According to the German Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture, approximately 11 million tons of food end up in the garbage in Germany every year. This corresponds to approximately the same amount of CO2 greenhouse gas emissions. Avoiding food waste is therefore an active way of protecting the environment and the climate. Students at the Technical University of Hamburg have therefore set themselves the task of helping citizens to reduce the amount of food they throw away. They developed their solutions as part of the master's course "Product Planning" in cooperation with the AN Institute HiiCCE, an association of the Hamburg City Sanitation Department, the Hamburg University of Technology and the former JOMA Umwelt-Beratungsgesellschaft.
How can the amount of discarded food, whether processed or not, be reduced in private households? This was the central question of the three-day innovation workshop. The students were asked to consider all aspects from purchasing and transport to storage, preparation and disposal. "Our student teams went through an intensive innovation process for this. Part of this included user interviews, developing concepts, building prototypes and presenting the results at HiiCCE," says course leader Professor Moritz Göldner, who heads the Data-Driven Innovation working group at TU Hamburg.
The solutions proposed by the course participants ranged from an app for tracking food and its expiration dates to food trucks and a label on food that indicates the correct storage method. The winning team selected by HiiCCE developed an eye-catching campaign to raise awareness about food waste. This idea will now be further tested internally by HiiCCE as a second step. "I am thrilled by the diverse approaches to solutions of our short participants∗. They have demonstrated the knowledge they have learned in their studies with commitment and a spirit of innovation. Their solution approaches show that real challenges can be solved," Göldner continued.
The joint challenge workshop was organized for the first time by TU Hamburg and HiiCCE. In the process, students deal with a realistic challenge that is to be solved. The goal is to develop innovations that make waste disposal in Hamburg more sustainable and environmentally friendly. The workshop was jointly led by Professor Moritz Göldner and innovation consultant Dr. Heinrich Schwarz with the support of Professor Cornelius Herstatt and Dr. Vytaute Dlugoborskyte from the Institute for Technology and Innovation Management at TU Hamburg.
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