Science in Practice – University of Amsterdam

Together through Science in Practice, TheRockGroup, UvA, students and participating companies have implemented circular economy into the business models of SME’s and larger organizations to create a more sustainable economy. Students learn both theoretical concepts of circular economy as well as skills used in business environments. Through this program over 200 students in the past four years followed the course and benefitted from the fresh perspective on society that this course gives.


This course was requested by eager students, who wanted to prepare for a working environment outside of the academic world. TheRockGroup started this course in order to learn what skills and knowledge are truly relevant for society.

Each year we’ve used our passion for sustainable education by coordinating this second year bachelor student course entitled Science in Practice based on the ins and outs of circular economy. This course in the study program of Beta-Gamma gives students an outlook on how to use their scientific knowledge to solve a real problem for a company. This could be doing a life cycle analysis, innovation funnelling or finding the perfect solution for a problem.

Our approach

During the Science and Practice course we coach 40 interdisciplinary students through various projects and cases for different kinds of companies and organizations. They start the course with lectures on theory about circular economy and it connects the students with experts in different fields through guest lectures. Past lectures have included Jacqueline Cramer (Amsterdam Economic Board), Lukas Hoex (DSM) and Jacques Reijnders (UvA). Afterwards, the students learn the basics of this new economic system that interprets value differently than the traditional capitalistic system.

During the practice part of the course, students are given a case from an organization and they start to deepen their knowledge in the specific field of the organization. In the context of previously learned theory and with the guidance of TheRockGroup, students use their training to solve the business cases. Business cases are always varied to reflect the expertise of TheRockGroup and consist of topics in society and business such as impact assessment, innovation trajectories and policy making.

The course always leads to a positive collaboration between students, the University and businesses to develop a fresh perspective and advise businesses and organizations.