Innovathon Fall ’22: The Digitalization of Mobility

How do you envision the future of mobility?

Make your ideas count by joining the UZH Innovathon. A new course at UZH for Master and Doctoral students based on challenges from industry partners.


Work across disciplines for real digital mobility solutions

Learn for your future

The Innovathon is not just a special course, it’s an open innovation format. Learn hands on how to approach a real-life challenge with an interdisciplinary team. In this course students can expect to learn about mobility needs and patterns as well as challenges of mobility systems, develop their innovation skills, critical-thinking competence and improve their skills for effective communication and presentation to a diverse audience.

The Innovathon offers a unique learning experience and the chance for participants to grow their network within a future-oriented topic.

Develop solutions to real life challenges

The digitalization is transforming various areas of mobility, from individual mobility via urban mobility to systems mobility. Thus, the future of mobility is expected to be connected, (partly) autonomous, post-fossil, and clean, with benefits for health, environmental sustainability, and the economy. It will include service platforms for seamless public transport, drones, and autonomous cars.

However, challenges and opportunities arise from the digitalization of mobility. In this Innovathon, interdisciplinary student teams will deploy their knowledge and develop innovative solutions (e.g., product or service concepts) related to those challenges and opportunities. Teams then they pitch their ideas to a jury. Prizes await the best teams. Solutions developed can be either tech-enabled (e.g. new software) or human-enabled (e.g. new processes, practices).

The Innovathon offers a unique learning experience and the chance for participants to grow their network within a future-oriented topic. Students will learn to understand challenges and approaches of interdisciplinary teamwork, experience co-creation in interdisciplinary teams experience co-creation in interdisciplinary teams, necessary to solve inherently interdisciplinary nature of the digitalization of mobility.

Mentors from the DSI Mobility research community

This Innovathon is set up together with the DSI Mobility community, a research community that studies different aspects of the transformation to a digital mobiliy. Researchers from the community will support the students to dive into the interdisciplinary nature of the challenge topics and serves as mentors during the concept development.  The mentors represent various disciplines including data science, law, ethics, geography, medical and health sciences and economics.

DSI Mobility community


From challenge to validated concept in 4 weeks

During four weeks students go from diving deep into fascinating digitalization challenges to presenting innovative solutions to an expert jury. To make the most out of the innovation process, students get access to detailed guidelines for each step and are guided by experienced innovation facilitators.

Input sessions, Sept 14th 1.15 – 5 pm & Sept 15th 9 am – 5 pm

During the Input sessions, researchers from the DSI Mobility community will support the students to get a deep dive deep into the various aspects of the digitalization of mobility

Challenge introduction, Sept 20th 4.15 – 7 pm

Get to know the challenges and get prepared for the Innovathon weekend.

Innovathon weekend Sept 29th 4.15 – 7 pm,  Sept 30th 9 am – 7 pm, Oct 1st  9 am – 3 pm

The Innovathon weekend makes up a centerpiece of the course, during which the student teams are working in an inspiring atmosphere to develop prototypes to test their concepts with relevant stakeholders. The full weekend is hosted in the Ginetta Office space. Food and drink are provided (free of charge, for all registered participants) throughout the weekend.

Solution refinement, Oct 4th 4.15 – 7 pm

Reflect on the input you got from testing your prototype and build this into your pitch. Improve your presentation to cover all aspects necessary for the final pitch event.

Final pitch event, Oct 7th 4.15 – 6 pm

Present your solution to a jury of researchers and challenge partner representatives. The final pitch is hosted in the DSI Event space SOC-E-010.

Wrapup & Next steps, Oct 25th 4.15 – 6 pm + Apéro

Share insights and get an overview of next steps to pursue ideas and continue collaboration.

Course facts

Target group and ECTS credits

Master’s and doctoral students across all UZH faculties who are interested in the digitalization of mobility, motivated to develop ideas based on real life challenges and to improve their innovation and interdisciplinary teamwork skills.

The course is eligible for 3 ECTS credits. Students from ETH Zurich will get a certificate of participation. For more information on ECTS credits, please consult the UZH course catalogue. Not all study programs will cross-list this module. In such cases, students can contact their study administration office to clarify if they will receive ECTS for this course.

Hosted at Ginetta

The main part of the Innovation Design Sprint is hosted at Ginetta. Ginetta is a Digital Agency that helps winning brands grow their business by building fast, simple, and beautiful digital products. 

Since its founding in 2008, Ginetta’s team has become true experts in digital strategy, UX design and software engineering. The portfolio includes some of the most advanced web and mobile apps in Switzerland, including SBB, Twint, IKEA, PostFinance, ZKB and Doodle.

The student teams joining the Innovathon will be welcomed in a creative, open office space that optimally supports teamwork for structured innovation processes.


Pursue ideas after the Innovathon

Student teams are encouraged to continue working on their developed concepts after the Innovathon. Motivated teams will be supported to take the next steps to implemented their concepts in collaboration with the challenge partners or on their own.

An overview of available training and funding offers for entrepreneurial projects can be found on the UZH Innovation Hub Website.