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Université Côte d'Azur joins the international design network SUGAR

Excellent news for our university! UCA's Entrepreneurship and Innovation Centre has joined the prestigious Global Design Innovation Network #sugarnetwork


photo A. Macarri - Université Côte d'Azur

After San Francisco and Shanghai, SUGAR chose to set up shop at the Université Côte d'Azur from 25 to 30 October 2021 for its first European Kick-off. SUGAR is a network of more than 20 leading international universities and 26 international companies. The aim is to bring together future designers, universities and companies from all over the world for a new experience around Design Thinking, a learning method centred on people and "learning by doing".


The press release from the university stated: 'It is with great pride that the Université Côte d'Azur's Entrepreneurship and Innovation Centre - ICE - joins this prestigious network and welcomes 80 Design-Thinking experts and international students for the launch of this unique 2021 innovation experience.'


For nine months, teams from several geographical and disciplinary backgrounds will work on a challenge in collaboration with a partner company. They will have to imagine and create a concrete innovative solution that they will present in June 2022, in San Francisco.


During SUGAR's integration week in Nice, the programme includesd life-size design workshops on the university's campuses, including a challenge to build a functional bike entirely out of paper, which they will have to compete with. They also discovered the local ecosystem.


What is the SUGAR Network?

Founded from an innovationa and design-thinking course at Standford University, SUGAR Network is a global network bringing together corporate partners with students from 25 universities across four continents. In this cross-international setting, students get acquainted with human-centered design tools in an environment of cross-disciplinary practice-based learning for the duration of one academic year (9 months). The global student teams prototype, test, and iterate in order to develop and implement innovative solutions to real design challenges posed by multinational corporate sponsors.


The network then further encourages the sharing of knowledge and education by hosting global events, like the one in Nice with the Université Côte d'Azur, to provide the students and corporate sponsors an ideal atmosphere for this exchange.


In simpler terms:

Imagine you're a company with a tricky problem that you can't seem to work out in-house. You know there's a solution, but the man-power and limits of your employees, who are already busy with other projects, aren't going to get you to an innovative solution. Then, imagine taking this problem to a global team of some of the brightest and most promising design-thinking students in the world, who can devote 9 months of focus, collaboration and troubleshooting on your problem. This is essentially what the SUGAR Network does, with students from top business, design and engineering universities around the world. And the results often far exceed expectations.


The SUGAR Network has completed over 180 projects over the last ten years and now, the Université Côte d'Azur's Entrepreneurship and Innovation Centre joins this global collaborative team.

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