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IED, ESADE and UPC are working with CERN to innovate in meeting social needs

IED Barcelona Escola Superior de DissenyESADE Business and Law School and Escuela Técnica Superior de Ingeniería de Telecomunicación de Barcelona de la Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya have been chosen to take part in the CBI (Challenge Based Innovation), an international project involving collaboration with CERN (European Organization for Nuclear Research). CERN is a world leader in the field of particle physics. The CBI involves seeking new solutions for Mankind’s future. The initiative aims to narrow the gap between science and society by fostering an experimental training programme on innovation for students throughout the world.

After two weeks of learning with scientists at CERN’s facilities in Geneva, 18 students from the three centres will work together with students from Italian, Norwegian, Finnish and Australian universities. The participants aim to create products and services for solving the problems facing society and to present them in February to the CERN community in Switzerland.

The students from ESADE, IED and ETSETB (UPC) face four pressing challenges, namely: (1) cutting down the world’s food waste; (2) inventing a variable system that allows the handicapped to enhance their natural mobility; (3) designing a system that gives information on the impact of inter-personal interaction; (4) creating a personalised service providing welfare and security by using a combination of data on the setting and on human behaviour.

International experience with top-level scientists

The CBI projects gives students the chance to use CERN technology. CERN is a world leader in the development of new technologies. Participants will gain unique, real-world experience in the final prototyping stage of each project by working with CERN scientists and learning about their special fields of knowledge.

Following an initial two-week training period at CERN´s IdeaSquare centre, the teams are currently undergoing both in-house training in Barcelona and online training. The teams receive advice from tutors from the seven universities involved in the project. The initiative is an example of co-creation and collaboration between various disciplines, in which ESADE provides knowledge on management, IED on design and the UPC on engineering. From the outset, students use innovation methodologies such as design thinking in which each team member provides a perspective based on his or her specialist field.

The commitment of the three university centres to the innovation economy is highlighted by their international collaboration to meet society’s present and future needs. The project also helps strengthen Barcelona´s world position as a creative, multi-disciplinary centre.

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