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Entrepreneur, collaborator and innovator

In this issue, we introduce you to CEO Science City Lyngby, Marianna Lubanski.

Photographs: iStock

Text: Skyler Bentley Hall

Dynamic and engaging innovator, Marianna Lubanski, is passionate about her role as the CEO of Science City Lyngby. Through a recent interview, Marianna explains how she became "an entrepreneur by coincidence, followed by roles in large corporations and triple helix organisations and initiatives working all over the planet." Marianna successfully leads a public-private partnership of more than eighty organisations around the Technical University of Denmark (DTU). It only takes one meeting with Marianna to fully comprehend her influential, entrepreneurial spirit - she shared highlights of her collective efforts.

What is Science City Lyngby?

Science City Lyngby is a not-for-profit member organisation nurturing local collaborations between the municipality, the university (DTU), nine other educational institutions, and over seventy private companies. Our vision is to make Lyngby-Taarbæk one of Europe's leading knowledge and university cities with the best education, research, business, and start-ups conditions.

What involvement does DTU have with Science City Lyngby?

We are closely connected to DTU and many other educational institutions based on our geography. We connect the university with the local citizens to disseminate research results, connect DTU entities with private companies for innovation purposes, connect graduates with companies for job purposes, and many other things. We are a strong partner for DTU Skylab, presenting challenges and data for student innovation camps. Finally, we organise meetings between all our stakeholders to meet, connect, and build trust.

"We can build a strong local eco-system that nurtures innovation."

How are you making a difference through this collaboration?

We try to co-create among many stakeholders to strengthen our global offer to global talent, start-ups, and large corporations. Together, we can build a strong local ecosystem that nurtures innovation and competes with other university cities globally. Many of our members are deeply involved in the green transition. For example, COWI has announced a 100% transition within three to five years of their entire business to only work on sustainable projects, Topsøe is leading the way towards sustainable fuels for aviation and heavy transport, Microsoft has launched a sustainable Cloud solution, and DTU with many other educational institutions and the municipality, work closely together and invest heavily in the green transition of their own buildings, and transport systems.”

Describe a recent initiative you are proud to be involved in?

DTU has taken the initiative to develop a new university course required for all master's students, combining innovation and engineering. This course kicked off in January 2022, with almost two hundred students working on a Sustainable Retail Challenge for three weeks. Marianna shares, "I presented the challenge, had a two-hour Q&A session, provided individual feedback to some of the groups, and on the final day when they presented, I listened, gave feedback and asked questions to fully understand their idea or concept.

Examples include several Apps being suggested to encourage and reward citizens for buying more sustainable products; stores selling used clothes in a social setting for students with coffee; the creation of different green labels; gamification games to catch monsters and get rewards for sustainable shopping; and physical products like a smart cart, an intelligent Lyngby Bag, and a Trolley for rent, to drive your shopping home in a rented bike trolley made of upcycled material. They came up with twenty amazing and inspiring ideas and concepts - it was totally overwhelming and gives me hope for the future!"

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