SIMAC in Svendborg receives the DSEB Innovation and Entrepreneurship Award

The maritime educational institution SIMAC in Svendborg, represented by the lecturers Thomas Holm Rasmussen and Jesper Kollerup, is awarded this year’s DSEB Innovation and Entrepreneurship Award of DKK 100,000. Thomas Holm Rasmussen and Jesper Kollerup receive the honour for their many years of development and active work in the field of innovation and entrepreneurship education within maritime education.

Thomas Holm Rasmussen and Jesper Kollerup were the first to create an innovation and entrepreneur course within maritime education. Eight years have now passed since they started teaching entrepreneurship at SIMAC and, today, the two lecturers inspire many other maritime educational establishments to include innovation and entrepreneurship in their curriculum.

Thomas Holm Rasmussen and Jesper Kollerup have turned an almost invisible, small elective course in innovation and entrepreneurship at SIMAC into the most talked-about subject at the educational institution. For many students, it is the main reason for choosing SIMAC in Svendborg as their place of education. This is impressive at a time when many young people are drawn to education in the country’s largest cities.

The award was presented by the Danish Society for Education and Business (DSEB). Torben Möger Pedersen, chair of the DSEB board and the jury and CEO of PensionDanmark, was pleased to present this year’s award to Thomas Holm Rasmussen and Jesper Kollerup at SIMAC:

‘Thomas and Jesper make an enormous effort and have managed to firmly establish innovation and entrepreneurship in the curriculum of maritime education, where thoughts about innovation and entrepreneurship are not part of the tradition. In this way, they contribute to the development of the Blue Denmark – an industry of great importance to the Danish business community and currently undergoing changes,’ said Möger Pedersen.

The award recipients, Thomas Holm Rasmussen and Jesper Kollerup, were delighted with the award.

‘I’m incredibly happy and proud of the award, which is a wonderfully positive recognition for us at SIMAC. For the past eight years, we have worked hard to promote innovation and entrepreneurship and, thanks to our partners, we have come a long way,’ said Jesper Kollerup, and Thomas Holm Rasmussen continued:

‘Together, we have succeeded in motivating our young people to think differently, work hard, and take the initiative. It brings great joy when our students achieve success and recognition, and after putting in many voluntary hours, it means a lot that the DSEB has noticed our efforts.’

Sarah Persson Hammershøy and Søren Bragt exemplify students who have become entrepreneurs as a result of the special efforts of Thomas Holm Rasmussen and Jesper Kollerup. They have founded the sustainable company MicroChange, which started as a curriculum project and delivers a filtration system to address the issue of microplastics in seawater. The two founders, assisted by Thomas and Jesper, went all the way to the Entrepreneurship World Cup in 2019, where they won an impressive third place. Prior to the World Cup, the company and the two students became Danish champions.

To give another example, Thomas and Jesper have initiated a study, in collaboration with SIMAC and the Fonden for Entreprenørskab (Foundation for Entrepreneurship), on the possibilities and potential of creating a learning environment tailored to the individual.

The DSEB awards the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Award every year, which comes with a sum of DKK 100,000. The award honours special efforts that have contributed to strengthening innovation and entrepreneurship within youth and higher education.

The award was given on Thursday 21 November at the Danish Entrepreneurship Award in Fredericia.