New business ideas created at the summer school in Italian Alps!

Students at the Cyber-Physical Systems summer school in Trento

A group of 25 international students has attended the summer school on Cyber-Physical Systems (CPS) that took place in Trento from June 30th till July 11th and was organised by Fondazione Bruno Kessler.

The summer school focused on ways of applying currently available CPS techniques in design, analysis and deployment of CPSs in everyday life and business activities. The goal was to provide multi-disciplinary knowledge and skills on CPS: Innovation & Entrepreneurship (I&E) studies were combined with lectures on themes as embedded systems, (networked) control systems, wireless sensor networks, and computer science.

Lectures were followed by specific tutorials and group work in order to let the students connect theory with practice, interact with one another. Each student group worked on a business case and developed a project proposal on an ICT application (product or service) for one of the themes presented during the school. Each team performed market studies, analysed competitors, and explored social and usability aspects of the considered application.

At the end of the summer school all groups presented their projects to the jury and here is the outcome:

  • Irisense presented a new technological solution for agriculture that will improves irrigation of the fields reducing the water consumption. The solution was based on deploying wireless sensors in the fields, and integrating them with a centralized controller to actuate irrigation points according to user specified policies that keep into account the required humidity of the different areas.
  • Clink team proposed and interactive teaching assistant application that can be used by teachers and by students to make studying at schools and universities more interesting. The teachers can use the application to define games of increasing difficulty depending on their own needs and on the needs of the targeted students.
  • SenSeP surprised everybody by developing integrated solution to detect wet diapers primarily in the nurseries. The solution was based on disposable organic humidity sensor and transmitter that works as directional antenna that transmits low power radiations but outside of the body. By using a mobile app nurses can receive alerts on their smartphones, complete history and plan their work. The team presented even a demo!
  • ColoRea team developed a solution for the colour-blind drivers, choosing United Stated as the main market for their product. The applications consists of a device to be installed in the front window equipped with a camera and directional signs. The device was equipped with a smart controller able to recognize traffic light colours and react in real time to changes to promptly inform the driver.
  • CucinotiC team was working to improve cooking in the 21st century. Their solution was based on smartphone app complemented with a smart cooking device. The app functions as shopping assistant and is integrated with cooking device. The cooking device communicates with the app to inform when a different cooking phase has finished to enable for the next step.
  • Super Sleeping Sensei developed a solution for persons with sleeping disorder. The proposal consists in developing a mattress with different sensors and actuators to ensure perfect sleeping conditions considering even light and temperature.

Marco Roveri, senior researcher at FBK and coordinator of the CPS summer school: “The CPS school in Trento gathered students from many EU countries, and exposed them to challenges, technical, visionary and business lectures given by the most expert people in the field and by entrepreneurs. The students were also pushed towards the application of the learned I&E techniques to bring the acquired CPS expertise and the developed ideas into credible business models. This was a great opportunity for them to experiment with business opportunities in a realistic environment”.

The student groups also were pretty impressed by the acquired skills and duties of the school: "At the beginning we had no idea on what idea or application to come up with, but thanks to the lectures, tutorials and tutoring sessions, we come up with one idea that impressed the jury", the winning team SenSeP said. Another student said "I was not expecting to work till 5 in the morning to prepare the final pitch, but at the end I enjoyed the team work and it ended up being one of my best work group experience".

Laura Meijere Cristanelli - EIT ICT Labs Italy

Author - Laura Meijere Cristanelli

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