Educating T-Shaped professionals to meet substitution challenges and developing business models for substitution and recycling
One strategy to overcome the challenges related to critical raw materials (CRMs) is their substitution and recycling. However, the bright scientific idea, proof of concept or laboratory demonstration need to cross the valley of death in order to become stated as ‘a substitute’ instead of ‘a potential substitute’. Most PhD students and Post Docs specialize within a given thematic area; for example on specific materials or on substitution in a certain application. This specialization could limit the ability to generate innovations and profitable business models if there are not enough tools and skills to transform new knowledge and research results into an appealing value proposition towards customers and to a business opportunity for the current markets. The project proposes a framework for developing substitution and recycling related cross-sectorial skills and tools. These are applied for training business-related competences e.g. teamwork, management, communication, value proposition and business models design, especially within RTOs and industries. The proposed learning itinerary can radically improve the path from scientific proof of concept into innovation and lean start up or industrial market launch. The developed framework is tested by a pilot group having several topics within the areas of substitution and recycling of critical raw materials.