Creative Lab

Useful material

Presentation for Prof. Marco D. Santambrogio [LINK]

Introductory presentation [LINK]

What is it?

The Creative Lab is a highly practical hands-on experience meant to promote the exchange of ideas between PhD students and young researchers with the spirit of creating a new business culture. This year, a Hackathon essence has been included in the Creative Lab to foster the development of the ideas themselves. This year’s topic is going to be about “smart cyber-physical edge systems”. For the whole duration of the school, participants are going to develop and implement innovative ideas and projects. The main purpose of this event is to foster knowledge transfer among institutions, since each student come with their own previous background, as well as to allow the practical application of knowledge derived from lectures and tutorials given during the school, in order to develop organizational, team-work and communication skills, and to encourage entrepreneurial thinking.


On Monday afternoon, the Creative Lab will be introduced by the Director of the school and the Director of the Creative Lab to the participants, which will be organized into small and heterogeneous teams (regarding both nationality and skills). Every team will be assigned a senior coach, who will advise and provide early feedback on the idea under development. All the groups will also count on two Hackathon experts who will act as mentors for all the groups during the whole week. Mentors will provide hints on how to manage the group and how to handle the ideas development. Given a starting topic, every team has the mission of designing, developing and implementing an innovative idea for CPSs in the future daily life.

During the week, all teams will have the opportunity to interact among themselves, speakers, Hackathon mentors and other attendees to the school, to make their ideas sprout up.

On Friday, teams will work independently, and each team will have the possibility of interacting with the scientific coach to finalize their ideas, and to prepare the final presentation. The nature of the result is up to the team, but it is encouraged to have a small prototype, accompanied by a well-reasoned study of the associated state of the art. It is important to define a clear path to actual implementation, in the form of a Gantt chart. In every case, the working teams need to define the:

  • Context of the idea (and its subcomponents), clearly outlining the competences and the studies needed to develop it.
  • Impact on the market sector(s) of the idea (and its subcomponents)

At the end of the day, teams will present their work projects in front of the plenary summer school audience in order to receive formative feedback from fellow students, and academic and industrial experts. Team members will have freedom, of course, in the way they choose to present their projects, e.g., with the support of slides, videos, demo, etc.

Panel of experts that will evaluate the projects’ students:

  • Marco D. Santambrogio, POLIMI
  • Francesca Palumbo, UNISS
  • Diana Göhringer, TU Dresden
  • Francesco Regazzoni, Università della Svizzera Italiana
  • Twan Basten, TU Eindhoven

Our teams

Note: Participants attending the Creative Lab successfully will obtain a certificate of attendance that could be used for credits in their own PhD School (if PhD school recognize them).