Successful collaboration: Call for interdisciplinary corporate projects with students at KU Leuven | Agoria

Successful collaboration: Call for interdisciplinary corporate projects with students at KU Leuven

Published on 01/09/20 by Robrecht Janssens
Agoria has joined forces with the food industry to organise a new edition of the Interdisciplinary Assessment Project (IAP) focused on Factory of the Future, a topic of perennial interest, especially now the applied method is taking Europe by storm. The final-year students work with an IAP and provide custom-made consultancy services.

The aim of the IAP is to support manufacturers with one or more of the steps in their transformation into a Factory of the Future. It does not matter whether your company is currently working on a process with Agoria, Sirris, FlandersFood, etc. If you are looking to start a change or improvement process, it might be worthwhile to consider working with a team of final-year students in a variety of specialisations, such as Business Engineering, Commercial Sciences, Industrial Engineering, and Environmental and Prevention management.

The students work on assignments set by the companies and provide specific and interdisciplinary recommendations at the end of the project, for possible implementation by the company in question. The teams of three to five final-year students focus on financial and economic feasibility, technology required and the sustainability and safety of the suggested solution.

Young people may bring a new perspective to issues and projects that your employees may not have sufficient time to address. This fresh look could result in an innovative approach and a boost in the steps you intend to take to move towards the future.

"At KU Leuven, students from various disciplines have the unique opportunity to learn in practice that every perspective, just like the vital piece of a jigsaw, can contribute to the success of a host company's project!"

Kris Pattyn, KU Leuven

Looking for corporate projects

Agoria and KU Leuven are looking for partner companies willing to submit projects the students can work on, to structure the interdisciplinary projects.

In concrete terms, our expectations for these companies are as follows:

  • You submit a project for further development by the students involved when IAP 2020 begins. One company may submit multiple projects. The feasibility of completing all projects in time (October-December 2020).
  • During the project, you will need to provide company information so the students can carry out the project.
  • You will be invited to participate in the kick-off in Ghent on 30 September 2020, where you will meet the KU Leuven students and coaches to discuss and start up the project.
  • Together with the KU Leuven coaches, you will guide the students through the project.
  • You will then be invited to participate in the closing event in Brussels on 16 December 2020, when the students will present their report. You can also find out more about the other projects at the closing event.
  • You will be helping with student assessment, in process evaluation throughout the semester, assessment of their project report and judging of presentations on the last day of the project.

"Work out a company project, unblinkered! A unique partnership between industry and students reading for a Masters in Economics and Technology."

Dirk Van Lindt, KULeuven

Advantages for participating companies:

  • Specific aspects of the transformation can be investigated from various perspectives.
  • At the end of the project, you will receive a consulting report with fresh recommendations.
  • You will have the opportunity to observe potential employees at work.
  • You will come into contact with other companies working on similar challenges and with lecturers whose research has made them experts in one or more of the seven transformations.

The students taking part in the corporate projects work in either English or Dutch.

Interested? Register before 21 September 2020 at the following link !

The seven transformations as a source of inspiration

  • Advanced Manufacturing Technologies

This transformation is based on the implementation of advanced production resources. Factories of the Future develop their own equipment for key aspects of production, resulting in machines that are unique anywhere in the world.

  • Digital Factory

The Digital Factory guarantees the accuracy of data at any time of day. Each data element (known as a Single Source of Truth) is only entered in the system once. All employees are supported by integrated digital processes.

  • ECO Factory

Leading the way in eco-production has advantages such as cost reduction and risk reduction with regard to the supply of raw materials and energy. These systems can close the materials loop to optimise the efficiency of raw material usage. Companies are constantly searching for ways to reduce the ecological footprint of their processes, products and services.

  • End-to-End Customer-Focused Engineering

Customers' expectations are the main driver and starting point for all new developments and processes. An interdepartmental design approach results in robust, high-quality product, production and service design processes.

  • Human-Centred Organisation

Employee commitment to the future development of the company is essential. Individual employees form a team with the autonomy and space to put their talent, creativity and initiatives to good use. The best-fit leadership style must provide space for the development of competencies and skills. The resulting cultural climate is such that people feel continuous learning is relevant and are motivated to deliver peak performance.

  • Smart Manufacturing

Smart manufacturing can be defined as a combination of the intelligent use of people's potential and of technology, with the implementation of a (self-)learning production system. The objective is to create maximum efficiency, flexibility and value creation for employees on the shop floor.

  • Value Chain-Oriented Open Factory

In a world where technological developments are increasing exponentially and customer requirements are changing rapidly, companies can no longer rely solely on their own research and resources. They develop their own products, production processes and services for the entire value chain.

These transformations do not stand alone; each one of them affects the others. However, this does not mean that a transformation cannot be implemented one step at a time.




Feel free to contact us if you have any questions about your project or would like to receive further information.

If you know this is for you, register now at

Be inspired by the best projects in recent years:

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