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Global Innovation Program at Aalto University

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Info For Students

*THIS INFORMATION IS LARGELY OUTDATED. FROM AUTUMN 2020 ONWARD ME310 WILL RUN UNDER IDBM INDUSTRY PROJECT COURSE. See IDBM Master’s program for more information. You may also consider IDBM as a Minor. Both ways allow you to participate in the Industry Project.

  • Course/Minor: experience of a lifetime, take it!
  • For: ALL Aalto Master’s level students
  • Timing: from mid-September to early June
  • Credits: 30 ECTS
  • Location: Aalto Design Factory, Otaniemi
  • Keywords: design thinking, innovation, product development, intense teamwork, fun and much more!


The program starts around Mid-September and finishes around the 10th of June.

Compulsory attendance days are Wednesdays and Fridays when are hold the majority of workshops and lectures.

The students can then arrange themselves with their own team when they prefer to work. Obviously students can spend as much time as they want on our loft, the space dedicated to our course at Aalto Design Factory.

The program is one of the most intensively taught at Aalto University and requires full commitment from the students. From mid-March onwards is often compared to a full-time job.

Students go through a first hectic month of small challenges to get acquainted with hands-on methodologies. In the end of this first month students get to know their global project brief and their new team. At the beginning of these global projects students usually get the amazing opportunity to travel for around 7-10 days for the Global Kickoff. They don’t only meet their global teammates and take part in design thinking workshops, but also get a glimpse into some of the most innovative companies in the world.


Make it Up: Students start working on their projects back in their home universities and conduct essential user and market research during the Fall Quarter. Students also start to ‘think with their hands’, testing early prototypes with real users.


Make it Real: The Winter Quarter involves more building and thus students get to develop around 10 to 15 prototypes. They are encouraged first to get out of their comfort zone and after testing and iterating, they start to converge with their global team towards their final concept.


Make it Happen: The students have then 2 months left to build their final concept prototype and the strategy around it. Students are expected to build a full working proof-of-concept prototype and to present it both locally at Aalto University and globally at the ME310 Design EXPErience or SUGAR Expo Fair.

Credits and Course Structure

*THIS COURSE CODE LISTING IS OUTDATED, please view IDBM Minor for credits, course structures and schedules

All course components are mandatory and cannot be taken separately.
The course codes in MyCourses are the following:

  • MEC-E3100: ME310 Team based design orientation, 5 ECTS
  • MEC-E3101: ME310 Global Innovation Course 1/3, 5 ECTS
  • MEC-E3102: ME310 Global Innovation Course 2/3, 5 ECTS
  • MEC-E3103: ME310 Global Innovation Course 3/3, 10 ECTS
  • ENG3067: Minor course code

In addition, students are expected to take (or to have taken) the following course:

  • MEC-E3002: Methods in Early Product
    Development, 5 ECTS


    To apply, visit our application page, send us your information, and you are selected for the course through an interview process. There is no direct registration process through Oodi or MyCourses for the courses (except MEC-E3002 which is open for all).



    ME310 is taught in the wonderful place that is Aalto Design Factory. Aalto Design Factory is an educational concept developed at Aalto University that serves as a platform for collaborative product development and design. ME310 Aalto was in fact one of the first courses to be taught at Design Factory after its establishment in 2008 and the course has remained there as one of the cornerstones of interdisciplinary product development at Aalto University.

    In essence Design Factory is a place where students, teachers, researchers and industry partners can interact and develop new products together under the same roof. If you got curious about it you should definitely visit it!


    Students can find all the necessary support for converting ideas into action. ADF Facilities provide:

      • Lecture / Seminar / Event spaces
      • Machine Shop with CNC-milling, CNC-lathe, welding, vacuum forming, etc.
      • Electro Shop for printed circuit boards, soldering
      • Wood Shop with circular saws, grinders, sanders, etc.
      • Paint Shop for brush and airbrush painting
      • Electronically Controlled Knitting Machinery
      • Workshop with both Power and Hand Tools
      • Plenty of Prototyping Material: Legos, Mechanos, Play-Doh, Post-Its, Cardboard, Foamcore, Veneer, Plastics, Metals
      • Meeting Rooms with Skype and Lifesize Video Conferencing
      • Kafis, a Collaborative Kitchen, Cafeteria and Office Combined into one
      • Silent Working Rooms for Studying and Programming
      • Production Room for vinyl cutting, printing and video editing
    • Library & Leisure rooms and areas


    More than 100 “310ers” have taken the course in Finland so far and many are still involved somehow through the course, either by coaching the students or just by hanging around at Design Factory (find out more on our Community page).
    Each year the course takes around 20 students, from diverse backgrounds and nationalities.

    Projects of 2017-2018:

    Worldwide there are around 30 projects this year in the SUGAR network, involving over 200 students.


    Apply now

    Go to our apply page and see how you can be a part of all this!