Challenges academic year 18-19
About this call
Every academic year Ghent University hosts several project courses in which students come in contact with external stakeholders such as users, companies and organizations. To avoid that each professor needs to spend a lot of time in finding challenges for the students to work on, we bundle the search.
Type of challenges
We are looking for open ended challenges, with no expected end result. The challenges require the students to think about a creative, innovative or entrepreneurial solution, preferably for a societal problem. The result can be a physical and/or digital prototype, campaign, marketing plan, business plan, ...

The challenges focus on the problem and can results in products or services, depending on the feedback from the stakeholders. It is important that you as a company or organisation are prepared to be involved in the cocreation process and that you are willing to share your network with the students so they can receive feedback from the stakeholders (both related to the problem as to test a solution).

The challenges that are submitted can be executed by students from many different backgrounds such as engineers, economists, psychologists, communication managers, ... We strongly promote creating multi-disciplinary teams although this is not the case in every course.
Example project: Matti - interactive gaming mat for rehabilliation
Matti is an interactive gaming mat that can be used for rehabilitation purposes. It allows physiotherapists to use different excercises or games for different people to keep the rehabilitation process fun & interactive. It was a collaboration between the Ghent University Hospital and several courses which tackled different parts of the solution.

More information can be found on
Advantages for you
- The students provide a new and external view on the challenge and are not limited by the boundaries that your employees or volunteers might already have. This allows the solutions to be more disruptive.

- The students that contribute to the challenge learn to know your company or organization and you get to know the students as well. You are free to hire one or more students for a (summer) job or for an internship.

- The students are coached by professors and assistants of Ghent University and receive tailored advice.

- One form for you to fill in with a big target audience within Ghent University.
Timing & process
Submit your challenge(s) via this form before August 31. After the submission the challenges will be processed and put online on our website (

Halfway / end of August we send out our communication internally to show professors the website with challenges. If they are interested to receive more information they receive your contact details and they will contact you. It is possible that there might be interest in the cases from other educational insitutions or from individual students as well.

Teaching activities in the first semester are from 21/9 to 17/12 and in the second semester from 11/2 to 20/5.
Requirements & expectations
Ghent Design Factory makes no commitment that any result will be delivered or that students will participate in the challenge. You can submit a challenge but we cannot guarantee that we will find students to work on it. If students do work on the challenge we cannot guarantee that the result will be satisfactory (of course we do everything to avoid this).

You do not need to pay to let students work on this challenge. However we do request that smaller expenses needed to execute the challenge will be paid by you (such as materials to create a prototype, travel costs, etc.). The costs will be discussed before they are made.

We expect that companies or organizations that submit a challenge are engaged in the challenge. We strongly believe in co-creation processes where the company or organization is one of the stakeholders. In most cases 2 or 3 meetings per semester are needed and some additional time for feedback, preparations, final presentations, etc.

All the information that you input in this form (excluding your contact details) will be placed online so there is no possibility to have an NDA for the challenge itself. The work that is done on the challenge can be protected if needed. If no papers are signed, the solution & IP belongs to the students and they have the freedom to operate.
About Ghent Design Factory & Ministry of Makers
Ghent Design Factory promotes and facilitates passion-based learning and learning-by-doing. It is a playground that wants to facilitate projects and initiatives that have a positive impact on our society. Transdisciplinarity and multiperspectivity are essential to achieve this. We use design thinking as our main methodology.

Follow us on Facebook ( or take a look at our website (

Ministry of Makers is a platform that uses design as a means to make the economy in the East-Flanders region more creative, innovative and resilient. It is a bridge between the creative sector and others, the knowledge institutions, the sector organisations and the government. It uses design thinking to introduce a mindset and cocreation to initiate projects. More information on the website (
Jolien Coenraets
Manager Ghent Design Factory
09/264 32 60
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