058.003 Engines of Innovation in Research Unlocking the innovative potential of research for PhD students
Diese Lehrveranstaltung ist in allen zugeordneten Curricula Teil der STEOP.
Diese Lehrveranstaltung ist in mindestens einem zugeordneten Curriculum Teil der STEOP.

2022W, VU, 2.0h, 3.0EC


  • Semesterwochenstunden: 2.0
  • ECTS: 3.0
  • Typ: VU Vorlesung mit Übung
  • Format der Abhaltung: Hybrid


Nach positiver Absolvierung der Lehrveranstaltung sind Studierende in der Lage...

After successful completion of the course, students will gain...

Creative confidence

…with tools, techniques and inspiration for an innovative mindset

…to improve their research process

…to make themselves more innovative scholars

…to "unstuck" in times of research blocks

Problem-solving abilities

…reflecting, iterating and tolerating ambiguity

…refining questions, processes, and methods, viewing setbacks as opportunities for further learning

…highlighting the creative process of scholarly research

…combining analytical skills and creative intelligence

Emotional well-being

…being proactive about emotional needs (as it leads to greater productivity)

…creating a social-support network (academic, non-academic)

…creative a supportive, non-judgmental environment

…work in tandems and experience peer-coaching

Inhalt der Lehrveranstaltung

Creativity is the cornerstone of research. Universities as hubs of creativity and agents of change are populated with the smartest minds and have created a culture that encourages the generation of new knowledge. Independently of the field of activity, scholarly work appreciates and rewards novelty and innovation. However, as a PhD student you are rarely taught how to manage your creative process and optimize creativity.

In the context of an increasing workload, prioritizing to publish research results and secure research funding, this course offers you guidance for your creative process by offering concrete tools to gain clarity, be innovative and make progress in your research.

 The course is organized in 4 Modules: 

Module 1: Introduction to Innovation

This module aims to introduce you to the innovation ecosystem of TU Wien, the services and support the academic ecosystem offers to tomorrow´s innovators. 


Dr. Birgit Hofreiter
Initiator and Head of the Innovation Incubation Center (i²c), the Competence Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at TU Wien and founder of the TUW i²nkubator.
With a doctorate in Business Informatics, she spent several years at research institutions abroad before accepting an offer from TU Wien in 2011 to develop a qualification program for entrepreneurial education for students and scientists. Within a few years, this resulted in one of the leading university institutions for the promotion of university spin-offs in Europe. Author of numerous scientific papers, member on the steering committee of scientific conferences, active as a national and international reviewer, member of various advisory boards and mentor and coach for start-up projects and qualification programs.


Dipl. Ing. Alexandra Negoescu

I enjoy working with brilliant scientists and engineers to create disruptive shifts across industries. Over the past years at the TU Wien Innovation Incubation Center, I’ve been focusing on helping TU Wien scientists and engineers assess the business potential of their research projects and, through the incubation program, help them bring their research to society.

Guest speakers:  representatives from the TU Wien RTI departments introducing the support and services offered by their service units. 


Module 2: Unlocking the innovative potential of research  

The goal of this module is to recognize the creative, playful mindset that underlies successful innovation and explore how design thinking can improve the research process to make us more innovative scientists. And with this, to increase the ability of scientists and engineers to create quality research and a systematic application of creativity in their own research development. Especially because emerging scholars and interdisciplinary researchers need tools, techniques, support, and inspiration to approach their research in an innovative and playful spirit of design


Dr. Sebastian Kernbach is a lecturer, project manager and researcher at the University of St. Gallen and a Visiting Fellow at Stanford University. He is the founder of the Visual Collaboration Lab (www.vicola.org) and the Life Design Lab Switzerland (www.lifedesignlab.ch).

His activities in research, teaching and consulting focus on the role of visual thinking and design thinking to support individuals, teams and organizations in their thinking and communication efforts, in particular knowledge workers, such as researchers, lecturers, consultants, coaches, etc. His seminars and lecturers at Bachelor, Master, MBA, PhD, and Executive level are highly interactive and set doing and action at the core of participants' learning experience.

His latest book "Creativity in Research – Cultivate clarity, be innovative and make progress in your research journey" with Cambridge University Press was released in August 2019. It is based on the curriculum developed by the Stanford team "Research as Design" of which Dr. Sebastian Kernbach is a member: www.cambridge.org/core/books/creativity-in-research/0B3892AFC8E0D36B0B6176B5FCD8F1B7.


Module 3: Innovation and Commercialisation of Innovative Technologies

In this module, we will dive into the topics of innovation and technological development processes. As we deal with innovation in general and its most common forms in academic and private organizations, we will also cover the aspects of commercialisation of inventions and the technological maturity. This course will offer a basic understanding and an operative knowledge of most common concepts in this area, including the differences between inventions, innovations and technologies; incremental and disruptive innovation; open innovation; commercial strategies; and innovation management.

Basic concepts will be presented and explained by the lecturer, while practical importance of those concepts will be discussed and analysed in the class based on the selected use cases. Students understanding and application of the teaching materials will be evaluated based on the participation in the class and a short essay on the topic.


Dr. Slaven Stekovic, MBA is a serial entrepreneur, scientist and book author in the areas of longevity, robotics, AI drug discovery and age-related diseases. He has founded several successful companies and is serving on the boards of multiple organizations in the areas of life science, education, chemical engineering, construction materials and consumer products. Slaven is an active business angel and venture capitalist focusing on IP-heavy, early-stage companies in the UK, Austria and the Balkans. He holds degrees from the University of Graz and the University of Cambridge and has been teaching at multiple European universities for almost a decade.


Module 4: Ethics and Leadership

This module aims to build the skill set needed to tackle complex challenges from a leadership perspective. What does leadership mean? How do I lead? What does inclusive decision making is and how to facilitate it. 


Marjo Rauhala (PhD, MSSc, BA) is the research ethics coordinator at TU Wien and responsible for establishing the research ethics advisory and review procedures for the entire university. With a background in philosophical and biomedical ethics and social sciences, Marjo Rauhala has broad experience in the field of research ethics. This experience encompasses academic research, ethics management and advisory tasks in engineering projects, as well as ethics review in the research funding programs of the European Union. Since FP7, Marjo Rauhala participates in the European Commission’s working groups on ethics guidance and expert panels in ethics screening, review and check/follow-up of European funded research for the European Commission’s Ethics and Integrity Sector and the European Research Council.

Zuzana Hajickova is a business psychologist with three Master’s degrees in (1) social and organizational psychology, (2) creativity & talent development, and (3) an Honours Master’s in Leadership. Currently, she is working as a Future Work Consultant at a major telecommunications provider in Switzerland (Swisscom AG). Together with Kerrin, she helps to transform groups into inclusive, happy, and effective teams by the means of coaching, training, and various tools of change management.

Kerrin Weiss is a PhD candidate and lecturer at ETH Zürich. At ETH she aims at improving medical education with technology and teaches how to coach innovation projects. She has collaboratively built multiple organizations running on intrinsic motivation and leads projects up to 500 people. Together with Zuzi she coaches leaders, facilitates skills workshops, and holds trainings that focus on fostering psychological safety.


Participants will explore a variety of design skills and mindsets, but focus especially on how being mindful of your own research process, work styles, emotional state, and sometimes-hidden assumptions can help you get "unstuck" when facing research bumps in the road. The instructors seek to help participants to explore potential solutions to problems in their research efforts.

The course will mix theoretical input with hands on exercises and experiences as well as group discussions. In addition, the attendees will learn about effective tools underpinned by a proven blueprint for practical work on innovation. The students will reconsider his or her own personal approach of being an effective leader of innovation activities and develop an own individual roadmap for implementing innovations.



Weitere Informationen

***ECTS Breakdown***

3 ECTS = 75 hours

45       Lectures (prüfungsimmanent)
30       Individual and group exercises

Vortragende Personen


LVA Termine

Di.12:30 - 13:3011.10.2022Seminarraum CHEG - ETIT Introduction to the Course
Mi.10:00 - 13:0012.10.2022Seminarraum CHEG - ETIT Introduction to the TU Wien Ecosystem
Di.10:00 - 18:0018.10.2022Seminarraum CHEG - ETIT Creativity in Research
Mi.10:00 - 18:0019.10.2022Seminarraum CHEG - ETIT Creativity in Research
Mi.16:00 - 18:0016.11.2022Seminarraum FAV EG B (Seminarraum von Neumann) Innovation and Commercialisation of Innovative Technologies
Do.16:00 - 18:0017.11.2022Seminarraum CHEG - ETIT Innovation and Commercialisation of Innovative Technologies
Mo.14:00 - 18:0021.11.2022 zoom (LIVE)Creativity in Research
Do.16:00 - 18:0024.11.2022Seminarraum 362 - 1 Innovation and Commercialisation of Innovative Technologies
Do.09:00 - 12:0001.12.2022 zoom (LIVE)IP Protection - Guest Lecture Osterreichisches Patentamt
Di.14:00 - 18:0010.01.2023 zoomCreativity in Research
Di.09:00 - 12:0017.01.2023Seminarraum 362 - 1 Ethics in Research
Do.09:00 - 14:0026.01.2023Seminarraum 362 - 1 Building the toolset of a high performer


Continuous assessment

- Attendance and active participation at lectures
- Group work and presentation of results
- Individual work and presentation of results
- Exam


Von Bis Abmeldung bis
01.09.2022 00:00 09.10.2022 23:59 09.10.2022 23:59


TRS Transferable Skills Keine Angabe


Es wird kein Skriptum zur Lehrveranstaltung angeboten.

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