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STARDUST is enriched with new ideas: an excellent success for the “Innovation Challenge” in Trento

During the COVID-19 lockdown, the city of Trento launched an Innovation Challenge open to university students. The goal is for them to team up and propose environmentally sustainable “mobility” solutions for its city and its citizens to benefit from.

Transport and Mobility
Climate Change and Environment

During the spring of 2020, the Innovation Challenge took place in Trento. This was an innovative competition, in which students from the University of Trento worked together to meet one of the main objectives of the STARDUST project: the creation of a hub for sorting and delivering goods within the city’s last urban mile, using electric means of transportation. The aim of the Innovation Challenge was to achieve greater environmental sustainability within the mobility sector. Two issues had to be addressed: On one hand, how will the competition communicate the added value of the project to the citizens and exhibitors involved? On the other hand, how will it allow participants to understand which integrated business models could be developed to continue the path towards boosting sustainable mobility? Thirty-three students of the University of Trento accepted the challenge. Coming from different academic backgrounds, the students were divided into teams and had four weeks to develop their innovative proposals. They initially studied the different concepts focused on smart cities, environmental sustainability and business models that have already been implemented in other European cities. This acted as their starting point to think about innovative and effective solutions for the city of Trento. The teams presented their proposals online on June 3 at the finale to the jury of the Innovation Challenge. Some of them are part of the STARDUST consortium: Alberto Salizzoni, councilor of the Municipality of Trento, Marco Cattani for Trentino Mobilità, Eng. Tiziano Bonella from the Municipality of Trento, Roberto Napoli, Carlo Pasquini and Alessandro Rossi for the CLab of Trento, and Alyona Zubaryeva from the Eurac Research Center. Teams tackled this challenge in various ways. Some did so using a digital approach by focusing on the creation and management of a new online portal where individual merchants could enhance their commercial network, and by relying on the new sorting centre for last mile deliveries. Others looked at the problem using an environmental stability approach by focusing on the enhancement of a delivery service within the historic centre by exploiting a mobility system that runs entirely on renewable electricity. The use of electric bicycles, for example, will drastically reduce pollution, and will speed up delivery times. The rest addressed the economic potential of the initiative. They proposed to increase and to exploit the new goods sorting centre among the shops that are involved in the fresh food supply chain business. These small local merchants can receive, manage and then deliver orders using a new online portal that will not only raise the number of customers but will also decrease its environmental impact. Many brilliant ideas arose during the challenge, and the participants surpassed the jury’s expectations. They were able to adopt a macro-vision, starting from the search for the best European initiatives, and from there, they created a micro-solution tailored to the municipality of Trento, by taking into account the reference population, their daily habits and their desires. At the end of the presentations, all projects had hit the mark: they had all come to completely different conclusions but, at the same time, they were aware that there is no single solution to a problem. Despite this difficult choice, teams 2 and 3 were made the winners. Team 2, with the motto “Inspirations from the Future”, studied the problem of the constant and often polluting transportation of materials... Read the full article at the following link:


Innovation challenge, environmental sustainability, mobility, smart cities, digital approach, pollution