a concept (from offer, design, to business model) to rethink the canteen experience for students and employees in a circular perspective.


Markas' canteen service is facing multiple company- and market-driven challenges forcing the company to develop the concept of a circular canteen. Notably, the company has been driving efforts on food waste and plastic reduction, although the implications of the covid-19 pandemic. Furthermore, the high personnel turnover and higher customer demand levels require processes to be more efficient delivering an even higher quality level, eventually making use of automation.


Innovation Challenge: Circularity

Companies need to reframe and remodel their businesses continuously, and the circular economy is a challenging issue from various points of view. That is why the 1st Edition of the Sprint is starting with this topic.

Whatever you as a company are facing – be it business model, product and/or service oriented – let us know in the form of a challenge brief.

For more information on the circular economy contact us at 0471/066631sprint@noi.bz.it or read more at:
How to build a circular economy | Ellen MacArthur Foundation

Design Sprint Methodology

Google Design Sprint is the innovation method we stick to during our sprint.

It generates results within 5 days for challenges that could normally take up to months to solve. So, companies get inspiration from a customer-centred innovation process that leads to a minimum viable product (MVP).

Students learn from experts and mentors and experience the process from start to finish, and even test it within the target group.

To learn more about the benefits and outline of a Design Sprint as developed by Google Ventures, see The Design Sprint — GV.


How it works in detail:

  1. Day 1

    Teams take a close look at the challenges at each company’s headquarters.
  2. Day 2

    Teams interview stakeholders and customers, and then start generating their ideas.
  3. Day 3

    Teams develop an MVP, a minimum viable concept of a product, service or system.
  4. Day 4

    Teams test the MVP and obtain feedback from the target group.
  5. Day 5

    Teams pitch their MVP to the companies, the experts and invited representatives. For each challenge the jury declares the winner.

Our call

We are asking you, South Tyrolean company, to come up with an innovation challenge you are facing within the topic of the circular economy. 
We are also addressing you, unibz students, from the Faculties of Economics and Management, Computer Science, Design and Art, Education and Science and Technology.

This project has obtained financial support from the European Social Fund.