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Recently Accenture started an initiative to combat the negative effects of palm oil production. Palm oil is used in a large variety of food and self-care products and is the main ingredient of biofuels. The unique physical characteristics of the substance and the fact that the African palm tree grows it’s fruit efficient from which the palm oil is extracted, causes the demand for palm oil to be high.
The Accenture project team agreed on working towards a comprehensive solution to combat the negative effects of palm oil. Because palm oil production is the root cause, we try to work towards a solution that helps to combat the current palm oil production process taking into account the current social economic, legal, environmental and technological complex.
The Accenture project team found an academic team working on producing a substance that has the same physical properties as palm oil. The production process of this substitute utilizes a yeast to produce an oily end product which can act as a substitute for palm oil. Several by-products are also produced by the process such as 2-phenylethanol (rose flavoring/smell). Further research is being done to scale the production process and increase the end product quality. Expectation is that within 3,5 years a pilot production-installation has been developed that is able to produce the substitute on semi industrial scale (30.000 L). At that phase, the end-product can also be sold on the market.
Intern support request:
A good business perspective and business plan for the implementation of the substitute is absent. There are many business aspects that need to be considered before the substitute can be efficiently introduced into the market. The Accenture project team aims to make an impact in both the business and implementation domain in order to accelerate the implementation of the product. To do so successfully, both the new production technology and business principles need to be understood.
We are looking for two enthusiastic master interns who want to participate in the research and build an implementation plan. The following topics are identified together with our research partner and can be assembled to an internship in consultation:
Getting a general overview of the current situation of palm oil production, the production process of the substitute and understanding which strategic aspects are involved with the integration of the substitute in the supply chain are key. The exact assignment has to be developed in accordance with the researchers from the university, therefore there is enough space for own interpretation of the assignment. The internship can be fulfilled as 100% research- or combined working and research internship (so other than what is described by type).
|Preference for bachelor or master student||Master students|
|Study||MSc Energy Science, MSc Innovation Sciences, MSc Sustainable Business and Innovation, MSc Sustainable Development, MSc Water Science and Management|
|Field||Innovation, Environmental and Energy Sciences|
|Length||Between 6 and 9 months|
|Language||Dutch or English|
1st stage: Interview