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Creativity and sustainable thinking at Junior Innovation Day 2023

Begrüßung im Rahmen des JID durch Prof. Liening © Cedric Bayard​/​TU Dortmund

Almost 100 secondary school students from Robert-Schumann-Berufskolleg, Europaschule, Heisenberg Gymnasium and Mallinckrodt-Gymnasium were able to put their creativity and entrepreneurial mindset to the test on Friday, October 27, 2023 and Thursday, November 23, 2023. As part of the fifth "Junior Innovation Day", they each spent a day developing creative and sustainable business ideas and business models. They were supported by Prof. Liening and his team from the Chair of Entrepreneurship and Economic Education and the Center for Entrepreneurship and Transfer (CET) at TU Dortmund.

An app that not only displays news, but also provides scientific and historical explanations of current topics, a cane for the blind with sensor detection that can provide directions through vibration and a turbine that can generate electricity in rain gutters - these and many other ideas inspired the students at the "Junior Innovation Day 2023". In addition to creativity, the focus was on taking social, economic and ecological conditions into account in order to develop innovative and, above all, sustainable solutions. On both days, the best three ideas were recognized by a jury and awarded  prizes, which were specially made in the CET Makerspace.

"Unfortunately, many good ideas and inventions still end up in a drawer - but they can find their way from research into practice. Only in this way can innovations develop value for society. With its technological focus, TU Dortmund is almost predestined to find answers to the challenges of our time through research and transfer," said Prof. Dr. Andreas Liening. He emphasized that "we have to start in schools to get young people excited about new, innovative approaches."

There was a lot of positive feedback from both the students and the accompanying teachers after the event. Many school students want to continue working on their sustainable business ideas in the future.

The "Junior Innovation Day" is an event that is part of the "Junior Entrepreneurship School" at TU Dortmund, which was founded by Prof. Liening. With this model project, the Chair of Entrepreneurship and Economic Education and the Center for Entrepreneurship and Transfer at TU Dortmund University support schools in integrating economic topics into lessons. For example, student companies are founded or business simulations are carried out in cooperation.

Due to the high demand from the participating schools, two "Junior Innovation Day" events were held this year. A "Junior Innovation Day" is also planned for next year.