Published: 15-11-2016 15:06 | Updated: 15-11-2016 15:10

Innovation Day gives a good grounding for degree projects

18 November is Innovation Day, when new innovative ideas will be hatched through intense teamwork involving students from around Karolinska Institutet.

Jan-Olov Höög. Photo: Pernilla Pettersson. “The point of Innovation Day is also to give the students tools and ideas about innovation and entrepreneurship ahead of their degree projects,” says Professor Jan-Olov Höög, Scandinavian director for EIT Health Education.

Karolinska Institutet wants its students to get early training in the concepts and practices of innovation so they have what they need to take on the enormous challenges that will one day face healthcare. During Innovation Day on 18 November, students from all over KI will get practice in entrepreneurship involving real cases through an innovation workshop and competition.

“We hope to be able to attract between 400 and 500 students,” says Professor Höög.

Under the guidance of a coach, the students will work together to solve specific challenges presented by companies, Stockholm City or Stockholm County Council. KI is one of the universities around Europe to take part in the challenge, which is part of the EIT Health programme devised by the EU to bring universities and companies together in the search for solutions to caring for its ageing population.

Even if Innovation Day is not mandatory, the students who are doing their degree projects in 2017 should have the chance to attend in order to have a more solid grounding upon which to work.

“We hope that the students will use their new knowledge and innovation skills in their degree projects, which I think they can do if they’re given the tools and the ideas,” says Professor Höög.

The outline for Innovation Day has already been fixed. The participants will be divided into teams, mixing students from different programmes in order that they can come up with an interprofessional solution to a given innovation challenge. Teamwork is the order of the day.

“Before it’s all over, the groups must be able to show how they have solved their challenge,” explains Professor Höög. “Since Innovation Day is also a competition, we will also be selecting the best team, which will go on to compete against other international teams.”

The day ends with an innovation pub for everyone involved.

Text: Maja Lundbäck