Design thinking meets industry: students present innovative solutions at the 5-HT Digital Qualifier

Laura Diez


Ludwigshafen - As part of the Master's programme in Business Informatics at HWG Ludwigshafen, students under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Martin Selchert took part in the 5-HT Digital Qualifier. This innovation competition gave the students the opportunity to work on practice-relevant tasks from companies and start-ups from the Rhine-Neckar metropolitan region and to develop innovative solutions.

Stefan Kohl, who supervises the 5-HT team, is pleased about the commitment of Suzan Akalan, Ruben GnädigHenri Hosang and Lars Pernickel.

In the current semester, the following companies and start-ups were the focus of the challenges: BioGenom, MVV Energie AG, HWG-LU, Valantic and 5-HT. The students were divided into teams and worked on the tasks using design thinking. This is a user-centred and iterative-experimental approach to finding creative solutions to complex problems. 

The students used the entire methodology of design thinking to develop innovative ideas and solutions. This could range from new forms of customer interaction to digital databases and optimised websites. During the project, the students worked closely with representatives of the companies and were supported by their project sponsors and Prof. Dr. Martin Selchert. 

Prof. Dr. Martin Selchert introduces the students' final presentations

The feedback so far shows that the 5-HT Digital Qualifier produces valuable results and experiences for both the companies and the students. The close cooperation between the companies and the students has led to innovative approaches to solutions and at the same time created new contacts and networks between the players. 

The students and the challenge donors were equally enthusiastic about the journey of the design thinking process. The beginning, which focused on listening carefully and understanding the problem, was considered particularly important. This was followed by observation and partial re-evaluation of the actual problem. This was followed by an explosion of ideas and the concretisation of the solution approaches. In the final feedback round, the challenge sponsors were impressed by the results achieved and gave positive feedback on the students' solution approaches. 

The 5-HT Digital Qualifier has once again shown how important the cooperation between universities, companies and start-ups is in order to develop innovative solutions for industry. The students were able to gain valuable experience and develop their design thinking skills. At the same time, the companies have benefited from the students' fresh ideas and innovative thinking. 

The students of the Digital Qualifier

5-HT is pleased with the success of the Digital Qualifier and plans to continue offering such innovation competitions in the future to further promote the exchange between academia and industry.

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