Our Open Innovation programs let the University and the regional environment collaborate in a new reciprocal learning: students and young professionals have the opportunity of gaining real experience, facing innovation challenges that make an impact on society; companies and organizations can experiment a new culture of innovation, enjoying the enthusiasm of new ideas brought in by youngs and researchers.

In this moment of emergency, innovation and research are fundamental for our Country. Open Innovation Unit is working on Oper.TEN, the program organized by University of Bologna in collaboration with Almacube and AlmaLabor that aims the ideation of new solutions to the daily problems related to coronavirus. 



CBI - Challenge Based Innovation

CBI is an international educational program born in CERN, that aims at transferring futuristic technologies and knowledge developed from CERN, through Human-Centered Innovation approaches. It involves companies, students and researchers in the development of new ideas.

SUGAR Global Network

SUGAR is a global network based on Design Thinking that involves over 20 international Universities. The program invites companies from all over the world to come up with innovation challenges to propose to multidisciplinary teams of students, that work 8 months to research and implement an innovative solution.

Embedded Design Thinking

Embedded Design Thinking is a program that brings the educational expertise of graduates and young professionals out of the university environment, right into the companies. Teams of students and senior follow a structured innovation path, closely interacting and collaborating together.


Design Thinking is the innovation process developed at Stanford University, launched by IDEO and that constituted a big part of the entrepreneurial culture in Silicon Valley. Design Thinking is:

Human Centered

to innovate it is necessary to relate with people.

Constant Research

understanding the real needs and exploring the context of the project.


freedom of failing and creating new ideas, accepting uncertainty.


The alternation of divergent phases with convergent ones allows to solve ambiguous problems and to educate to innovation.



Get familiarity with the context; understand what are the needs to design around; look for right questions, not for right answers… yet.



Generate several concepts; create value for the users; envision solution concepts; explore the solution space!



Prototype a proof-of-concept; design its viability and feasibility; build the network in the company

What they say about us

“When entering a company, it is usually the young that has to listen his/hers more experienced colleagues. With the embedded method, it happens the opposite: for the company it represents a powerful learning opportunity.

Cristina Gallina, R&D Barilla

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