From its bachelor programme onwards, the SBS-EM offers its students courses linked to innovation and entrepreneurship (I&E). This trend continues at Masters level where there are several I&E-related course options. The success that these courses have enjoyed reflect a new trend that the School has been able to anticipate and promote. In fact, in the academic year 2015-2016, these became the options most frequently chosen by students studying in the Master of Business Engineering who, until very recently, had preferred the Finance option. An interesting signal and one that the SBS-EM has been quick to recognise! But the way forward doesn’t stop there… read on.
I&E-focused Advanced Masters
Introduced in 2013-2014, the Advanced Master in Innovation and Strategic Management is a one-year, full-time programme. Its focus on innovation and strategy highlights the vital importance of innovation in a fast-changing world where disruption can strike anywhere, and the critical need to give innovation a strategic direction. The programme consists of 4 main blocks: a design thinking and entrepreneurship workshop that invites students to think outside the box and turn an idea into a business proposition; a set of core courses developing managerial foundations; a densely packed curriculum on innovation and strategy; and a field project in an innovative environment in which students – acting as consultants – apply concepts to real-life situations. The programme analyses innovation from a variety of perspectives: digital transformation and disruption, change management, innovation management, intellectual assets management, go-to-market strategies, etc. This year, the programme brought together 41 students of 13 different nationalities.
The I&E courses success
reflects a fundamental trend
Capitalizing on the success of this programme, the School has joined forces with the Politecnico di Milano to develop an additional programme focusing essentially on Innovation and Entrepreneurship. Students spend 5 months in Milan and 5 months in Brussels. Over the year, they experience different flavours of innovation and entrepreneurship with different “labs” where they are required to prepare for the launch of a start-up, act as consultants in an innovative scale-up and work on one innovative project within a larger firm. The programme has been an immediate success with 35 participants from 16 countries for this first edition.
SBS-EM Executive MBA:
Maximizing growth for success through innovation
TRIAXES: design thinking in the Master programme
Three contextual aspects of the SBS-EM led to the creation of the TRIAXES project: the School’s DNA, its strategic positioning and its academic environment. TRIAXES is an intensive and exciting collaborative project developed jointly with the Design School of la Cambre and the Engineering School. It brings together students from three ULB faculties to collaborate and integrate design-thinking models into both product prototyping and the planned business model. Students are coached by professors from the three schools. TRIAXES is an important and unique opportunity for students to experience design thinking and discover the complexity involved in the creation of new businesses. The team of students must acquire technological and design skills by analysing the product, its content and its structures, by thinking about the scenario of use and designing a sustainable business plan to fund production and finally to sell the 3D-object.
The business student takes the lead in market research and prepares the business plan, including financial and legal constraints. The engineering student must provide the technical solutions needed. The design student works on the form of the product and anticipates the scenario of use to ensure an effective user experience. The project was created by a multidisciplinary pedagogical team composed of a professor of industrial design, a professor of biomechanics and an entrepreneurship professor, plus two faculty developers. The trio of students works together from September to February alternating plenary and individual meetings. The result of their work is assessed by an academic and an external board of examiners. The board of examiners includes professionals from several successful start-ups in the Brussels region. They all participate in the assessment and give feedback to the students. The ultimate objective of the project is to give students from the Business, Engineering and Design Schools a taste of entrepreneurial ventures. For the Faculty, it represents the degree programme’s main design-thinking experience. TRIAXES provides an opportunity to extend students’ future professional network by giving them the chance to meet students, professors and professionals from other fields and schools.
A New Executive MBA
We’re living in a “VUCA” world. VUCA stands for Volatile, Uncertain, Complex, and Ambiguous – which reflects the exponential advancement in technologies around us such as computing, networks, sensors, artificial intelligence, and robotics – and the opportunities and threats they represent in terms of business.