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Demola recognised by World Bank

Demola, a collaboration project between universities and private companies in which LiU is involved, has been given recognition by the World Bank.
“Our project now has a whole different status,” comments Fredrik Borgsjö, Demola regional head of operations.

Fredrik BorgsjöThe purpose of Demola is for students to take part and develop business ideas at an early stage. The companies contact Demola and describe a problem or an idea, in an early stage, that they have. A group of students then works for one term to try to find a solution.

The work takes place within a course for credit and students come from different courses to complement each other's skill sets. The job is “for real”; if a company is happy with the outcome they will buy the finished solution from the students. Demola has been developing in conjunction with LiU over the past few years. Currently there are 35 students involved from 14 different programmes, among which are Media Technology, Cognitive Science, Industrial Engineering and Management and Environmental Sciences.

“A total of 26 projects have been completed since the beginning two years ago; 21 of them have been accepted and bought by the regional companies,” says Mr Borgsjö.

Some companies that have used Demola are Ericsson, Saab, ABB, Tekniska verken, the Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute and Sectra.

Demola has its origins in Tammerfors University in Finland, with the project then spreading around the world. Norrköping Municipality, Norrköping Science Park and LiU were the first in Sweden to adopt the idea. Now Demola is active at a number of Swedish universities as well as in the Baltic states, Hungary, Slovenia, Spain and Mexico.

The Demola concept came to the attention of the World Bank via universities in Mexico and New York.

“New York University is interested in starting with Demola, so they carried out a study of how the project works in Mexico. It was this report that came to the attention of the World Bank.”

Mr Borgsjö points out the same benefits of the project that the World Bank highlighted.

“They are of the opinion that Demola is an extremely innovative way of working. The method – students get to work on real ideas from companies, they are not controlled, they are allowed to think freely and then to get paid if the company likes the result – is a very good one.”

“One consequence of Demola’s recognition by the World Bank is that the project has risen in status,” Mr Borgsjö reckons.

“It will probably be noticed when we contact companies and we will be able to increase our international collaboration with other universities, which will also benefit the students.”

 

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Eva Bergstedt 2014-10-28




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Last updated: 2014-10-10