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Centre of expertise Vinci

Faculty of Economics and Business
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Business Meets University event: Innovation & Transformation

Datum:17 december 2018
Business Meets University event
Business Meets University event

On the 14th of December, the third edition of Business Meets University took place. The theme of the event was Innovation and Transformation, thus VinCi and its academic researchers partly took care of the programme. It became clear that it is pretty hard for a company to survive without innovating in the world that is becoming more complex and where the environment is changing rapidly. Many local entrepreneurs showed up at the event, where useful expertise about Innovation & Transformation was shared in plenary sessions and during the workshops. Besides that, participants were able to send in business cases prior to the event. During the event students discussed these issues and provided the entrepreneurs with their advice on the business matters.

Business Meets University_edition December, 14 of 2018
Business Meets University_edition December, 14 of 2018

The aim of the event was to connect businesses with students, since young people and their skills are urgently required for companies to innovate. Although, these young talents are often leaving Groningen as they are not aware of the employment possibilities in the Northern part of the Netherlands. A waste, because having such a big number of students in one city is a unique economic plus. For this reason, local businesses and the university need to work together more. Then everybody wins according to Joost van Keulen (alderman for economic affairs of the municipality of Groningen).

After some inspirational key notes by David Langley (Prof. Internet Innovation and Strategy) and Ric van Vugt (Adjunct Director Automotive Insiders), participants could take part in the workshops. They could choose between 1) Digital business models and transformation by Dr. Thijs Broekhuizen, 2) Professionalization within family business by Dr. Maryse Brand or 3) The innovation scan by Dr. Bernand Nijstad and Prof. Bart Verwaeren. The workshops were all considered as informative and relevant. In the meantime, the master’s students were brain-storming about ideas for the different business cases.

A variety of business issues were submitted by companies, which resulted in an interactive session between entrepreneurs and a group of students. For example, the Dutch employers’ federation VNO-NCW asked the students in which way it can get in touch with young talents and keep them involved with VNO-NCW. Another case was submitted by the real estate enterprise Taco, they challenged the students to think of the ways to target the German housing market. Or how can you use big data and improve customer loyalty at the car parts dealer Winparts? The students came up with various creative solutions across all cases, which made the Business Meets University a great success. VinCi wants to thank everyone who visited the event and we hope to see you next year.