Students innovate in their master programme

4 July Brussels – At the Atomium, the Summer School of our Master Energy for Smart Cities ended with a brilliant high. The students worked together there to improve their own programme with innovative learning and social bonding activities, since KIC InnoEnergy programmes aim for more than just learning and meeting industry, but include also the need to build a strong network. ‘I think we are going to implement most of the proposals, in one way or another’, says programme coordinator Mar Martinez. ‘For instance the KICrash suggestion distinguished itself because of its originality and crowdsourcing approach’. Within this Crash activity, students would visit the other two Energy for Smart Cities Campuses through a buddy system. For example, the Stockholm students would be hosted by their colleagues in Leuven for a long weekend of speakers, visits and social activities. While the KTH students would gain an interesting visit, the organisational part would train the KU Leuven students’ entrepreneurial skills. ‘Another suggestion was to organise a Welcome Weekend at the start of the year, also lead by the second-year students, in order to give the first-years an early start at their new campus.’

‘To come up with these great ideas, the students also made use of the innovative mindset they learned at the beginning of the Summer School, continues Mar Martinez. The systematic innovative thinking (SIT) methodology to innovation transcends over ‘mere’ creativity. The students discovered that you can innovate by subtraction or problem solving, through looking for new products or services or by finding a smarter solution when the problem appears. As for the entrepreneurial boost, “learn by playing” with the Highway role game brought the students a clear view of the challenges that ventures have to overcome to become KIC InnoEnergy Start-ups.

‘This Summer School absolutely brings yet more added value to our Master’s Programme, since it trains the students’ innovation, entrepreneurship, leadership and communication skills to their maximum level. Meanwhile, we also picked up some great programme innovations for the years to come!’ concludes tired but happy Mar.

(Photo: José Daniel García López)