From exploring how Sports Interactive can develop its Football Manager (FMdB) app, to looking at how Mobike – ‘the world’s first and largest smart bike share company’ headquartered in China – can expand its operation in the UK capital, a wide variety of briefs were set by over 30 national and international organisations as part of the Collaborative Project.
The popular Loughborough University London module, now in its fourth year, brings together postgraduate students from different disciplines to address contemporary challenges through team-based action-learning with a focus on creativity and innovation.
The 2018/19 project partners included big names such as Chelsea FC, WaterAid, Versus Arthritis, Mott MacDonald, Tianrong Sport, London Sport, Impact Marathon Series, London Stadium, the West Ham United Foundation and Girl Effect.
NHS England once again joined the module and this year asked students to think of ways it could develop a social innovation culture within the organisation and to identify the current barriers it faces.
The students came up with a number of ideas including creating ‘innovation teams’ made up of innovation experts and local partners and a portal to empower NHS staff to share and transfer ideas.
An NHS spokesperson commented: “The project leads were very impressed at the detail and understanding of the healthcare system during the short duration of the project and given that many of the students had little personal experience of the NHS.
“It was a pleasure to work with the University students and staff alike who were well organised and ensured that the outputs were of a high quality. We are working with the winning project to allow them present and share their ideas further.”
Loughborough University London students have been celebrated by leading industry names.
Ogilvy Health set a brief that entailed designing a pilot study specification for a digitally-enabled, behavioural intervention that increases use of stairs instead of elevators in the workplace.
David Davenport-Firth, Managing Partner of the Brain Sciences Centre at Ogilvy Health, said: “I was privileged to come onto campus each week and to see such a level of proactivity and engagement was a really positive surprise.
“We are now looking at how we further develop collaboration so we’re really excited.”
EMSOL, a data-focused air and noise pollution monitoring solution that enables businesses to drive interventions based on live data to reduce road transport pollution, asked students to draft a framework and strategy to assist with international expansion.
Co-founder and CEO Freddie Talberg said he received “amazing responses” and he plans to share the students’ ideas with company investors.
Freddie said: “We are big fans of nurturing young talent that think and look at things differently to me and my co-founder.
“It really is great having so many people look into your business and seek to challenge and help you. It has been a refreshing and rewarding experience.”
The Collaborative Project is open to all full-time and part-time students at Loughborough University London.
The Collaborative Project 2019 "has been a refreshing and rewarding experience".
Diplomacy Business and Trade student Kyle Paisley said of the module: “The Collaborative Project gave me valuable experience leading a diverse team to solve a real-world problem.
“By creating an innovative solution as a team, everyone’s unique skillsets became clear and it also highlighted areas for future development which will be helpful for our careers.”
Loughborough University London’s Learning Partnerships Manager Ashley Gray, who manages collaborative operations on the module, commented: “The Collaborative Project has established itself to be a highly-valued low barrier to entry opportunity for organisations of all sizes and industries to join our Collaborate community and adventure into strategic innovation with Loughborough University London.
“My colleague Dr Daniel Graff, the academic module lead, and I have been excited to follow the journeys of 166 diverse student teams as they’ve worked on 32 contemporary industry challenge briefs, with outputs having the potential to stimulate societal impact locally, nationally and internationally.”
Partners are now being sought for the 2019/20 Collaborative Project. Organisations hoping to be part of the module are asked to register their interest before 12 May via the submissions portal.