CreaLab - innovative approaches to solutions for society and business

The CreaLab of the School of Business at the University of Applied Sciences Northwestern Switzerland brought 25 students together with 5 companies and organizations. The students developed new perspectives and concepts, some of which could be taken further.

At the CreaLab of the School of Business of the University of Applied Sciences Northwestern Switzerland FHNW, 25 students formed an innovative community with lecturers and experts. They spent four days at the beginning of April developing solutions for current social challenges on the topic of "Smart Sustainable Region". The companies Roche, Pfizer and Bio Suisse, as well as the financial administration of the Canton of Basel-Stadt and the Lörrach Economic Development Corporation, asked the Bachelor students to work on questions and develop innovative solutions. Tina Haisch, lecturer and head of the Innovation and Space focus at the FHNW School of Business, and her team organized the CreaLab teaching and development format as part of the "Innovation" integration module in the Business Administration degree program at the Basel location.

One team of students addressed the question of how Pfizer, which is located in Freiburg, could strengthen its visibility as an attractive partner for biotech companies in the Basel region. Another team developed a proposal for Roche on how the company could put its no longer needed laboratory equipment to good use. And the Lörrach Economic Development Agency gave the students the task of developing a marketing concept for the Lauffenmühle site. During and after the final presentations, the clients had lively discussions with the students.

Ideas are discussed further

"The students have developed exciting ideas that we will be happy to discuss further," said Dominik Schoen from the financial administration of the Canton of Basel-Stadt. And David Herrmann from Bio Suisse noted, "I particularly liked that the group went beyond the briefing with their ideas and developed something completely new with their proposal."

The students also had positive things to say about CreaLab: "We learned that a lot is possible in four days. The task was very challenging, but a good experience," said Sarina Bader. Jusuf Zera added: "The cooperation in the group was very good. And the input from the experts was also helpful, as we had to acquire missing skills in a short time."

Interdisciplinary, complex project

The organizer Tina Haisch was very satisfied with this CreaLab edition: "It showed again how popular the format is. There is a lot of interest among companies and organizations." For the students, the topic "Smart Sustainable Region" was new, and they had to adapt to an interdisciplinary, complex project in a short time. "They mastered it with flying colors," praised the professor.

Time and again, companies, regions or institutions are faced with challenges and issues for which new ideas and approaches are needed. Often, the view from the outside is the key to forward-looking concepts. CreaLab offers the opportunity to have teams of students develop new perspectives and work out concepts.