Product Innovation started the new project year completely digitally. From November 17th-19th, 28 students met for the KickOff and Welcome Week 2020/2021, which is normally used to get to know each other, to organize an initial teambuilding event, and to obtain information about the overall project and the process.
For this purpose, the possibilities of digital collaboration were fully exploited. Students from 11 nations were able to participate in the Welcome Week. Of course, this year's industry partners were also there, even if only virtually. Among them are: Andritz AG, OMV AG, Palfinger AG, Payer International Technologies GmbH, Fronius International GmbH und ÖBB TS.
In addition to our already international and interdisciplinary student teams, we are pleased to welcome a remote team of students from PACE University New York, USA. They will be part of the OEBB team during the whole project. The mutual visit of the student teams to push the project forward in Graz as well as in New York City will also be aimed at in the academic year 2021, if possible due to the COVID-19 situation. Since the first planned exchange should already take place in February 2021, an extended stay of the students from New York City in Graz will be considered this year, if possible.
The teams will receive methodological support from internal and external experts throughout the project, will be able to use the facilities of the Schumpeter Laboratory for Innovation, and will also be provided with a project budget of € 10,000 to realize and test ideas. As in the previous year, this year's students had to start the Product Innovation project with the restrictions imposed by the COVID-19 regulations. This resulted not only in a challenge for the participating students but also in recruiting those. Through numerous workshops, as well as virtual team events, emphasis is placed on the best possible conduction. Despite the pandemic, prototyping as an important element during the project must not be neglected this year. Therefore, our staff in the FabLab is working continuously to improve the offer for our students and to enable the use of the digital production machines despite digital conduction.
Even under these special circumstances, this year's teams are once again particularly creative and innovative in finding solutions to their challenges. Team LeakAge, with industry partner OMV, is working to prevent corrosion in oil pipelines. Team ShaveSquad, with industry partner Payer International Technologies, is working on the future of shaving. So again this year we look forward to interesting presentations, product concepts, prototypes and business plans at the final event.
SAVE THE DATE: The Innovation Gala is planned for June 1st 2021 at the Schumpeter Laboratory for Innovation