From concept to product. Polytech students mobilized all their creativity for one week, from September 12 to 16. Their goal was to come up with innovative solutions and turn them into a business project in the context of the “paper/cardboard industry’s circular economy.” That was the theme chosen for the 2022 edition of Pol’Innov, a challenge that joins the forces of two Montpellier Métropole
departments: Waste and Water Cycles and the Department of Attractiveness, Economic Development, and Employment via the Montpellier Business and Innovation Centre
This theme was not chosen by chance. Montpellier Métropole launched an ambitious Zero Waste policy
focusing on prevention, awareness-raising, and incentives designed to significantly reduce waste and change behavior.
“We would like to integrate the circular economy into this Zero Waste issue by focusing on eco-design, recycling, short channel repair, and reuse,” confirms François Vasquez, Vice President of Montpellier Méditerranée Métropole, in charge of Waste Collection, Sorting, Recycling, and Zero Waste Policy. He adds: “This enables us to mobilize the collective intelligence in our area, as we are doing with Polytech, to generate the solutions we need.”
But the stakes are even broader. It is also important to take company creation into account. Designated as the most responsible campus at the 2021 Green Gown Awards – the international edition of the Responsible Campuses Awards, supported by the United Nations
– Polytech is strongly committed to raising the awareness of its students regarding entrepreneurship
. Several start-ups assisted by Montpellier BIC have emerged among the incubator’s graduates, such as Algodone
This highlights the importance of the coaching Montpellier BIC provides for students participating in the challenge. The incubator also decided to welcome those young entrepreneurs who wish to pursue their projects. Other start-ups assisted by Montpellier BIC are also involved with the event, including Scop3
Pol’Innov has other benefits beyond its entrepreneurial ambitions.
“Thanks to this challenge, we are also helping to raise awareness among the citizens of tomorrow about the major societal issues and values that are important to us,” adds Jérémy Vacquié, in charge of partnerships at Polytech.
Balancing a societal and environmental commitment with economic development, this commitment makes perfect sense in Montpellier Métropole's partnership with Polytech. Not only that, but Poly'Innov is producing tangible results.
“Several of the waste prevention projects that were presented to us are viable in the real world,” highlights Célia Serrano, Montpellier Méditerranée Métropole council member in charge of Awareness and Waste Reduction. She is also in the delegation with François Vasquez who, like her, was a member of the Pol’Innov jury.
Creating jobs in support of the circular economy.