Last year, startups could register for Startup in Residence Noord-Nederland. This is a program with which the government gives startups the opportunity to come up with innovative ideas and solutions for societal challenges. Campus Groningen submitted a challenge together with Hive.Mobility under the heading Campus Mobility. What is the status of this challenge? We talked to Irene Amsing, community coordinator of Campus Groningen.
Within the Startup in Residence program, more than 13 partners from Friesland, Groningen and Drenthe are looking for solutions to a wide range of challenges. From collecting and/or recycling the plastic soup in Eemshaven to parental involvement in school development. Together with Hive.Mobility, Campus Groningen has submitted a ‘Mobility Challenge’ to take the mobility issue on Campus Groningen a step further. The issue that was submitted at the time was: “Develop a system that increases awareness in (responsible) travel behaviour and that encourages people to make a responsible mobility choice.“
Innovative and sustainable mobility solutions
Both organizations find it important to devise and realize innovative and sustainable mobility solutions for the campus community. Irene says: “Hive.Mobility is a party that is working on the same challenges in the field of mobility and knows the campus site well. With Campus Groningen, we are happy to seek cooperation in order to achieve innovation and allow Campus Groningen to function as a testing ground for innovative solutions.“
At the end of December, start-up TripService was selected to get started with the Mobility Challenge. TripService showed in their pitch that they could develop custom-made solutions for the Campus site. “What they showed did not fully meet our expectations, but it did give us hope that they could develop a suitable solution. For example, they indicated that they can achieve awareness and steering of sustainable travel behaviour through data collection and information provision. We found that very interesting! They also showed that they liked the challenge on campus as much as we do, also to further develop their own product“, says Irene.
With the shared knowledge and expertise in the field of mobility, Campus Groningen and Hive.Mobility will be guiding TripService. TripService already has a lot of experience, but especially in the field of events where mostly visitors go to occasionally. Questions that will be central in the coming months are: How do we make the TripService system interesting for the daily campus visitor? What triggers the campus visitor to use the system? Irene: “That is an important joint challenge. Ideally, we also look for cooperation with the city center in this process, so that this system also optimally supports the connection with the city center.“
The Startup in Residence program lasts six months. Irene: “I hope that after these six months we can say that we have found a solution that is suitable for the mobility issue at Campus Groningen, and that we have preferably already tested this solution in practice. TripService already has a lot of experience and that offers many possibilities. The challenge from our side is to bring focus and to look for that what is really of value to the daily campus visitor.” With the TripService system, Campus Groningen hopes to gain more insight into data and figures for continuous monitoring and research. “If we have more insight into the mobility flows on the Campus, we can also respond better to them.“