Innovation space project: innovation and entrepreneurship processes


About this course

This course aims develop competences of future engineers by identifying solutions thanks to challenge-based entrepreneurship applied in a set of interdisciplinary student teams, working on open-ended assignments in close interaction with high-tech companies and societal organizations. It combines the design and engineering of a product/service/system and new business development. The course involves no lectures, but studio style group work, self-study and personal and team development. Several out-of-the box pressure-cooker style workshops will be offered, either online or offline. Students are in the lead of their own learning processes. The course is part of educational innovation in TU/e innovation Space.

The course consists of a large integrative project in which in-depth engineering design skills are developed and previously acquired knowledge and expertise are actively shared with students from different backgrounds. A systems approach, observing the complete system rather than a specific component, is stimulated. The students are encouraged to acquire new knowledge and skills in a hands-on approach during the process of identifying a multi-dimension solution to the challenge.

The challenges are business and societal challenges that are sufficiently open, complex, and innovative to demand for an interdisciplinary collaboration among students. Challenges are offered in collaboration with TU/e innovation Space. Companies, governments, institutes and society as a whole are involved as much as possible. An overview of the current challenges can be found in the education guide, via this link:

During the interactive Kickoff workshop, the students will meet the challenge-owners and listen to their pitches. Based on their challenge preferences, interdisciplinary teams are formed in close collaboration with the course coordinator and the coach.  During the project, students will interact with the relevant stakeholders to present them with real life problems and creatively develop solutions. Interaction with business and societal organizations will be an important element of this course, next to involving real users.

The project will include defining and refining (i.e. co-evolution of) a problem and ideas for a solution simultaneously and iteratively through analysis, synthesis and reflection processes. Great attention will be given on iterative experimentation of ideas through visualization, validation, prototyping, and testing until a feasible problem-solution fit emerges. This means that students have to go out of the classroom and talk to experts, potential clients and end users as part of the validation.

Students reflect biweekly on their developments in a leaderboard approach including a content-wise (progress on the project) and social-wise (team/cohort building) perspective. To that is added also the individual reflection on the progress made in their learning objectives. The teams present and discuss their weekly results (progress pitch) and get feedback from peers and the coaches. In coaching sessions, teams get also individual feedback to help students steering and structuring their own development and achievements. 

The final output per team is an (investors) pitch in front of a jury and the external stakeholders involved, a one-pager (flyer) infographic presenting their project, a mock-up or a pre-prototype, a hand-over presentation with recommendations and next steps for challenge owners, and a reflection on the learning objectives providing an overview of the team and individual learning reflections on the personal and professional development channelled by teamwork. A functional prototype and implementable pilot can as a distinguisher for a high grade. In case of a social impact entrepreneurial project, students prepare a stakeholders pitch, in order to convince all the interested actors on the social impact and added value of the project.

Students that select this course have above-average skills to work independently, aim to acquire knowledge at the forefront of technology, are able to deal with uncertainty, risk, limited resources and show a high degree of interdisciplinarity. Students are stimulated to take responsibility for their own learning. 

This course is one of the main experiments with education innovation in TU/e innovation Space. Next to using the physical location and facilities of TU/e innovation Space, students are invited to become part of the community of TU/e innovation Space. TU/e innovation Space also offers (online) workshops (innoApproaches) and innoTalks to all students in TU/e innovation Space. These are additional workshops, there is no mandatory presence for students of this course, but we recommend the workshops to all of you. More information on these workshops will be posted in the schedule.

Learning outcomes

 Each student is able to deliver a crucial contribution to:

Approach (Focus on the process, methodologies and tools linked to the content of the project)

In team

Select and apply appropriate design, engineering and business approaches and tools to create an innovative and science-based solution to a real-life challenge.

Self-regulated learning, learning by doing, open ended learning, P2P learning, co-learning, lifelong learning, growth mindset, multidisciplinary, personal/team development

Analysis (Focus on exploration, experimentation, validation)

In team

Develop a profound interpretation of a highly complex, real-life problem and the systems around it. Take into account the societal impact, customer desirability, technical feasibility, business viability, and legal doability perspective.

Becoming able to identify the steps from challenge to pilot project and in the process explore the environment around these aspects

Synthesis (Focus on decision making, drawing conclusions)

In team

Develop a problem-driven, creative and integrative design, resulting in an original and validated prototype that balances customer desirability, technical feasibility, financial sustainability and viabilitysocial impact.

By synthesising the above-mentioned aspects, students are able to deliver a pre-prototype i.e. visualisation and representation of problem & solution and a revenue model.

Interdisciplinarity (Focus: synergies, symbioses, complementary competencies)

In team


Identify, envision and promote the role and contributions of engineering disciplines in solving problems in business, industrial and societal environments.

		Integrate those diverse contributions - tools, methodologies, approaches -  in the form of a validated prototype.  


Skills and behaviour (Focus on showing evidence with clear examples that are validated by peers)

In team


Develop leadership and project management skills to organize and perform an interdisciplinary, hands on, and team-based engineering design and/or business development project.
Communicate a message at different levels of elaboration to all kind of relevant parties, orally and in writing.

Work independently, be pro-active, develop entrepreneurial mindset
Provide cohort support i.e. psychological safety and community building, and be pro-active

Personal and team development (Focus on learning process and development)

Individually and in team

Define and regularly reflect on a personal and team development plan, indicating personal and team goals and needed development.

Deal with uncertainty and performance under pressure and embrace the unknown, be adoptive and agile, and perform under pressure.

Stakeholders management and networking (Focus on turning the stakeholders network into a value network)

Individually and in team

Map and reach out to the relevant stakeholders for the project and ensure that they are informed and/or involved throughout the whole course.

Stakeholder management and extend network by getting out of the building and enhance co-creation, and connecting with the world.


Remark: Report an overview (including team/individual learning reflections), on the personal and professional development channelled by teamwork is enriched with the following deliverables: a mock-up or pre-prototype, an investor or societal pitch in front of a jury and external stakeholders, a one-pager (flyer) infographic presenting the project, a hand-over presentation with recommendations and next steps for challenge owners, a functional prototype and implementable pilot is a distinguisher for a high grade.

What is being assessed?: Part 1 Team assessment: including the overview on team-reflection, pre-prototype, pitch, stakeholders management, and a hand-over presentation with recommendations and next steps for challenge owners evaluated (by lecturer and peers) based on the constantive formative assessment throughout the course. Part 2 Individual reflection on learning objectives.
Team deliverables (report, prototype, pitch) (70%)
Individual reflection (30%)
To pass students are required to score on average 5.5 or higher for the individual and the team assignment, and no assignment less than 5.0.


Live for applications 14/05/24 – 29/07/24. To register for this course, please contact your home institution.

Course requirements

A Bachelors degree


A self-guided learning is based not only on lectures but studio-work with a wide variety of interactive hybrid sessions including teamwork, pitching, stakeholder collaboration, expert-sessions and thematic workshops.

Additional information

  • Credits
    ECTS 10
  • Instructors
    Ákos Wetters, Gert Guri, Isabelle Reymen, Lenny Apon
If anything remains unclear, please check the FAQ of TU/e (The Netherlands).


  • Start date

    2 September 2024

    • Ends
      27 October 2024
    • Term *
      Block GS1
    • Location
    • Instruction language
    • Register between
      14 May - 29 Jul 2024
    • Time info
      Tuesday 17:30 - 19:30, Wednesday 13:30 - 17:30, Friday 08:45 - 12:45
    Only 8 days to enrol
    Apply now
  • Start date

    3 February 2025

    • Ends
      6 April 2025
    • Term *
      Block GS3
    • Location
    • Instruction language
    • Time info
      Tuesday 17:30 - 19:30, Wednesday 13:30 - 17:30, Friday 08:45 - 12:45
These offerings are valid for students of DTU (Denmark)