Sustainably made building material or products made from waste. The demand for these items is increasing, but the number of companies offering them is lagging behind. The Northern Innovation Lab Circular Economy (NICE) wants to change this together with Terra College.

    They are therefore going to offer an MBO+ program to make it easier for students to start their own business. “You need a do-it-yourself mentality for this issue. People who can turn theory into practice,” says NICE director Alex van Oost. “MBO students are pre-eminently the people to do this.”

    According to Van Oost, it is a big leap for these students to start their own company that focuses on these sustainability issues. That is why the lab, together with the educational institution, comes up with a trajectory to help the MBO students. The step to higher professional education should also be made easier. “We’re going to offer them a place where they can work on their own ideas and where they receive guidance to turn those ideas into reality.”

    The starting signal was given today by putting a signature, the process should start in February 2023. “Sustainability and circularity together form an issue that you encounter everywhere around you,” says Van Oost. “We now want to enthuse young people to tackle that.”

    At the moment, the NICE location, in the Meppel gas factory, is still set up as a place to come up with plans, but the implementation is still being done at other locations. From February next year, the lab, together with the educational institution, wants to have built a place where those ideas can also be developed. “We want to create a place where the students feel safe to take steps and ultimately dare to fly off to their own company.”

    The intention is that registration for that trajectory is the same as for other studies. “Terra College can help us with that,” says Van Oost. Initially, the pilot will start in Meppel, but expansion to the rest of the province is not ruled out.