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A group of students from the University of Coimbra (UC) developed an ecological lunch box – The Cork Food Box – made from cork and a biopolymer (bioplastic), in collaboration with Amorim Cork Composites, a company in the Amorim group, world leader in the cork industry .
The project began to take shape in early 2020, after a challenge launched by João d’ Orey, guest professor of the Management and Entrepreneurship course unit of the Integrated Master in Chemical Engineering at the Faculty of Science and Technology of the University of Coimbra (FCTUC).
The idea, says the professor, was that students were able to create “a sustainable business model centered on the circular economy. More specifically, to develop an innovative product that would make it possible to reduce the use of plastics, disposable and non-disposable, and other single-use materials, which would be durable and simultaneously have a positive impact throughout its life cycle”.
Students Alexandre Jorge, Ana Silva, Cindi Costa, Francisco Brandão, Margarida Oliveira, Raquel Caracitas and Rodrigo Moreira formed a team and advanced with the project, which they named R8- the cork food box.
After being one of the 12 projects selected in the international semifinal, R8- the cork food box will compete, in November, in the final of the “Urban Innovation and Entrepreneurship Competition”, which will take place in Australia. This competition, aimed at university students, is promoted by the Alliance of Guangzhou International Sister City Universities (GISU), of which UC is a founding member.
The group will also enter the “7th China International College Students Internet+ Innovation and Entrepreneurship Competition”, which is currently one of the largest international competitions in innovation and entrepreneurship for university students.