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Students solved the climate problem at new centre opening

Four teams, three universities and two days: What it takes to come up with ideas for sustainable transport in Copenhagen. Three teams tested their ideas at the new Nordic Climate Centre

So we all know it. Climate change is here to stay. The question now is: What to do about it? A new Nordic Climate Centre based at the Technical University of Denmark DTU is to answer this question by teaming up entrepreneurs to find climate change solutions.

“We need a positive narrative”, said EU Commissioner Connie Hedegaard in a keynote speech at the opening of the centre on Friday 7 February.

Check out the event in pictures

With these words, she kicked off a competition between students from DTU, the University of Copenhagen (UCPH) and the Chalmers University for Technology in Sweden. They have had two days to come up with an innovative solution that can contribute to a more eco-friendly and efficient transport system in Copenhagen.

Apt to the greener way

The team from the hosting DTU ran off with the prize based on their design of a ‘Go Green’ app. The app can show possible routes in the city and the makers hope to to change Copenhagen into a greener city, through the people themselves.

“We believe in people – that we can be proactive and think: With my choice I can actually change something” says Charlotte Krag Varslev-Pedersen, member of the winning team from DTU.

To motivate people to make better choices, the app is set up as a game where you earn points. The makers are hoping to find sponsors, who will reward users with points for discounts or gifts.

Cope for Copenhagen

Other contestants in the competition worked to improve the transportation network in Copenhagen. A team from Chalmer University of Technology presented an intelligent road system that responds directly to the position of the cyclist. The goal is to make more attractive routes for cyclists far from red lights and traffic jams.

While an intelligent road system can greatly benefit the individual, the UCPH team focussed on the collective with the idea of shared taxis as a new flexible form of public transportation.

”We are not going to get rid of cars, so we need to transform the cars we already have ” says Sara Henriksen, member of the team from UCPH.

KIC it off

After only two days of hard work, the ideas are still in the design phase. However, there may be potential for further development.

”We haven’t really thought about it, but personally I would really like the app”, says member of the winning team Charlotte Krag Varslev-Pedersen.

As a part of the Climate-KIC network, the new centre is all about partnerships and making things happen. And as a good start, the DTU team has won a trip to an innovation festival in Valencia.

See photos below by Ane Terp Rasmussen.

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