05 Sep 2016 |
Research article |
Entrepreneurship & Management
World Class Summer School Course on Innovation and Technological Design at ETS!
The École de technologie supérieure (ÉTS) in Montreal is proud to have successfully completed the second edition of the International Summer School on Innovation and Technological Design, which took place from June 30 to July 29, 2016.
The Summer School Students
49 students from 15 different countries had registered for the program, including 10 ETSians. International students came from our privileged partners: City University of Hong Kong (Hong Kong), Nanyang Technological University (Singapore), RWTH Aachen University (Germany), TEC de Monterrey (Mexico), Univertà di Padova (Italy), Escola Politécnica da Universidade de Sao Paulo (Brazil), Iran University of Science and Technology (Iran), Czech Technical University in Prague (Czech Republic), Hanyang University (South Korea), KAIST (South Korea), Los Andes University (Colombia) and Pontificia Universidad Católica de Ecuador (Ecuador).
The teaching staff for the course (offered in English) was transdisciplinary; we relied on the scientific and pedagogical support of seven of our teachers for the technical aspects of the third project: Michel Baraër, Pierre Bélanger, François Brissette, Christopher Fuhrman, Robert Hausler, Maarouf Saad and Matthew Toews. Two other professors, Lorena Escandon and Mario Dubois, taught the students concepts related to creativity, innovation and international teamwork. The students also benefited from the instruction of Industrial Design Professor Mithra Zahedi, University of Montreal, who introduced them to the concept of design thinking. An industrial designer, Félix Guyon, offered design advice during the implementation of their projects.
Forming the teams
The objective of the Summer School 2016 was to form entrepreneurial teams while simulating an innovative start-up company. The students participated in the selection of eight team leaders. Subsequently, these leaders picked a problem associated with the third project and chose their team members. For this, we gave them cards about each student describing his/her field of study, experience and personal skills, without revealing his/her identity.
Three Innovative Projects
To put this new knowledge into practice, three projects were proposed:
- Replacing a faulty sailboat engine (2 hours)
- Innovative solutions for a vertical aquaponics greenhouse (18 hours)
- Innovative solutions to protect the St. Lawrence River (70 hours).
Project 1: A Disabled Sailboat
This short two-hour project allowed students to get to know each other and learn to use newly acquired knowledge related to teamwork, conflict management, creative and innovation processes and creative tools.
Project 2: A Future Vertical Aquaponics Greenhouse
The second project, 18 hours long, was carried out for the company Gestion Immobilière Quo Vadis directed by Nathalie Voland, business manager and member of the ÉTS Board. For this project, the start-up Eau will soon design and install a hydroponic greenhouse coupled with aquaculture fish ponds in Mrs. Voland’s industrial building. This combination of plant and fish culture is called aquaponics. Eau has implemented a small model aquaponics greenhouse at the Jean-Talon Market in Montreal that students were able to visit.
The students had the chance to develop this project at the collaborative creation laboratory of Salon 1861, a superb location made available to students by Mrs. Voland.
Project 3: Protection of the St. Lawrence River
As a result of the second project, the students acquired knowledge of cloud computing solutions (Big Data) courtesy of IBM, of creativity, of business model creation fitting on a single sheet (Business Model Generation) and of rapid prototype development at échoFab, a fab lab at Communautique. Ubisoft, specializing in interactive games design and marketing, came to talk about their innovation process to the students.
This third project lasting 70 hours had them find an innovative solution to one of the following problems in order to protect the St. Lawrence River:
- Collect water samples from the St. Lawrence River.
- Inform the population about the river water quality.
- Recognize and identify rare or invasive species in the river.
- Reducing bank erosion.
- Remove polluting solid waste from the river.
At the end of the course, each team presented its project and a prototype of their product to a panel of professors and external guests. At the end of the month long program, they receive three graduate course credits. Let us wish for them to take advantage of this experience to create a business, continue their research, or join the professional labour market!
Marjolaine Adam is completing her PhD in education at University of Montreal. She is project manager for the Relations Office for graduates and the community at ÉTS and a specialist in urban dynamics and innovation systems.
Lorena Escandon is a PhD candidate at ÉTS automated production engineering department in Montreal. She specializes in "Big Data" use to support creativity.
Program : Automated Manufacturing Engineering
Research laboratories : NUMERIX – Organizational Engineering Research Laboratory for the Digital Enterprise