5 October 2023
On Monday, 2nd October, the ‘Lab Sustainability at the Utrecht Science Park’ hackathon was held. This event aimed to gather concrete proposals to enhance lab sustainability and to foster collaboration amongst the various labs within the Utrecht Science Park. Every participant is affiliated with labs at the Utrecht Science Park and is dedicated to promoting sustainability.
Jan Henk van der Velden, the managing director, inaugurated the hackathon. Under the guidance of hackathon experts, Jesse van Doren and Arjan Hofmann, teams delved deep into their tasks, adhering to Design Thinking principles—a methodology centered around innovative problem-solving. This intensive session was held in the motivational environment of UtrechtInc’s workspaces.
Teams focused on distinct categories from the LEAF framework, an approach that emphasizes lab sustainability. These categories ranged from waste and people to equipment. The teams brainstormed strategies to elevate lab sustainability within their chosen category and encouraged campus-wide collaboration on this pressing issue.
At day’s end, the teams showcased their findings through pitches to institute directors and board members:
Subsequent to these presentations, a comprehensive report detailing the hackathon’s outcomes was handed over to the directors. Promising ideas that resonate with the panel could be potentially implemented in real-world settings.
This hackathon was a collaborative initiative among the Princess Máxima Centre, Genmab, Hubrecht Institute, UMC Utrecht, Utrecht University, and Utrecht University of Applied Sciences. By uniting for sustainability, these establishments are championing a brighter future for the Utrecht Science Park and beyond.
“The hackathon showed a strong commitment of the partners at the Utrecht Science Park to making laboratories more sustainable. Through joint efforts, we can take steps towards a greener and more sustainable world, with our laboratories playing a leading role in innovation and environmental awareness” said Jan Henk van der Velden, managing director of the Utrecht Science Park Foundation.