Photo: Ulrik Eriksen

Green Entrepreneurship course led to award-winning idea

Wednesday 04 Jul 18
Students from the BEng programme won first prize at the Green Challenge for their idea of sustainable food transportation boxes made from the roots of fungi.

“If you want to develop new products, find new ways of doing things, and cultivate new business areas, the BEng programme in Process and Innovation is the place to be,” says DTU student Mine Lisberg.   

Along with five fellow students, she won first prize in the ‘Bachelor course’ category at the Green Challenge on 22 June. The team received the prize for designing the innovative product HyphaBox, which is a sustainable solution to food storage and transportation.

Interdisciplinarity and innovation
“The Process and Innovation study programme is exciting, because it is an innovative and interdisciplinary programme enabling you to visit companies and design products rather than just sitting with your nose in a book all the time. This opens the doors to meeting students from other study programmes—and ultimately, it is because of this interdisciplinarity and network that we can create new products, from idea phase to implementation,” says Mine Lisberg.    

From sustainable idea to business opportunity
The students behind HyphaBox met at the Green Entrepreneurship course, which gives students the chance to participate in the Green Challenge, DTU’s annual conference, where students present their sustainable ideas.

The purpose of the 13-week Green Entrepreneurship course is to turn a sustainable idea into a business opportunity. And this is exactly what the BEng students did. The idea behind HyphaBox is to cultivate the roots—mycelium—of oyster mushrooms in organic materials such as sawdust and straw. In this way, you can create a strong, insulating and biodegradable material that can replace plastic. The students used this material to design a 100 per cent organic transportation box as an alternative to the EPS boxes currently used.

“When we entered into the Green Challenge, we did not expect to win. But this prize means that part of the team will move forward with the idea. There are only two other American companies that produce a similar product. This means that there is a large, open European market for it. We believe we can start our own company and turn HyphaBox into a business,” says Mine Lisberg.


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