Can innovation be taught in a classroom? According to Cyril Bouquet, who’s currently leading the innovation module for IMD’s 2017 MBA class, the answer is probably not. That’s why he’s given the class of 90 students a challenge: to improve the life of healthcare patients by creating an innovative new product, service or “solution” at large.

But the men and women will also be given guidance and resources to achieve their feat. Over the next week they will be meeting with experts, patients, healthcare professionals, experienced innovators and more through a series of visits, guest talks, group exercises and other activities.

They will also be spending a lot of time a UniverCité, a sprawling complex in the Lausanne suburb of Renens entirely dedicated to incubating innovation. There the MBAs will have access to startups, designers, engineers, researchers, innovation accelerators, laboratories, manufacturers who help build prototypes with a wide variety of materials, working space and much more. UniverCité is a creation of the Inartis foundation, dedicated to promoting innovation.

On April 26th the challenge kicked off with a welcome speech by Cyril Bouquet and Juliette Lemaignen of the Inartis Foundation, who presented the MBAs their challenge which will be part of real ongoing contest to create an innovative new initiative to improve healthcare patients’ lives sponsored by Debiopharm, the Swiss pharmaceutical company, and Inartis. The Debiopharm-Inartis challenge is worth 50’000 in cash and much more in kind.

Over the course of the next week, some highlights will be talks by best-selling authors Alexander Osterwalder and Greg Bernarda, Greg Serikoff and the rest of the Codesign-it! team in Paris, Christian Saclier, Head of Industrial Design at Nestlé, and Benoit Dubuis, President of the Inartis Foundation and many others.

“Innovation is a process that needs to be experienced, a journey,” said Cyril Bouquet.

Looks like the IMD MBAs are about the find that out for themselves.


Watch to find out more:

Cyril Bouquet explains the project

Day 1