A multi-disciplinary student team from UiS is visiting Twente University in the Netherlands, joining an event called ECIU Creathon for Smarter Regional Development.
A Creathon is a creative marathon for young entrepreneurs, students and other creative people who come together to solve a particular case. University of Stavanger was invited as the Norwegian member of ECIU – European Consortium of Innovative Universities.
Studying Business and innovation, Energy, environment and society, Computer science and City and regional planning, respectively, six UiS students will combine their skills and perspectives to tackle the following question:
How can we improve the city’s services for young families?
The regional challenge in question has been formulated in close collaboration with Stavanger municipality, which also visits Twente along with the students. The city has opened up a series of datasets, which can be useful for creating new digital solutions in projects like this.
As an example, could information about kindergartens, traffic patterns and other data be used to offer the best kindergarten options for a new family in Stavanger?
«I thought this particular project was interesting because my husband works for Stavanger municipality and this is a topic his team struggles with yearly. There has to be a smarter way to handle the issue and some fresh ideas or alternative thinking on the topic might be helpful», says Michal Erica Peter-Anderson, a master student in City and Regional Planning.
«I think there are many problems that can be solved by computer programming. I want to join the ECIU creathon so that I can participate in solving real world problems», says Computer Science student Jungwon Seo.
Elisabeth Stene at the master programme in Business and innovation hopes to get ideas on how to provide best services in a new and efficient way.
In addition to tackling this particular case, Kenny Kaluiji, believes he will also to acquire useful innovation skills. A master student in Energy, environment and society, he wants to use innovation processes to solve social and economic problems in his native Angola after he graduates.
Representing the university’s Centre for Entrepreneurship, Minnah F. Haniffa believes projects like this give students an opportunity to challenge themselves by working on real-world cases.
«The great thing about this ECIU project is that it is multi-disciplinary. That’s when you get those ‘eureka’ moments. We greatly value entrepreneurship in our education, as well as collaboration with private and public sector insitutions. The University of Stavanger aims at solving challenges in society, and that is what we are trying to do in this project.»
Text and photo: Leiv Gunnar Lie