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European Innovation Tour for our Innovation & Strategic Management students - the trip to Berlin from a student's perspective

Artur Julia Alsina, Student Advanced Master in Innovation & Strategic Management 2018-2019 12/07/2019 Stratégie, Leadership, Management, Innovation, advancedmasters

Discover the experience of our students who had the chance to visit top innovation hubs and companies in Berlin.

Within the framework of our Advanced Master in Innovation & Strategic Management, student trips in Paris and Berlin have been organized earlier this year: the so called European Innovation Tour. Students visited different institutions, companies, hubs, innovation centers, organizations and met with top of the line professionals. An unforgettable experience, which offered to the participants of our Advanced Master the opportunity to visit iconic brands and well-known companies, to learn more about their operations and way of doing things, to meet leading professionals and attend their presentations, to gain insights on new technologies and topics and of course, to enjoy the magic of Paris and Berlin!

Are you eager to know more about the trip to Berlin?

Scroll down, read Artur's testimonial (Artur Julia Alsina-student of Innovation & Strategic Management 2018-2019) and get a glimpse of what participating in a Solvay Advanced Master means:


>>> Click here to read Dilhan's testimonial about the trip to Paris!


? Day 1 ?

Porsche Digital Lab, APX.

First stop? The Porsche Digital Lab where we had the pleasure to meet the Director, Anja Hendel. The Lab provides a platform for collaborating with technology companies, startups and the scientific community. They are working on projects on developing new business models and mobility solutions integrating technology such as Blockchain, AI, IoT or Quantum computing. Mrs. Hendel gave us some examples of projects they are working on behalf of the car manufacturing industry such as how to improve existing processes with the help of new technology in order to facilitate the daily job of employees.

After this first visit at the Porsche Digital Lab, our hunger for knowledge was satisfied, but our hunger for food was still there, so we enjoyed a wonderful lunch in the terrace. We were very lucky because the weather was on our side too!

After lunch, we had a few hours to spare before our next visit, so we decided to wander around the vibrant city of Berlin. Of course, we all preferred to do that on a bike so we opted for a bicycle share service. Funny (or maybe not that funny?) coincidence: there was an enormous taxi strike that day in Berlin, there was heavy traffic on the roads and the situation was crazy, which, on one hand, made us realize that we could not have taken a better decision to use bikes and on the other hand, now more than never new mobility solutions are required! It would not be an exaggeration to say that we were actually able to see what a positive impact everything that Mrs. Hendel was talking about earlier that morning can eventually have on people’s lives!

Second stop: APX. It is a joint-venture between Axel Springer and Porsche. Their mission is to identify and accelerate the growth of teams of courageous founders, with ambitious ideas, who are hungry to disrupt the world, by building on smart digital business models, for global digital customers. We were lucky enough to attend presentations from the startups that APX chose to invest in. Anyone can attend these sessions where teams from different kind of companies pitch and receive feedback from the attendees, having the opportunity this way to improve their pitch, product or service they propose. Each company has also an assigned coach, guiding them all the way through this process and providing them with valuable advice.

After a full and exciting day, we had a lovely dinner and a drink and it was a unanimous decision to get a good night sleep and leave the “Berlin by night” tour for our second and last day ;)

? Day 2 ?

Volkswagen Digital Lab, UMI Urban Mobility International.

Great morning, great breakfast, great company, great visit at the Volkswagen Digital Lab: the lab is where software experts from Volkswagen and specialists from the US software corporation Pivotal are working on a digital ecosystem offering new mobility services as well as networked vehicle services. We were welcomed by Ole Reuss who explained to us in details how the Lab is working. This is where 50 IT specialists work on making mobility safer, simpler and more comfortable. All of these people work in pairs, for example two designers sit side by side looking at the same screen, two programmers give each other feedback and ideas and they keep an eye on mistakes, resulting in improved quality and very few errors. We were very happy to have the opportunity to discover how this whole system is operational.

After the tour at VW Digital Lab, we visited UMI Urban Mobility International which is a sub-subsidiary of Volkswagen AG and which puts electric vehicles on the road using the sharing principle. UMI develops innovative and intelligent mobility concepts in order to make movement in urban areas more flexible and comfortable. We met with Alexander Schmid, Business Developer, who talked about WeShare (a car-sharing service provided by Urban Mobility International).

At this point, the educational part of this trip was successfully completed. Some of us went back to Brussels, whereas others decided to stay in Berlin for the weekend, discovering its treasures and spending nice moments with each other.


The say that Berlin is the center of the startup scene and a huge innovation hub. Yes, it is! This trip is one of the highlights of the AM in Innovation and Strategic Management and I must say that it definitely justifies the “Innovation” part of the whole programme. We were able to see corporate giants from the inside and witness innovative procedures taking place and brilliant minds working together.

To all the students seeking to pursue a Master out there: if you are looking for a practical postgraduate course, where you can enjoy an international experience, learn from the best, meet CEOs, CFOs, founders and managing directors and visit different leading global companies, then the Solvay Brussels School Advanced Master in Innovation & Strategic Management is the right programme for you!

Solvay Brussels School’s Advanced Masters have been developed to create a breed of ‘out-thinkers’ ready to tackle the continual changes of the business world. These postgraduate programmes confer Advanced Master degrees in focused areas for Master students with no or limited professional experience (normally maximum 3 years). They are designed as full-time programmes for one academic year, and represent 60 ECTS each.

With a placement rate within 3 months after graduation of 82.5% for our graduates, discover how our Advanced Masters can help you launch your career !

The Advanced Master in Innovation & Strategic Management:
This programme provides you with the essential tools, skills and mindset needed to deal with the challenge of organizations in fast-evolving environments. It helps you to develop your ability to analyse complex challenges, integrate technology and innovation into your projects or businesses, and influence your environment early on in your career. Full time, day classes. Includes a field project.

Contact us for more information: Vasiliki Boukouvala, Marketing & Recruitment, +32 (0)2 650 3915, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

More info on the programme : Advanced Master in Innovation & Strategic Management

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