The Innovation Journey in MSc Energy for Smart Cities 2015-2016

Innovation Journey in MSc Energy for Smart Cities

The Innovation Journey in the ‘Energy for Smart Cities’-programme is a challenge driven journey where students, in groups,  transform challenges in innovative proposals and build up market feasible prototypes. These technical and business creation challenges will be delivered by start-ups and innovative companies.

The innovation journey has three stops, consisting of one week courses, in different European cities:

  • Smart Cities Week, 14 – 22 November 2015 in Barcelona
  • BIZ bootcamp, 26 March – 2 April 2016 in Leuven
  • Summer School, 26 June – 2 July 2016 in Amsterdam

During this competition driven journey, students can gain funding (awarded KI€coins) after each round. They can invest this in their promising innovations and elaborate on their prototype. The students will take steps similar to the ones any other start-up or innovation project would face.

Call for Challenges

Call for Challenges

Students work on real challenges proposed by start-ups and innovative companies who generously accept to make them public. Industry and students will then learn about and apply the existing innovation tools palette that offers the SIT, Systematic Inventive Thinking.

Corresponding innovation proposals to each challenge will be the result of this cooperation. The ambition is to build up a feasible prototype along the Innovation Journey. For this call for challenges we’re counting on our KIC InnoEnergy network of start-ups, innovative companies and alumni; and two innovation agencies based in Barcelona: ACC1Ó and Barcelona Activa.

Spread the word! The deadline for receiving challenges is now open until 30 September.

Innovation Proposal

Smart Cities Week – Barcelona

14-22 November 2015

The first stop of the Innovation Journey is the Smart Cities Week course, following the Call for Challenges. This will take place in Barcelona, coinciding with the Smart City Expo World Congress.

At the beginning of the Smart Cities Week the companies will present their innovation challenges. After which they will be analysed by student groups with the specific innovation SIT tools. Then each group will present their innovation proposal to a jury, deliberating the results of this innovation competition phase. During the Smart Cities Week, students will gain new insights in innovation methodologies, the business and innovation strategy link, rapid prototyping, effective communication, and future trends in Energy for Smart Cities business creation.

Programme Smart cities Week

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A day in the life of…: Smart Cities Week 2015
Young engineers present their innovative proposal at networking day in Barcelona

Business Case

BIZ bootcamp – Leuven

28 March – 3 April 2016

The second stop is Leuven, where the BIZ bootcamp  will take place. Here, students will work on their business model based on elements of the value creation study. This BIZ bootcamp will provide students with creativity and brainstorming techniques, market research, business creation and modelling methodologies, and IP tools to bring innovation towards the market.

Programme BIZ bootcamp

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Business models, prototypes and elevator pitching: looking back at the BIZ bootcamp!

Innovative Prototype

Entrepreneurship School – Amsterdam

26 June – 2 July 2016

The journey ends in Amsterdam, where the innovative prototypes will be revealed. In this week, students focus on innovation methodologies and apply the last finishing touches before the final competition round. The prototypes will be presented using effective communication via storytelling and elevator pitch techniques. Finally, this innovation process will be evaluated during the last round of the Innovation Competition with a different Jury.

Programme Entrepreneurship School

Related news:

Innovation Journey ends with a BANG: the Entrepreneurship School!


Innovation Competition

During this Innovation Journey or Competition, the participating groups can win ‘KI€coins’, funding they can invest in their project. In each round the students can gain up to 10.000 KI€coins.

What is a KI€coin? A KI€coin is a smart virtual currency awarded by the KIC InnoEnergy’s master programme Energy for Smart Cities. 1 KI€coin is worth 1 euro for products or services to get the proposed innovation up and running, and to build a prototype or support the innovative and entrepreneurial character of the group members.

All master students attending the Smart Cities Week course will participate in the first round of the innovation competition. This takes place on Friday 20 November in Barcelona, Spain. More information about the evaluation criteria, jury and the time schedule will be announced during the Innovation Competition.

We’re looking forward to receive your interest to join in this Innovation Journey!

Find out more about the current edition of the Innovation Journey (2016-2017)!

Want to know more about innovation?

Innovation is in the basis of our economy and society: everybody wants to improve themselves and have better goods and services. Innovation has become a buzzword: our world is facing many challenges, sometimes with high pressure, and industry can´t let lack behind. When defining innovation, three main elements can be distinguished:

  • Challenges
  • Solutions
  • Value creation
Innovation Process


Every innovation process begins with an urgent market need. Companies are listening more carefully when these needs are aligned with their strategical policy. But, as the final goal of firms is related to its economy, the value creation (for the market and the company) is always the main driver. Nevertheless, one of the most important elements of all innovation processes is the risk assumption that the company must take when analysing innovation challenges. This vision goes together with the level of radicalism of the innovation:

Revolutionary Innovation


This highlights the two main obstacles of the innovation process: the risk and time (time to market). This is why iterative and lineal procedures are both used. Iterative procedures help ensuring results, and, in consequence, reducing risk. Lineal ones ensure a faster achievement.


All participants in the Innovation Journey and the Innovation competition will foster a climate of open collaboration and professional ethical code. The participants, namely companies, students, jury and organization, commit to not disclose any of the materials shared without the formal consensus of the provider. In the use of results, the start-ups and innovative companies agree to mention the contribution of the Innovation Journey of the MSc Energy for Smart Cities of KIC InnoEnergy in the achievements. None of the participants will be restricted in their future activities within the fields of the challenges and innovations. The organisation will be able to disseminate images and videos recorded during the Innovation Journey and the Innovation Competition in the framework of KIC InnoEnergy activities. The jury of the Innovation Competition can decide in each round not to reward a prize if the quality of the presentation or the group work is not sufficient.  Only students who respect the contest regulation can take part in the Innovation Competition. Each participant commits individually to abandon any lawsuit or other complaints towards the jury and the organisers. Possible disputes concerning the interpretation of the contest regulation or possible problems due to unforeseen circumstances will be explained (depending on the nature of the problem) by the programme coordinator to her best capacity.

Further information

For more information regarding the organisation of the Innovation Journey, please contact:


Xavier Crusat, Innovation Manager
Mar Martinez, Programme Coordinator

KIC InnoEnergy MSc Energy for Smart Cities

Challenges provided by:

With the collaboration of: