Open innovation unit

Connect universities, companies and institutions to face the challenges of the future, together.

Our programs bring university and society together, to collaborate through a powerful learning experience: students and young professionals have the opportunity to make real world experiences, tackling innovation challenges with real impact on society; companies and other organizations can experiment and learn a new culture of innovation, enjoying enthusiasm and new ideas coming for young talents and researchers.

Open innovation programs

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.

Our approach

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 process

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

“Design Thinking is a continuous structured training for the brain, to see things you do not see now. ”

-Luca Baracchi, R&D Coopservice-

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Viale G. Fanin, 48, 40127 


Via U. Foscolo, 7, 40123 


Tel: 051/6330040 
Fax: 051/6370818

P. Iva: 03277261206