The Company Perspective

Your company on a Rocket 🚀 to tomorrow!


The Corporate Perspective

Welcome to the Service Design Thinking Program of Opportunities!
Collaborating with top students and academics from leading universities on your innovation challenge, learning what human-centric innovation really means and how it works, having access to hand-picked young talents, gaining insights into latest technology trends and networking with like-minded peers from a broad spectrum of industries – this is what the Service Design Thinking Program at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) is about. The program takes place in collaboration with many top notch universities that form the SUGAR Network.



Our Focus

Learn Design Thinking

Students and Company liaisons get a rare chance to learn the design thinking methodology by applying it themselves

Leverage Student Creativity

Leverage the creative mind of the young to find new, unconventional and competitive solutions!

Transform your Organisation

Infuse your organisation with a young, agile mindset. Work with students and discover fresh new perspectives!


What you take away

You can probably guess that the SUGAR program, and thus the SDT program, require more funding than the usual course at a university. This funding is provided by the corporate partners. In other words, the companies sponsor the SDT program. So, why would a company do this?




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The SDT Program

sdt program

The Cornerstones

The Service Design Thinking program run by the Karlsruhe Service Research Institute (KSRI) is a 9-months, „hands-on“ class where international top students work in small teams to develop disruptive innovations by applying the human-centric innovation approach Design Thinking.

The participating students visit lectures on human-centric design and innovation and apply what they have learned to real innovation challenges provided by major companies.


Team Setup

In the SDT program, international student teams work on corporate innovation challenges. Each team is composed of 3-4 KIT students and 3-4 students from a SUGAR partner university (e.g. University of St. Gallen, Linköping University, Trinity College Dublin). The two sub-teams work together remotely using digital collaboration tools most of the time. However, sporadic mutual team visits are encouraged and at the discretion of the students. The team also closely collaborates with three parties, the corporate partner as well as the two lecturing teams of their respective universities.


sdt program

Working with your team

Staying in touch with your team: On the corporate side, the team regularly interacts with a project liaison on an operational level. In addition, a project sponsor is involved when major decisions need to be taken and during milestone checkpoints. Also the corporate liaison and sponsor regularly check-in with the teaching teams of the two universities in order to align on direction.

Documentation: On a monthly level, the teams send a one-pager to the corporate partner summarizing the latest steps. Roughly at the time of the milestone presentations (December, March, June) the partner companies receive a project documentation.


Want to know more about THE SUGAR NETWORK?

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Important Dates

Let others tell you


Be part of something great!
Are you Interested in a Collaboration?

Many of our corporate partners participate in the program for several years. However, we are always looking for opportunities to expand our corporate partner network and receive new types of challenges. So, if you are interested in participating in the program please do not hesitate to get in touch with us.

We are happy to provide you more insights into the program and discuss potential challenges with you.