Valorisation of innovative bio-economical potentials along bio-based food & botanical extract value chains in the Alpine Space

Collaboration with the University of Wuppertal

Veronika Kowolik from the University of Wuppertal wrote her master thesis on innovative bio-based business models at the example of the walnut value chain, which is one of the value chains also looked at in the AlpBioEco project. She thinks that the AlpBioEco projects tackles a highly innovative topic: “It is a unique project. I loved to see innovation management not only in theory, but also in practice. I am now even more convinced that I want to work in this area!”. Her research focused on making action recommendations for the development of business models taking into account the bioeconomic potentials for the walnut value chain, and identifying the most promising product ideas. Looking at the potentials and advantages of the walnut for the Alpine region, she highlights the fact that traditionally no pesticides are used in walnut cultivation in the Alpine region and that there is a high diversity in walnut species, adding to a greater biodiversity.

We asked Veronika a few questions in September 2020:

What did you like about working with AlpBioEco?

Basically, it is a very innovative subject. I really enjoyed being directly involved and working with the project partners was uncomplicated and easy. All the project partners and people attending the workshops were very cooperative. It was the first time I had such an experience!

What did you learn from this collaboration?

Innovation management has become more concrete for me. I was really able to observe the practical side as well. It allowed me to see how some start-ups were working, how the support for entrepreneurs was going, and I kept some contacts. I am now convinced that I could work in this field.

University of Wuppertal Master thesis: Development of sustainable business models for bioeconomic innovations in the Alpine region using the example of the walnut value chain in the AlpBioEco project

The combination of agriculture and nature conservation represents a central sustainability challenge. This applies in particular to ecologically particularly sensitive regions such as the Alpine region. Using the value chain for walnuts as an example, this paper examines the potential for bioeconomic innovations in order to combine both requirements.

Founded in 1972, the University of Wuppertal is part of an international network of more than 220 partner universities worldwide. It also has a strong regional focus through active knowledge transfer and intensive cooperation with numerous partners in society and business in the region. The university conducts interdisciplinary research into ecosystems and economic, ecological and social sustainability and is supported in particular by cooperation with the renowned Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Energy and the Environment.
To read the Master thesis, please download the document below.

Veronika participated in various AlpBioEco events including the walnuts workshop on 22 May 2019 at the InnoCamp in Sigmaringen, Germany.