An Imperial and Technische Universität München fund supports innovation in education | Imperial News

Five teams from across the College, in partnership with colleagues at TUM, received funding to help them deliver experiential online training.

One of the many strands of Imperial and Technical University Munich’s strategic partnership in the fields of education, research and innovation, the education seed fund aims to encourage staff and students at each institution to co-develop new applications for digital technologies. The aim is to fund project teams ready to develop innovative, inclusive and impactful online experiential learning opportunities in partnership with our students.

Technical University of Munich (TUM) is one of the most international and entrepreneurial universities in Germany, producing top-level research, like Imperial, in science, engineering and medicine.

Each individual project will be led by both an Imperial Supervisor and a TUM Supervisor and by students from each institution.

International collaboration

The fund, which closed in September 2020, invited applications that will build on the relationships nurtured between the TUM-Imperial community during visits to each institution in 2019. Successful educational projects will strengthen these networks and improve collaboration .

Projects which support development in the following areas are encouraged. TUM and the College were particularly interested in project teams focused on student entrepreneurship, augmented reality or virtual reality, multidisciplinary approaches to global challenges, and online delivery of practical work / field trips.


Successful projects span all faculties of the College and a range of disciplines. Two teams are discussing their future plans now that they have secured funding for their proposals.

Christopher Tucci, Professor of Digital Strategy and Innovation, and Dr Gianluigi Viscusi, Principal Investigator, proposed: Co-creative learning for innovation in engineering and robotics ” alongside TUM’s partners.

The project aims to further develop a course implemented within the framework of the existing SCALINGS (Scaling up Co-create: Avenues and Limits for Integrating Society in Science and Innovation) project, in which an interdisciplinary group of students co-create innovations responsible for real life challenges. with external partners and teaching staff. This project will build on the successful pilot course in a physical environment at the Technical University of Eindhoven in 2018/2019.

“The aim of this project is to explore effective ways of translating lessons learned from traditional ‘classroom’ settings into digital formats. This will be increasingly relevant in the future due to the imposed ‘new normal’. by events such as the ongoing COVID -19 pandemic. “ Professor Christopher Tucci

A total of 60 students from TUM and Imperial Oil will receive theoretical material through an online platform. Divided into groups, students from diverse backgrounds will focus on solving real challenges posed by external partners in specific multidisciplinary contexts. Students will receive periodic feedback and advice on their projects through online meetings with faculty and external partners. This framework aims to establish learning mechanisms not only among students, but also for staff and partners of external organizations.

Professor Tucci said: “Although co-creative approaches to education and learning are common in universities, they have mainly been applied in face-to-face contexts.

“The aim of this project is to explore effective ways translate lessons learned from traditional “classroom” settings into digital formats. It will be increasingly relevant in the future due to the new normalimposed by events such as the current COVID-19 pandemic.

Group mentors and external partners will guide students through live videos and virtual labs. Students from different institutions, countries, disciplines and graduate levels will come together to challenge unique solutions to societal challenges and shape innovation processes and products that take into account many perspectives.

Dr Stephen Green, Principal Lecturer at the Dyson School of Engineering, suggested: TANGIBILITY in multidisciplinary online design-engineering-innovation projects ” alongside TUM’s partners.

Dr Green said: “A A small group of Imperial students will be paired with students from TUM to develop concepts of wearable interactive AR devices – and using AR headsets and Gravity Sketch software in remote collaborations as part of the process – resulting in functional prototypes at the end.

“While the planned initiative builds on pre-existing modules and activities in the two institutions, the possibility of collaborating on the challenges of ‘tangibility’ accelerates the development of practical virtual work tools and approaches for the virtual work in multidisciplinary project contexts.

“Students and staff involved in the proposed project will have the opportunity to enhance their learning by project through the synergy of available expertise and additional practical experience of finding new approaches in their work. “

The project revealed strong mutual interests between Imperial and TUM in these key themes and the project team are committed to exploring and developing ways to expand project-based virtual learning in our institutions and related research activities in the years to come.

Find out more

You can find out more about the College flagship partnership with TUM online. Imperial is committed to developing its European relations. As part of the TUM partnership, a seed fund for research was also launched, workshops were held for students to work together to address global challenges, and training programs were developed for science leaders from the l ‘to come up.

Murray MacKay

Murray MacKay

Communication and public affairs

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