At UCD Innovation Academy we believe in learning by doing. A key part of the learning journey of a student at the Innovation Academy is the practical application of their learning to real challenges facing companies, public sector organisations, start-ups, SMES and NGOs.
We are constantly seeking new and interesting challenge briefs from businesses and organisations for a multi-disciplinary team of Innovation Academy students to work on. Students work for a defined period applying creative problem solving methodologies ultimately delivering a creative concept and/or prototype for their ‘Project Host’.
For our students this offers a great opportunity to gain real experience and put what they have learned in class into practice. For ‘Project Hosts’ it offers a unique opportunity to gain a fresh new perspective on an existing problem and work closely with the next generation of entrepreneurs, leaders and thinkers.
How it works?
The ‘Host Project’ is divided in three stages:
The ‘Project Host’ works with one of our Entrepreneurial Specialists to develop and refine their project brief, which includes a short written document (1-2 pages) introducing the challenge and an overview of the organisation.
Meet with the students
There is no sponsorship fee required from ‘Project Hosts’. Hosts nominate a contact for the duration of the project and it is hoped that they will meet with the students once at the start of the project and then be in email or phone contact approximately once a week over the duration of the project.
Ideation and Pitching
UCD Postgraduate and PhD students work in teams of 5-6 intensively for a defined period of between one week and four weeks before pitching their solutions at a special event entitled ‘Disruption’. UCD Undergraduate students focus their efforts on a single day – Industry Day.
See how our undergraduate students worked with our partners Deloitte and Diona in 2016
UCD Innovation Academy has collaborated with over 200 businesses and organisations since 2010. Despite the short length of time, our ‘Project Hosts’ are often impressed by how much our teams can achieve in such a short space of time and ‘Project Hosts’ are often extended either internally by the host organisation or via a follow-on project.
“We found the overall experience working with the group refreshing. The attitude and aptitude demonstrated to fully immerse in the challenge given guaranteed an excellent outcome.”Tadhg O'Malley, Immunology Division Director at AbbVie
“I was delighted to engage with the Innovation Academy and the students there. It was a light touch but thorough process and the solution the team presented at the end of it was smart, practical and valuable.”Niamh Bushnell, Startup Commissioner for Dublin
“Thank you to the UCD Springboard Innovation group for all the energy and commitment you have brought to GSKs corporate reputation project. You have certainly challenged some of our preconceived ideas that will give us great food for thought as move forward.”Martina Dempsey, Director, Medicines & Vaccines, GSK