Climate-KIC’s graduates ready to tackle climate change challenges

With a total of 46 graduates from seven top universities across Europe, Climate-KIC organised its biggest graduation so far. The event took place in the Botanical Gardens of Valencia adjacent to the Climate-KIC Innovation Festival.

Both the departing CEO Mary Ritter as well as the new CEO Bertrand van Ee being present at the graduation, the event was a showcase for the importance of the support for young professionals in the fight for climate change mitigation and adaptation, which Van Ee also highlighted during his speech to the graduates.

Following a two year added value programme on top of their master degree, the students had a lot to be proud of and inspired the public with their stories around the programme components mobility, internship and master thesis.

Climate-KIC offers added value programmes for master and Ph.D. students at top institutions across Europe. This year’s graduates came from Imperial College London, Université Pierre et Marie Curie, Université de Versailles Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines, TU Berlin, TU Delft, University of Utrecht and Wageningen University.

Climate-KIC added value programme

Graduates of the programme are certified by Climate-KIC and EU-body the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT), allowing future employers and collaborators to recognise that the graduate is aware of climate change issues, the European business environment, and has the team skills to successfully integrate in climate innovation companies and start-ups.

Within the Climate-KIC added value programme, students are required to take part in a five week summer school, attend a thought-provoking series of seminars, spend 30 study credits abroad, write their thesis on a topic related to climate change and entrepreneurship, work or study abroad and take additional courses in climate science, business and entrepreneurship. Ph.D. students are also joining a second summer school that is strongly focusing on their research area in order to give their research a boost with relevant practical skills.

Actively tackling climate change problems

Representing more than 20 different study programmes, this year’s graduates reflect the holistic approach Climate-KIC is taking to tackle climate change mitigation and adaptation.

Many of them are now actively pursuing the business ideas that they developed in the summer school in promising start ups, some are continuing their research and many already have secured a job where they can actively use the skills they got during the programme. Regardless of their area of expertise and next career steps, they are united in their motivation to positively influence climate change.

Most of them thanked Climate-KIC during their speeches and said that they would have never had the chance to develop the skills that they have and use today if it hadn’t been for the programme. But what struck most, was their positive call to action by saying that everyone can do their bit to fight climate change and that change starts from within: “Leave your ego behind and you can start something great!”