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EIT innovation days at RWTH Aachen and WILD Group

Celebration of innovation and entrepreneurship at RWTH Aachen and WILD Group.

Innovation Days (i-Days) promote health innovation among university students through dozens of one-to-two-day programmes held at academic institutions around Europe. Students receive an introduction to practical health innovation tools and compete in multidisciplinary teams to tackle real-life health challenges posed by EIT Health projects, local organisations and private corporations. Winning i-Day teams will then be invited to a Winners Event, where they meet peers from all participating i-Day universities.

The 2020 edition of the flagship festival of Innovation Days in Europe mixes online and offline events. Between 25 September and 25 November 2020, partners from 5 EIT Health Co-Location Centres and 13 RIS Hubs will host their own i-Days at 31 locations around Europe.

Let’s find out how the Innovation Days at two of our partners, RWTH Aachen and WILD Group, went.

RWTH Aachen University organised the Innovation Day as a two-day event (28 October – 30 October) in an online format. More than 30 international students from all disciplines faced different health-related challenges within the framework of a design thinking workshop. This year the challenges focused on easing the life of blind and deaf people and helping children with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan preparation. Guests stars included the start-up Ghost-feel.it and Cosmo@home, an EIT Health-funded project. Four teams were created and at the end of the event, a jury of experts consisting of representatives from the companies, the startup and EIT Health selected the best idea: the creation of an interactive, anxiety-reducing game for children before and during an MRI by the team Wizards. The “Wizards” will join the Innovation days´ finals on 5 December, 2020.

The i-days were organised for the first time in Austria by the WILD Group, spanning over several days (28 October – 4 November). Students from all over the world (Germany, Austria, Sweden, Kenya, Romania, Turkey and Bosnia) registered for the event and this year they faced two challenges: finding new solutions for value-based tele-healthcare and identifying innovative medical solutions and devices for the future of healthcare. The virtual event kicked-off with a keynote speech by Sabrina Lagoun, a former Ted-X-speaker, and continued in the next two days with mentoring sessions provided by EIT Health Austria partners. Daniel Pressl (business development manager, WILD Group) introduced the concept of value-based healthcare in Europe and further discussed the potential of new medical devices and solutions to bring the most value for future patients. Daniel Szalay (a business executive with a decade of experience in the health market) shared his knowledge on business ideation, while Irene Fialka (CEO, Universitäres Gründerservice Wien GmbH) her insights in business founding and innovation. To conclude, Gerda Achzet (strategic healthcare innovation manager, Boehringer Ingelheim Regional Center Vienna) described the innovation journey from the perspective of a corporate. At the end of the event, the teams presented their ideas in a short pitch in front of a jury and the winner was “Team Primo”, with the concept of a novel medical device that can be worn underneath a hat by patients that are in risk from suffering a second stroke.

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Congratulations to the winning teams!