Product Innovation Project

In order to develop and design new products, the institute established the course “Product Innovation Project” (PIP). Inspired by the one-year program in Design Thinking at the d.school at Stanford University in California (USA), it is a unique course in Austria. Following the concept of problem-based learning, the course gives students the opportunity to work on real-life tasks given directly by industrial partners. They not only provide tasks but enable the students to realize their ideas by providing them with a project budget. In return, the student teams create numerous ideas, some of them even resulting in patents and new products.
During one full academic year, students work in teams on the given tasks from industry. The students have the chance to develop their knowledge as well as their soft skills while they gather real-life experience and ECTS-credits for their studies. The industrial partners get access to engage with highly motivated students and potential future employees.

Typically, the results for each company are several new product ideas, a product concept, a business plan and a working prototype.

International and interdisciplinary student teams are recruited by the IIM institute for each project. At the beginning of the course, interested students have to prove their skills and to show their abilities during a welcome meeting. Only the best have the opportunity to participate. The student teams are constantly trained in workshops given by internal and external experts to provide knowledge of e.g. design thinking, creativity techniques, presentation techniques and many others.
Additionally, after receiving a basic training, the students have access to the Laboratory for Innovation to conduct meetings, workshops and prototyping sessions. During work hours they also have access to the FabLab facilities, thus enabling the students to generate rapid as well as detailed prototypes of their ideas and concepts.
The Product Innovation Project started in 2006 with one student team. Since then the overall project managers Dr. Hans Peter Schnöll, Dr. Alexander Pointner, Dr. ThomasBöhm and most recently Patrick Herstätter have been in charge of managing and developing the course further. In fact, it has developed tremendously positive, with an increasing number of students and projects leading to a record of nine projects conducted in the academic year 2018/2019. Several student exchange programs and collaborations, established with Pace University (New YorkCity/USA), Aalto University (Helsinki/FIN) and University of Maribor (SLO) have led to an even more international orientation of the project. Due to the great success, additional courses for product design like the Makerthon or “Design Thinking and Rapid Prototyping” were developed.
The grand final of the annual Product Innovation Project is the Innovation Festival (formerly Final Gala), where the student teams present their results to the public, representatives from industry and academia.

Final Gala 2017!

Mehr über das Product Innovation Project findest du hier!


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Mehr über das Product Innovation Project findest du hier!