Advances in science and technology are creating new types of biological and living materials, processes and systems which are turning a growing number of buildings and other urban artefacts into metabolic, breathing organisms. These artefacts are not just efficient and ‘do less harm’, but are actually restorative and ‘give back’ to the environment.
Resource-smart architecture can generate energy, clean water, digest waste and purify air. The convergence of biotechnology and information technology applied to landscape and urban design may create a number of social challenges and at the same time it is a promising future. With that in mind, the critical question is, why are products based on intelligent living solutions not yet used to address both local and global challenges?
A possible explanation is that there’s a distinct skill and financing gap in the biotechnology sector applied to smart architecture and design. For the biotechnology sector to succeed in meeting the challenges facing cities across the world a combination of good education, good science and good business is necessary (Moses 2011). While we currently have great researchers in biotechnology, too often the commercialization and hence implementation of their discoveries stumble due to a lack of personal experience in entrepreneurship and cooperation with industry leaders (Fritsch 2010).
BUILD Solutions aim to offer an educational programme engaging students, teachers and researchers and providing them with the necessary entrepreneurial skills and connections to bring intelligent living solutions for cities to the market, investigating biological systems, creating prototypes based on information technology and digital manufacturing, business plans and working with accelerators. Solutions which in turn can help us overcome the challenges posed by rapid urbanisation.
What are BUILD solutions?
Build Consortium members are:
Institute for Advanced Architecture (IAAC)
IAAC is an international centre for research, education, investigation; one of its objectives is to develop multidisciplinary programmes that explore international urban and territorial phenomena. The Self-sufficiency Agenda, central to all research lines developed in IAAC, establishes the responsibility for confronting the process of global urbanization from multiscalar operations and through prototypes that promote environmental, economic and social sustainability.
Université de Lorraine
With more than 3,700 teaching and research faculty and approximately 57,000 students, including nearly 8,000 foreign students, the Université de Lorraine (UL) is one of France’s largest multidisciplinary universities. Its location in the heart of Europe, with borders on three European member states (Germany, Belgium and Luxembourg) offers to UL a privileged position for strong international partnerships.
Vienna University of Economics and Business
With about 27,000 students (23% are international students from 106 nations) the WU today is the largest educational institution for business and economics, business law, and social sciences in the EU. The university has not only a great experience with the coordination of large research projects, but also an extensive infrastructure and facilities to connect partners and stakeholders live or in effective video-conferencing rooms.
ERSILIA Foundation is a private no-profit institution focus both on the development of advanced educational resources and the promotion of activities in favour of innovation in education. More specifically: Encourage knowledge alliance between businesses, universities, and research centres. Share the knowledge acquired in R+D projects and make educational resources freely accessible through internet. Promote inter/transdisciplinary learning and research, enabling the inclusion of stakeholders in defining research objectives and strategies in order to better incorporate the diffusion of learning produced by the research. Facilitate the dissemination and communication of scientific, technological and humanistic knowledge, in all its manifestations.
The start-up ECONICK is based on the “agromining chain” aiming at the recovery by plants of strategic metals from secondary resources. The chain covers from cultivation of special plants on metal-bearing matrices, to harvest, and finally to process the biomass with the production of energy and recovery of metals by hydrometallurgy. Econick is the outcome of the research work conducted by 2 research institutes, one specialized in agronomy and the other in chemical engineering.
Plant-e is an academic spin-off from Wageningen University, the Netherlands. Plant-e develops technology to produce electricity with living plants as a new sustainable energy source. Based on this innovative technology, (early) products have been launched and commercialized. Plant-e executes both cutting edge (fundamental) research, sometimes in cooperation with Wageningen University, as well as commercial activities like product development and sales.
City Facilitators is an organization that coordinates, facilitates and is a thought leader on processes contributing to sustainable city development. City Facilitators participates in the projects as the connecting partner that enables future cities to meet future demands and create holistic and sustainable societies. City Facilitators was founded by faculty members of Copenhagen Business School (CBS), which is a business university. In this way, City Facilitators builds on the solid foundations of business economics and -development. City Facilitators’ focus is on cities, incl. urban finance, urban innovation and business development.
Green Tech Challenge makes green business good business. We do that by connecting the very best green start-ups in the world to investors, advisors and industry leaders through 4-day intense growth sprints. Within a year: 70% of our participants raise money, Average revenue is tripled, # of employees is increased with 67%. The goal is to leave a planet where our grand-children can eat food, drink water and breathe air without being poisoned. For that to happen new technologies, many of which come from start-ups, need to succeed commercially. And turning great start-ups into fantastic businesses is our speciality. In 2017, Green Tech Challenge worked with more than 100 start-ups and more than 60 investors.
BLOXHUB is the Nordic hub for sustainable urbanization. Founded on the belief, that the challenges of global urbanisation and climate change require new ways of collaboration. Between architecture, engineering, design thinking, construction & tech. Between research and practice. Between startups and corporates.
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