Compete with real challenges by applying the IDEO/Stanford design process for the development of new products

Sugar is a global network that brings together multidisciplinary students from different universities and challenges them to solve real-world product development challenges.

During one academic year, the course teaches students how to use the IDEO/Stanford design process in product development, and is concentrated in practice-based learning. The global student teams prototype, test and iterate in order to develop and implement innovative solutions to real-world design challenges posed by multinational corporate sponsors. The final proof-of-concept prototypes are typically featured at the Stanford/Sugar Design EXPE each June in California.

For the duration of each project, every team collaborates with another team from a foreign university. This partnership adds diversity to the project teams, and students are given the opportunity to experience true global collaboration – a skill required in this highly globalized world. All teams begin their projects at Stanford University, where they participate in design thinking workshops and experience the entrepreneurial culture of Silicon Valley. The course is now taught in eight different countries on four different continents.

Latest challenges faced by Unimore teams:

SUGAR 2018/19

  • Corporate partner Foodcloud, collaboration between UNIMORE and Trinity College Dublin, challenge on food waste, specifically “How can we influence a gradual reduction of food waste by 2020?

SUGAR 2019/20

  • Corporate partner Sanofi Genzyme, UNIMORE and POLIMI collaboration “How can we improve the quality of life of people with cancer and multiple sclerosis?”.


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