Five educational institutions join forces with delaware BeLux to tackle innovative business challenges

Dec 17, 2023
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In partnership with Flanders Technology & Innovation (FTI), delaware BeLux is offering companies and students the opportunity to turn visionary business projects into reality. Five educational institutions (Howest, Ghent University, Karel de Grote-hogeschool, Hogeschool PXL and Thomas More) are joining forces with delaware to co-innovate and work simultaneaously on business challenges from multiple industries.

Exceptionally, five Belgian educational institutions will join forces to tackle concrete business challenges. Students from Howest, Ghent University, Karel de Grote-Hogeschool, Hogeschool PXL and Thomas More will collaborate on different business projects and form cross-institutional teams with the brightest minds pushing each other forward.

Maarten Thiry, Head of Marketing & Sales programmes, at PXL explains, “Students from different educational institutions and with diverse expertise, ranging from network economy to marketing and communication, collaborate on multiple business cases in partnership with FTI, delaware and its customers. One of our projects focuses on ‘homespitals’: the students’ goal is to enhance medical care accessibility and relieve frontline workers. The process begins with one team conducting market research to identify several healthcare challenges, followed by briefing another team of students to develop a business proposal addressing a specific challenge. Subsequently, the findings are shared with a marketing-focused team tasked with creating a strategic plan for the proposed solution.”

Uncovering a viable business concept and developing a marketing strategy are essential steps, but these alone don't guarantee success. A well-thought-out idea requires a comprehensive communications plan to effectively promote the associated product or service. As a final step in the process, student teams will develop a creative campaign that spans various touchpoints, aiming to enhance awareness of the offered product or service.

Filip Daniels, Lecturer Network Economy & Research Coordinator Business & Media at Howest, adds, “It is very exceptional to have such a close collaboration between educational institutions and private companies. It allows us to spar with the most inventive students in Flanders and infuse more diversity in how we approach these business cases. Together I believe we can really make significant improvements to our joint projects and eventually to society as a whole.”

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Flanders Technology & Innovation and delaware join forces

Flanders Technology & Innovation (FTI) is a new, engaging societal project with which the region of Flanders wants to prepare itself for the future. FTI aims to be the laboratory of Europe by connecting people and knowledge to co-create innovations that benefit us all. In line with this vision, FTI and delaware organize this co-creation initiative between companies and students. 

The final presentations of the projects will take place during the FTI Festival in 2024, between 15 and 22 March. The students will finalize and present their innovative solutions during hackathons in Ghent, Antwerp and Hasselt. 

This initiative is also sponsored by the DEL20: a business accelerator and ecosystem for innovation, launched by delaware already a couple of years ago. It provides participating companies the space and expertise they need to experiment with new technologies like AI, robotics, IoT and more, without having to worry about competition, budgets, or risk of failure. Participants can propose a project and we offer them a framework – along with free consulting days – to help realize their ambitions. 

Thierry Bruyneel, partner at delaware, says, “The goal of the DEL20 has always been to share insights and findings with the entire DEL20 community and thus, to create valuable learning opportunities. We believe by partnering with these educational institutions and FTI that we will reach exactly that. We look forward to seeing the results presented in a few months!”

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