Technical Management Students help SMEs in digital transformation

In the framework of an Innovation subject Technical management students are working in cooperation with SMEs to solve their digital transformation problems.

László Korányi
Óbuda University

Background and Objectives
Background: At the UIIN 2018 conference, we delivered a presentation with the title of “A new student-SME cooperation model at Óbuda University”, our concepts were outlined in the Next Practice Proposals section. We hereby report our results.
The main problem: We believe that University-Business cooperation should be addressed at student level as well. Not as a competitor to the longer term models (like dual or cooperative education) we were interested in showing the viability and benefits of a project and innovation centred approach. For this, we selected a topic that appears on the agenda in many countries and within the EU Commission as well, the digital transformation of traditional SMEs and micro companies. Our goal was to involve students working in teams to define a digital strategy for an SME and to design concrete solutions for the companies. The problems in these cases are fairly straightforward and relatively easy for the students to develop solutions together with the company taking into consideration the often discussed generational advantages/differences (ex: Generation Z). At the same time, this gives the students an insight into the business and problems of a small company that usually is not the focus of universities.
For the SMEs, these projects can open up a new path that otherwise would not be accessible due to a lack of motivation, expertise and cost issues.