Monday, 8 December 2008

Inspirations and insights from Denmark

Greetings from Denmark - Land of flat plains, bridges, rain, innovative universities, stylish design and very nice people!

University of Southern Denmark (SDU) in Odense and Copenhagen University College of Engineering (IHK) are among TAMK's partner universities in Denmark. During the first week of December I was at an Erasmus staff exchange in Odense and I had the chance to meet many of the staff and students who are teaching and studying at both institutions in various engineering and international programs. I was very inspired by the visit and wanted to share some highlights here in TAMK's international blog.

First I visited Copenhagen University College of Engineering and especially their semester-long exchange programs. Innovation and Business Design Semester is a 30 ECTS program for everyone interested business development and innovation regardless of the discipline studies. It runs both in spring and autumn and it has modules for example in cross-cultural management and marketing, innovation and business design, and global business development. Their also have a very popular program called European Project Semester where interdisciplinary students across Europe work together on large projects. I also encourage our engineering students to have a look at their International Business Semester which a program specifically designed to give general business skills to engineering students. Many modules from these programs are also available in their Summer School programs. For more information, check http://ihk.dk/international/exchange-students for details.

I spent the rest of the week at University of Southern Denmark in Odense where I worked together with my colleagues from SDU and University of Tromsø to design an innovation camp concept based on our experiences from the Nordic Business Week at TAMK ProAcademy that would allow students in our Nordic partner network to work on company assignments and innovation cases together in week-long workshops in Finland, Norway and Denmark. Draft of the concept is now ready and we will soon contact other partners and companies about it for feedback. We plan to organize the first innovation camp using this concept next year in Finland and then 2010 in Denmark and Norway.

Another definitive highlight of the SDU visit was meeting local integrated design students who were here in Tampere a couple of months ago for the Nordic Business Week. They introduced me to their study methods, group work and equipment that they use in their studies. I especially liked the problem-based projects on which they work in teams for the semester. Very challenging and practical tasks that require a lot of teamwork and coordination. They also had some very cool equipment for their studies: Who has heard of a 3d-printer which prints the object when you send it a cad-drawing?! Very nice!! SDU has an international exchange program in integrated design among other interesting programs ;) ...

Next year in April University of Southern Denmark is organizing an international week where we plan to try different innovation and brainstorming techniques for different real-world problems. I hope some TAMK students will have a chance to take part in this.

University of Southern Denmark students who were in Tampere and who I also met in Odense


Jukka Siltanen
TAMK ProAcademy Coach

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