“A digital, creative and circular economy opening up innovation opportunities for companies in Nantes and the Pays de la Loire”, thus read the title of the summer school organized by West Creative Industries and its partners for students from Hanyang University in Seoul in September 2019.
The twenty students studying on Master’s or PhD degrees via work-study programmes with large South Korean companies or organizations were handpicked for the summer school by their university. Each year, a summer school is organized abroad for the best students from the Graduate School of Technology and Innovation Management, with a programme of classes and the discovery of an innovation ecosystem.
The objective of these summer schools is for the students to gain a better understanding of international innovation management issues. Previous summer schools have been held in the Netherlands (University of Utrecht), Germany (Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research), England (University of Cambridge) and California (Silicon Valley and YouNoodle).
Impressed by the dynamics of the creative and digital economy in our region, Hanyang University asked WCI to organize its 2019 summer school in Nantes. This project was the result of two years of discussions and collaborations in research and education, and the culmination of the partnership set up with Hanyang University as part of the international strategy of the WCI programme.
The summer school was entirely funded by Hanyang University (travel, classes, organization, mobilization of partners). West Creative Industries played the role of intermediary by soliciting local actors and building with them the programme to be organized for the South Korean students. The regional programme also took charge of logistics, administrative and financial management, the organization of company visits and, finally, all aspects related to the general coordination of the summer school.
From 8 to 14 September, the twenty South Korean students enjoyed :
- Three days of classes with a tailor-made programme proposed by the IAE Nantes University School of Management around the central question “In the transition to a circular economy, is digital transformation part of the solution or part of the problem?”
- Two days discovering the local ecosystem through company visits and the presentation of emblematic projects.
The circular economy at the heart of a tailor-made programme
In order to respond to the very present issue in South Korea of energy autonomy and the supply of raw materials, West Creative Industries turned to the IAE Nantes for its expertise in innovation management, particularly in the fields of the circular and digital economy.
The South Korean students benefited from the interventions by Professor Franck Aggeri from Mines Paris Tech, Professor Nicolas Antheaume from the IAE Nantes, as well as Souad Taïbi, John Kingston and Jean-Claude Boldrini, all three lecturer-researchers from the University of Nantes. Not to mention the acclaimed presentation of Disrupt Campus Nantes by Anthony Athimon (CEO of VIP), Mathieu Perhirin and Maria Toader.
Encounters with an ecosystem immersed in innovation via the creative economy
With the Quartier de la Création project on the Ile de Nantes, the link between urban and economic development could be promoted.
On the business side, the meetings with the participating companies were rich and varied:
- Benoît Furet from the University of Nantes presented BatiPrint 3D and the process innovation in the construction industry that enabled Yhnova to build the first 3D printed social housing in Nantes. The South Korean students saw in this an interesting potential for their country, which is confronted with urban development issues.
- The team from 10-vins presented their innovative wine tasting machine. Here too, it was the opening up of new markets for the Nantes-based company, with promising contacts being made with South Korean students in charge of international business development.
- Laurence Giuliani presented Akken, an innovative cultural tourism start-up.
Moreover, the period was not chosen at random since it was organized during Nantes Digital Week, the flagship event for digital innovation in Nantes coupled with the Scopitone arts festival held in the former MIN wholesale food market. There could not have been a better showcase for the city and the region.
A summer school opening up new perspectives
This summer school has led to other collaborations being explored between the IAE Nantes and MOT, the Graduate School of Technology and Innovation Management of Hanyang University. They will be able to benefit from the support of the WCI programme in the deployment of its international strategy.
West Creative Industries also wishes to capitalize on this experience by proposing international thematic schools and by accompanying regional actors in the creation of a more sustainable offer around the promising themes being developed in the Pays de la Loire.