Amazing atmosphere at the DEMOLA fall season opening event in Szeged

The opening event of the Demola Programme was held on Friday, October 4th. Nearly 30 university students, including 12 foreign students, represented 16 majors of  6 faculties of the University of Szeged.

Enikő Pitó, head of the Directorate for R&D and Innovation at the University of Szeged, opened the series of events. In her speech, she told the University of Szeged joined Demola, the international innovation community, as part of the Virtus Enterprise Catalyst Programme last year. During the Demola event series, students work in international teams for 8 weeks to tackle real market challenges submitted by the companies. During this batch, they immerse themselves in creative and co-creation methods with the help of their mentors and have an excellent opportunity to expand their network too. They also gain an entrepreneurial spirit, learn more about team-based project work, and receive a Demola Global Certificate that adds additional value to their resume.

The kick-off event aimed to bring students together and help them build a team spirit as well as to connect participants with company leaders and present the company challenges. The inspiring tasks were coordinated by Erik Nyroos, co-creation expert of Demola, who brought the methodology, that has seen a decade of success so far, and the spirit of the programme to Szeged from Demola’s home country, Finland. The groups of students and mentors first had to challenge themselves in constructing tweezer towers. During the seemingly easy task, they had to contend with the instability of their structures, and in the midst of bursts of laughters, there were some who, for that reason, had to start building all over again. Following the team building tasks, participants learned something entirely new and were introduced to the Team Canvas and Context Canvas methods. In Team Canvas, team members were able to identify their individual abilities and then jointly determined what different individualskills they could take advantage of during teamwork. Context Canvas helpedgroups understand the corporate problem and identify target groups andstakeholders.

In the fall semester of 2019/2020, students will respectively work on two market challenges of two internationally recognized companies. The groups choosing the case study of Univer Product, a prominent player of the Hungarian food industry, went through the joys and trials of the kick-off day with company director, Attila Avramucz. For the rest of the semester, they all will work together with their teammates representing the traditions of their individual countries to develop new product categories that are in line with international trends. Members of the other student group will examine case studies submitted by an internationally renowned company from the robotics and automation sectors and help with their creative ideas to integrate biometric and other modern identification methods into the corporate system.

The SZTE Virtus team, which also hosts the Demola programme, aspires to promote entrepreneurship and the entrepreneurial spirit among students and researchers. In this international programme, students and researchers with innovative ideas are welcomed throughout the yearto kick off and implement their ideas with the assistance of Virtus mentors. Each semester, the Virtus Programme organises events and competitions toenhance students’ skills. In the fall semester, for example, anyone interestedcan register for a series of prototype design workshops, beginning with anOctober 11th event, focused on graphic skills. The programme has attractedstudents‘ interest so much that available spaces were filled in less than aweek, so the organisers urge students to submit their applications for laterevents as soon as possible.

Demola is a Finland-based international innovation challenge platform which currently operates in 17countries. It brings together students and leading brands: multidisciplinary project teams work on real company challenges, with co-creation method, for 8weeks to develop the best possible solution to the challenges submitted by the participating companies. The team must demonstrate and pitch the results of the project work to the representatives of the sponsoring company.

The University of Szeged joined the Demola Global in 2018, within the framework of the Virtus EnterpriseCatalyst Programme, aiming to create a young, open, multidisciplinary community at the University that works with creative ideas and methods to solve realmarket problems.

For any queries about Demola at the University of Szeged, contact Zsolt Nagy at zsolt.nagy@demola.net