Corporate collaboration

IDBM Industry Project - Global Team Track

Master’s students from fields of design, engineering & business form interdisciplinary teams to work on real-life product and service innovation challenges proposed by partner companies.
Student Business projects

Working together with students from another university from our network, the global student teams follow Stanford University’s design thinking methodology to develop innovative, user-centered proof-of-concept prototypes to solve the proposed challenges.

The course work follows Stanford University’s pedagogy with close-up teaching, including workshops, lectures and independent work. Overall the course is highly intensive, powered by internally motivated and committed students working hands on, and creating tangible outcomes from user need finding to prototyping and testing.

What can the company expect from taking part in this project?

The course offers multiple benefits for the participating companies, including innovative problem-solving, cross-disciplinary cooperation, access to a global network of innovative companies and universities, recruitment opportunities, plethora of ideas, market research, user understanding and insights, tens of tested prototypes for new products and/or services and one user-validated proof-of-concept prototype at the end to answer the proposed challenge.

We have partnered with companies such as All Nippon Airways (ANA), Roche, Bayer, Xylem Inc., Audi, OP, eFM, Autodesk, Rovio, ABB, Nokia, Harvia, Suez, Panasonic, Bosch, Carvajal, Berca, Activision, YLE, Washtec, VTT, UBS, UNICEF, Visy, UPM, Thales, Takeda, ZEISS.

The benefits for the participating company include

  • Cross-disciplinary co-operation
  • Innovative problem-solving
  • Topic related market and user research and understanding
  • Outcome in form of 2 mid-term reports, 1 final report, multiple (user)tested prototypes during the year, one final proof-of-concept prototype
  • Building internal understanding and competence in applying design thinking

What is required from the company?

The participating company is expected to outline the project, assign minimum one named corporate liaison, and participate in meetings on average every second week.

What do the students receive?

The project will include workshops, independent work, group work, company visits, field research, user interviews, expert interviews, prototyping, testing, and design thinking. The students will be able to reframe a problem taking into account the different stakeholders as well as the societal impact. They will understand how to design with incomplete information, and will also be able to apply user centered design. Furthermore, the students will understand the value of and be able to apply iterative prototyping.

It is a very different approach, and a great experience! I would like to transfer it to all professionals of my company.

Nicola Martinelli, founder and CEO, EFM (Italy)

Course details

  • Contact: Markku Koskela, [email protected]
  • Project duration: 9 months (October - June)
  • Number of students per project: 3-4 at Aalto University + 3-5 at a global partner university
  • Project fee for a company: 60 000 - 120 000 € + VAT (depending on partner university)
  • Application period for companies: March-September
  • Course Website:
  • Reference projects:
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