Porto

CREATIVE DESIGN SEMESTER AND UNISTARTAPP GIVE THE OPPORTUNITY FOR STUDENTS TO ACQUIRE THE FEATURES BY EMPLOYERS OF TODAY

The Warsaw Design Factory, located in the Warsaw University of Technology, aims to build an innovative university in order to develop skills in their students. With this initiative, the university aims to develop professional skills that are missing in formal university curricula; improve the interdisciplinarity achieved through multifaceted teams with students from different areas; but also improve the competences of their academic staff.

The Creative Design Semester is an additional semester targeted to 1st and 2nd degree students from various faculties of the Warsaw University of Technology to prepared them to the business world. One of the most important projects implemented jointly with the authorities of several cities in Poland was UniStartApp. This project combined the academic education, giving their participants ETCS points for this project, while remaining consistent with the startup creation methodology.

The UniStartApp was run through some defined stages and milestones assigned to each one of them: from the application idea, through competitor analysis, identification of user requirements, creation of the final product vision, together with supporting business model, requirement specification, summary of business-system analysis and final programming workshop.  This project begun in the early 2016 and was concluded in November of the same year, with the Gala event at Warsaw University of Technology, attended by all the project partners as well the representatives from the Ministries of Development and of Digitization, the Office of Electronic Communications, venture capital organizations, tech companies and the Polish Agency for Entrepreneurship Development.

DEVELOPED SKILLS AND COMPETENCES

Interdisciplinary teams, composed of students from the faculties of management, finance and IT worked on the concept and prototype of an application in line with the idea of ​​smart city. Qualified experts have supervised the group’s activities, leading to the creation of applications aiming at helping job seeking activities, organizing events, improving urban infrastructure, among others.

The UniStartApp project was a unique and innovative initiative preparing students to be the entrepreneurs of the future. Some of these competencies were:

  • Interdisciplinary communication within teams (particularly between programmers and not tech participants)
  • Learn how to work virtually with teams, improving cooperation capacity in a virtual environment – competency highly expected in a digitalized business environment
  • Widening horizons
  • T-shape people, which means that each student learned skills outside their training area
  • Entrepreneurship education

Traditional university structures are, yet, not ready for interdisciplinary and interorganizational cooperation that are at the core of future startup leaders’ formation process. Ecosystems like the one tested within UniStartApp project, can be a valuable reference point for similar initiatives in the future.


Main partners

Warsaw University of Technology

Warsaw Design Factory
Municipality of Warsaw

 

MATOSINHOS LIVING LAB AIMS AT CREATING SMART, ZERO-CARBON EMISSIONS, RESILIENT, ACCESSIBLE, PARTICIPATORY AND CONNECTED NEIGHBOURHOOD

Matosinhos is a coastal city in the district of Porto. The living lab is located in a central area of the city surrounding the City Hall, where the main public services are centred, composed by several points with distinct physical, economic and social characteristics. It is an initiative of Municipality of Matosinhos, CEiiA (Centre of Engineering and Product Development), Porto Polytechnic, Metro do Porto, Efacec, among others. The overall objective of is to create a smart neighbourhood, as a low carbon space, resilient, accessible, participated and connected. It aims at testing technological solutions for low-carbon, energy efficient and reducing pollutant emissions. It acts in areas such as mobility and transport, buildings, environmental innovation and the promotion of circular economy, to decarbonize the city.

It is a project of co-creation and open innovation of products, services, software, hardware and low-carbon urban interventions, where municipalities, knowledge centres, companies, entrepreneurs and citizens interact.

Real context tests are performed for challenges like parking management, bike sharing, electrification of the fleet, traffic monitoring.

A CITIZEN-ENGAGEMENT EXPERIENCE

Matosinhos is preparing to become a living experience of what may be the cities of the future regarding the carbon intensity of daily activities. The citizens will be engaged in the creation and experimentation of cleaner and more intelligent technologies. The project also aims to promote entrepreneurship and the development of low-carbon business solutions.

In this sense, the role of the University was to develop a methodology to assess the impacts on the citizens. Indeed, the Polytechnics of Porto has created a technological tool to monitor social impact on two levels: customer perception of the use of the technologies offered by the living lab and the appropriation of the concept of “citizen centre” by them. This tool will be based on the use of the OLAP (Online Analytical Processing) cube, analysing the 3 perspectives presented of the BSC (Balanced SoreCard): customers’ perspective, learning perspective and economic-financial perspective.

MATOSINHOS LIVING LAB GOES BEYOND THE DECARBONIZATION OF THE CITY

Besides decarbonizing the city, the project’s goals include decreasing energy consumption, providing a test-bed for solutions that can be scaled to the whole city, to other cities and eventually to other countries, having a more comfortable and sustainable mobility, and promoting the use of renewable energies.

Several activities are being performed in order to achieve those goals, namely:

  • Development, testing and experimentation of innovative and integrated technological solutions, in real context, intersecting mobility, energy, buildings and connectivity
  • Promotion of strong user involvement, with the co-creation of solution
  • Evaluation of social adoption of these solutions
  • Measurement and evaluation of carbon emissions in real time powered by mobi.me (CEiiA’s mobility management platform)
  • Intelligent traffic monitoring in Matosinhos using radars and sensors
  • Placement in buses stops of real-time information monitors, managed by mobi.me, displaying the time, the atmospheric temperature and the waiting time for the incoming buses

Therefore, the project, apart from reducing the carbon emissions, intends to provide more quality in public spaces, more energetic efficiency, better life quality inside public building, improvement of road safety, increasing connectivity between citizen and all agents, and promotion entrepreneurship and new businesses creation related to low carbon solutions (development of new products and services). How? With auto sustainable lamps that measure carbon emissions, with pavement that reduces vehicle speed without drivers’ intervention, with a bike sharing system connected to the public transport system with a real time measurement of CO2 emissions spared, with an autonomous robot to support urban cleaning, among other activities and tools.

This blog article is written with reference to a good practice case study report prepared as part of the Erasmus+ University City Action Lab (UCITYLAB) Project.

MAIN PARTNERS