Innovation Lab is an annual student project, in which business students at IMC University of Applied Sciences in Krems innovatively solve real life challenges faced by companies and organisations in the wake of digital transformation. The international master programme “Digital Business Innovation and Transformation” started in fall 2017 as the first of its kind in Austria and has since completed around 30 digital innovation projects.
However, this year an extra challenge for the students was that they had to work virtually – not only within the team, but also with the companies. Nevertheless, this did not impede the degree of innovation; on the contrary, it produced unexpected results for the students, as one team decided to pursue their idea as a start-up together with the partner company and applied for seed funding. Participating companies were very satisfied with the outcome as well, as Eric Ryan Weisz, CEO of Circly, an early-stage start-up specialising in demand forecasting using AI, sums up: “We were pleasantly surprised by the results of the Innovation Lab at IMC Krems. We have taken them to heart and have already implemented them in our strategy.“
Innovation projects with big and small partners
“We always strive to have a sound balance of industry partners participating in our annual innovation lab including large multinationals, non-profit organisations, regional SMEs and start-ups,” explains Programme Director Dipl.-Ing. Dr. Roger Hage. The following companies and organisations participated in this year’s Innovation Lab: Kapsch Traffic Com, Österreichische Gesundheitskasse, Kehrer, ECOSPACE, Startup-Manufaktur, Circly, Pixofarm and VelaOnTour. One of the innovation projects was about finding and validating a smart farming business model for a weeding robot using laser and artificial intelligence. Another aimed at designing an automatic data-driven advisory service to support digitalisation in SMEs.