Industrial projects

The industrial projects encourage students to apply technical and business knowledge to real-life industrial tasks. The sequence of the industrial project is based on the value chain of industrially manufactured products or services.

Within the scope of the industrial projects, students collaborate closely with businesses from the industrial sector over four semesters. In small groups, the students develop solutions, approaches, and decision-making principles from generating ideas, to drafting and developing basic concepts, to prototyping and optimization.

After concluding the industrial project, the students will develop concepts for series production or founding a new business. 

When providing support, the primary goal of the lecturer here is not to encourage the avoidance of mistakes. Rather, students are encouraged to explore new approaches and ideas. Failure and the associated error culture are an integral part of the industrial projects. By continuously gathering knowledge and experience, students are ultimately able to gain the desired professional competencies.

1st semester: Generating ideas

Students begin by familiarizing themselves with the previous business model of their industry partner and researching the market and environment. They conduct research into trends and identify future customer needs. From this, they should be able to derive potential value propositions and business models, with which the business can meet the needs of customers in five to ten years. The key result of this semester is the identification of three to five product or service ideas.

During this semester, students must determine the product or service concepts required to satisfy selected customer needs. By means of a market analysis, they must determine whether the ideas demonstrate sufficient potential and with which concept the business can generate the greatest value for the customer. Definition of the specifications forms the basis for technical implementation in the following semester.

Critical sub-functions are tested this semester using functional models. With reference to use cases, students determine whether the developed products or services can generate the expected added value. On this basis, a prototype can then be developed in full. The components for the prototype are ordered, to ensure that they can be assembled next semester.

The prototype is put into operation and subjected to specific tests. Students must carry out potential optimizations in the construction, functionality, and design, to ensure that the requirements of future customers can be met. Together with businesses, students shall determine how the product will be introduced to the market in future. The business model is adapted and rough plans and the future market launch are mapped out. The project is then handed over to the industrial partner, enabling them to introduce the product to market in a structured way.