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Industrial companies are increasingly facing innovation challenges within their ecosystems. Digital technologies, supply chains issues, demographic changes, talent supply, sustainability challenges, and new business models, to name a few, are impacting core organizational processes and capabilities of both established corporations and start-ups more than ever before. These challenges call for new organizational processes and capabilities, forcing companies to review, transform and adapt their existing business models.
In the project course Industry & Innovation, participants learn and train selected instruments, methods, and competencies necessary to identify problems and to develop suitable and actionable solutions for the project partner. Given the broad range of issues, problems tend to be rather fuzzy, which in turn requires a problem-solving process that is relatively open at the beginning of the semester. Based on well-founded analyses (e.g., interviews, questionnaires, reviewing the literature, database research, and evaluation using data analysis tools), students develop a creative path to solving the presented problem.
During the course, students will take on the role of an innovation consultant, working with their team to solve specific, highly relevant business problems. In tight cooperation with our project partners (start-ups, scale-ups as well as established industrial companies), students will
(1) develop a deep understanding of important innovation issues in the industrial sector
(2) define and develop an analytical approach adequate for the task at hand,
(3) develop and evaluate potential solutions, and
(4) present and defend these solutions in front of the project partner.
Each team receives continuous assessment and feedback from the lecturers in bi-weekly coaching sessions. Experts and management consultants specialized in digital transformation processes will provide additional support (e.g., PwC Digital Lab, Google, Accenture, IPlytics, Bosch).
The E&I course Industry & Innovation is an application-oriented project course. The course aims to deepen and extend the students' theoretical skills through practical application to a real case.
After positive completion of E&I Industry & Innovation, students can
- comprehend the relevance, impact, and potential of disruptive changes for the industrial sector, especially concerning technological innovations and their impact on business models of new and existing companies
- structure complex problems
- analyze, describe and evaluate existing business models
- apply methods to systematically and creatively search for solutions
- use instruments for the systematic and efficient evaluation of competing solutions
- successfully manage innovation projects (i.e., unclear and poorly structured)
- gather fundamental experience in professional teamwork
- management of external stakeholders (professional interaction with project partners)
- prepare complex issues (and project results) in a structured and understandable report and present them convincingly
- work in an agile environment
In addition, participants expand their soft skills (communication, presentation, project, and time management) by working with team members, coaches, and external partners.
As the interaction with other students as well as external stakeholders is an integral part of this course, active participation in-person is important.
Students must attend at least 80% of all classes and events to successfully complete the course. However, due to their importance in reaching the course goals, 100% attendance is required for the literature test, kick-off, mid-term and final presentations as well as the E&I Touchdown event. In case of absence due to illness for the literature test, an alternative exam (written or oral) will be provided to the student. For the kickoff, absences (up to maximum of 1,5h) due to a scheduled written exam at WU can be excused if the course instructors are notified with a proof of examination before the kickoff.
In general, all absences in the course must be notified to the course instructors via email (if possible in advance) and confirmation (for example a medical certificate, or in case of an exam a note confirming the date of the written examination) must be submitted as soon as possible. Absences can result in additional compensation work to ensure the course's learning outcomes.
Industry & Innovation consists of classes for all students and individual team coaching sessions. There will be a mid-term and a final presentation of the project.
Except for the literature test and kick-off, all other dates shown are subject to change! More detailed information is provided at the introductory event and the kick-off. Most dates are either arranged individually with course instructors and project partners, or take place externally. This is not unusual for innovation projects. Exact dates for the presentations, workshops, and coachings will follow at the Kick-off.
Information for E&I students taking a semester abroad that starts in June
At E&I we value the international experience our students get from taking an exchange semester abroad. We also understand that some exchange semesters already start in June, leading to schedule overlaps with our courses. In that case, we will enable you to take the project course. Please inform your course instructors and fellow team members when the semester starts to make the necessary arrangements and counterbalance the absence in the last month by distributing the workload in a fair and reasonable manner among all team members in advance.
- Self-study (literature package)
- Teaching and discussion of theoretical basics on two kick-off days (lecture, working on the project assignments, group discussions, teamwork)
- Group-based work on real and relevant projects in close cooperation with the project partner under the supervision of the course instructors and practical coaches
- Feedback and coaching by the course lecturers
- Workshops and coaching by external partners (e.g., experts working at top consultancies, technology experts from tech companies, etc.)
- Peer feedback
- Documentation and presentation of work progress and results
The final grade in the course will depend on:
· literature test (in English / literature according to Learn@WU) (20 out of 200 points)
· engagement in the project (attendance, contribution to classes, coachings and workshop, ability and willingness to implement feedback) (50 out of 200 points)
· presentations (mid term & final presentation) (50 out of 200 points)
· reports (midterm & final report) (60 out of 200 points)
· 5% Touchdown presentation or video (adherance to deadlines, implementation of feedback and quality of pitch) (10 out of 200 points)
· 10% Reflection paper (10 out of 200 points)
Additionally, there will be mid-term and end of term peer ratings of the team members which may result in individual up- or downgradings.
Literature test: The aim of the compulsory literature test (01.03.2023 between 8.00am and 8.30am) is to examine the necessary basic as well as specific knowledge in order to successfully work on your project.
If the literature test is not successfully passed, the Analyst Support Program (ASP) will be automatically applied. Within the Analyst Support Program, an individual performance has to be carried out in the further semester course, instead of the group work. In case of non-participation (only due to illness), a medical certificate must be presented. An alternative date will be offered for this purpose. You will receive detailed information about the content and location of the test after registration to the course.
Attendance: In order to successfully pass this course, your absence is limited to 20% of our appointments. Please note that the attendance of the literature test, the kick-off, the presnetations with our project partners and the E&I Touchdown (12.06.2023) is obligatory!
Students enrolled in the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Specialization Program.
Please note that course registration is binding. The moment your registration is received, it is regarded as a clear commitment on your part. Students cannot transfer to another course (once the add/drop period is over) with no exceptions, as it would be unfair to other students (who might not have gotten into the course of their choice because of the spot you registered for). The number of students accepted to the course will only be expanded if there is no space in any other course 4/5.
Attention: the obligatory literature test will be held on March 1st 2023 between 8 and 8.30 am. Course participation is only possible by passing the literature test – if you cannot attend the test, we kindly ask you to not register for this course. Detailed information regarding contents and location of the test will be provided after the registration phase for this course. The literature test in this course overlaps with other courses within Course 4&5 of the specialization Entrepreneurship & Innovation. A parallel attendance of these courses is not possible.
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