Twelve students will take part in the trip as a part of their International Innovation Management (IIM) module (course); six from the Bachelor in Business Administration program and the remaining six from the Bachelor in Engineering program. The idea of involving both student groups at the same time is to enable these two different areas to learn from each other: the engineers are being encouraged to think in terms of business and the business students are encouraged to think in terms of technology.
The visit is funded by the Swiss Government and HEIG-VD’s Department of Education, Youth and Culture. It is a part of a two-week educational program, where the students will have the opportunity to explore the key aspects and definition of the term innovation with industry experts in Silicon Valley.
The students will visit other technology organisations. At CA Technologies, they will learn about the company, its heritage and take part in workshops debating innovation in large companies, and comparing it to smaller or startup companies. Peter Matthews, Research Scientist at CA Technologies and author of “Innovative CIO” will be brainstorming trends (five years and ahead), and Jacob Lamm, executive vice president of Strategy and Corporate Development at CA, will be hosting a discussion on a forward look at innovation in corporate strategy. The CA product group will also lead a debate on what’s coming up in the next 18 months to two years.
At the end of the workshops, CA executives will judge student’s innovative ideas. The ideas that came from last year’s workshops included managing prosthetics, mobile apps and a whole range of others. The aim is to help develop innovative and creative thinking, and then armed with this mind on return to Switzerland, the students can help drive future innovation.
The trip aligns with CA Technologies’ corporate social responsibility program (“Create Tomorrow”), designed to nurture the next generation of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) leaders. The company is already investing CHF 200,000 annually with École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) and HEIG-VD, as part of a five year relationship. CA Technologies is also a member of The European Commission’s Grand Coalition to further facilitate collaboration amongst businesses and education providers to help attract young people to learn ICT subjects, and to address the major shortfall in the development of IT expertise across the continent.
“Our team will help the students contrast the different ways start-ups, small organisations and large corporations innovate. Innovation is in the DNA of the start-ups, but this is not exclusive to new, smaller companies. Large companies deliver significant innovation too. These students will get unique access to experienced innovators at all levels with CA,” said Matthews.