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Market Awareness & Creativity Seminar at ESIGELEC

                                                      

As part of their studies, students at ESIGELEC have to complete an engineering project aimed at developing a new or innovative product or service. A 6-student team working 200 hours each is at the disposal of partner companies. Each project runs for a year and a half in total.  A key aim of this new seminar is to get participants to think creatively about how to bring a product or service to market, rather than focus solely on the more technical aspects of product or service development.  The seminar is the first step of an 'Innovation Program' being put in place throughout the three years of the engineering cycle.

The 2011 seminar was part of the induction week for 470 first-year students.  There were 150 applicants for 100 places. 

Timetable for the week

  • 12 September: Welcome and presentation.
  • 13 September: Workshop on creative techniques.
  • 14 September: Sessions on ICT and E-commerce; sports industry; CRM; banking & insurance.  A session in which the students were placed in teams with mentors and used creative techniques to select an idea/concept.
  • 15 September:  Student teams worked on their idea/concept and prepared a presentation focussing on the 'What?', 'Who?' and 'How?' aspects of their idea as well as the process they used to select ideas and answer these questions.
  • 16 September:  The day involved presentations from the teams; presentations from entrepreneurs on how the decisions had been made and an announcement of the three best teams who were presented awards.

The winning projects

  • 1. Telecom'hand: a glove allowing a jogger to control their IPod or other device by touching a fingertip withe their thumb.
  • 2. GPS guidance for blind people to select best routes to get relevant local information and to contact a call centre if needed.
  • 3. ID shower: a shower which will identify the user and adapt to their needs and preferences.

The winning team won a trip to Open Innovation Showcase at the British Library, in London at the end of November 2011 and a tour of University College London. Both the British Library and University College are partners in the Open Innovation Project. Speakers and mentors were provided by Rouen Business School and this was part of the developing and continuing partnership between Rouen Business School and ESIGELEC.  

 

 Feedback

The feedback was very positive from all participants and the event will be repeated for years to come. The students were particularly receptive to the creativity techniques. Two great outcomes of the week were that students opened their minds to the new attitudes and perspectives they would need to adapt as engineers when developing concepts. The jury was also impressed by the quality of the projects presented and the marketing side of it as this was totally absent from the students' previous projects.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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