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Mellon'Harp from France wins Arconic Foundation 'Innovative Sustainability Business Idea Award' 2021

25 June 2021

For the 4th year, JA Europe and Arconic Foundation have partnered to support the “Innovative Sustainability Business Idea Award” aiming at improving environmental sustainability and raising awareness about this important topic. Students from France, Germany, Hungary and the United Kingdom pitched their innovative solutions during an international competition, supported by Arconic volunteers from across Europe.

Yesterday, students from four European countries presented their work remotely in front of a jury composed by European Commission’s Dana Adriana Puia Morel, Women and Entrepreneurship Education Policy Strategist at DG for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs; Boeing’s Sebastian Tijl, Government Affairs Benelux and Nordics; Arconic Foundation’s Ryan Kish, VP and Treasurer; and Arconic’s Jasper van Zon, Communications Director, Europe and Asia.

The winning team from France is Mellon'Harp, a mini-company under the supervision of EPA-PACA based in Lorgues. Their product, BeeSafe, is an electric harp designed to eliminate the population of Asian hornets which constitute a plague to native bees. Their innovative idea was selected as the winner and earned them a prize to further support the development of the business.

All four finalists’ teams of this year’s competition could have been winners. Each project turned out to be unique, innovative and contributing to a more sustainable society. Furthermore, we were impressed with the students’ passion, engagement and we could see they also had fun along the way…!”, said Jasper van Zon, Arconic’s Senior Director, Communications Europe and Asia and Chairman of the Jury. “Team Mellon’Harp, with their focus on protecting bees from the Asian Hornet, adressed an issue of global concern, as our future might depend on the role bees play in our ecosystem. The team really thought through how to develop a sustainable, durable, highly effective and at the same time affordable solution to protect bees from their predator.

Since 2017, JA Europe and Arconic Foundation have partnered through the "Inventing the Future" programme, which has involved more than 2,000 students from over 90 schools. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, the project featured in-person classroom visit from Arconic employees, aiming to give students a glimpse of STEM-related careers, as well as an innovation camp to develop innovation skills.

"Innovation and sustainability are critical for all businesses in order to deliver on Europe’s ambitious Green and Digital Agendas in the near future” said Salvatore Nigro, CEO JA Europe. He added: “Given the impact of automation and digitalisation on manufacturing globally, as well as the skills shortage in the industry, our collaboration with Arconic and the Arconic Foundation aims to bridge the gap by encouraging more young people to pursue STEM careers or start businesses in these fields”.

About JA Europe

JA Europe is the largest non-profit in Europe dedicated to preparing young people for employment and entrepreneurship. JA Europe is a member of JA Worldwide® which for 100 years has delivered hands on, experiential learning in entrepreneurship, work readiness and financial literacy. JA creates pathways for employability, job creation and financial success. Last school year, the JA network in Europe reached almost 4 million young people across 40 countries with the support of nearly 100,000 business volunteers and over 140,000 teachers/educators.

About Arconic Foundation

Arconic Foundation partners with nonprofit and community organizations to strengthen its communities by enhancing education through skill-building learning experiences, promoting environmental sustainability, and advancing social equity. Arconic Foundation is independently endowed with assets of approximately $180 million and invests in the communities of Arconic Corporation.

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