Practical applied project

Practical applied project (two modules, each worth 12 ECTS)

The aim of the practical applied project is to give students the opportunity to experience an integrated innovation process, to equip them to manage a similar process in a professional context.

Students work in interdisciplinary groups on an innovative product and/or service development process, the aim of which is also to put into practice the tools and skills acquired during their theoretical and practical classes.

During the practical applied project, students are invited to work in groups to lead an innovation process based on technologies (technology push) or business opportunities (market pull), selected from developments entrusted to them by external businesses (start-ups, SMEs, NGOs, multinationals or public institutions). The practical applied project is supervised by the Master’s programme leaders and supported by a pool of professionals from industry and the innovation ecosystem in French-speaking Switzerland. The process is based on a practical, hands-on approach and is split into four main phases:

1) Ideas generation

The ideas generation phase consists of reformulating the challenge put forward by the business, researching information and developing a portfolio of ideas on possible new applications of the proposed technology or opportunity.

2) Concept

A validation and selection phase, which is used to identify the ideas with the most commercial potential and develop communications tools – such as illustrations, models and videos – to communicate the most promising idea to future users.

3) Development

The development phase consists of carrying out market research and describing a business opportunity that aligns with the strategy of the commissioning business.

4) Implementation

The implementation phase consists of technological feasibility testing, deployment of the marketing plan and industrialisation of the product and/or service to be incorporated into the existing or future product portfolio.

At the end of the process, students offer the commissioning business a variety of options for the future development of their product portfolio. They are given communications materials (demonstrators, models, films, etc.) and a description of the potential market for the most promising concept, as well as a marketing plan and guidance on incorporating it into the business’s strategy.