Accelerating IoT Development

The Internet of Things (IoT) is experiencing explosive growth, and will impact almost every industry. Enterprises (especially SME’s and start-ups) must start taking proactive steps to address the changes brought by IoT. If European SME’s/Start-ups don’t soon take the necessary steps, they’ll risk getting left behind and putting their businesses at a competitive disadvantage.

Power of Multidisciplinary

The IoT Proto-Labs consortium has been conceptualizing a multidisciplinary cross-border open-innovation course curriculum design for several years. The project seeks to bring the idea and benefits of ‘open innovation’ and ‘open design’ collaboration closer to learners, researchers, staff and SME clients. To valorise Internet of Things for business and economy, the project aims to develop a multidisciplinary curriculum integrating ICT, Design and Industrial Engineering. This aim will be achieved in cooperation between HEIs, enterprises and research institutions.

Two-sided Marketplace

The project Arena is the central component of the IoT Rapid-Proto Labs environment and should eventually support a distributed federation of EU labs (scalable). There will be three types of Arena users: Project Teams (students, teachers, and clients), Marketplace Members (higher education institutions, SME’s/start-ups etc.), and Other Stakeholders who wish to learn from the project outcomes.

Lean and Agile Piloting

The project will design a multidisciplinary, cross-border, IoT Rapid-Prototyping Project-based Learning course curriculum which enhances e-Competences which are most relevant to IoT development.The curriculum will be designed and validated through an iterative development approach in three cycles (18 projects, 160+ students and 15/20 faculty members).

Unique Learning Model

The IoT Rapid-Proto Labs learning design is following upon developments in theories of effective learning and teaching. Realistic and complex task situations will be replicated in the project curriculum. A pragmatic inter-disciplinarily (multidisciplinary) outcome-centred approach will be achieved through the strategic selection of disciplinary inputs which are reinforced by mutual interaction and cooperation (authentic work environment).

IoT Rapid-prototyping Competences

The IoT Proto-Labs project will identify and define relevant multidisciplinary e-Competences (ICT, Design, Industrial Engineering domains). These e-Competences will also meet the needs of project client companies (start-ups and SME’s). The final selection of relevant e-Competences will occur after the three project pilots are completed. That selection will be based upon the validation of learning outcomes (knowledge, skills competences).

Realistic, Complex Task Situations

Initiative and exploration via divergent assignments, global guidelines, global criteria, and interaction with other disciplines.

Cross-border and Multidisciplinary Learning

A pragmatic multidisciplinary outcome-centred approach involving; envisioning effective and workable final products, and back-filling through strategic selection of disciplinary inputs.

Social Interaction

Applying and building up multiple competences, which are reinforced by mutual interaction and cooperation (authentic cross-border work environment).

Timeline and Goals

Defining learning objectives, student activities, assessment methods, and the validation of learning outcomes will form part of the project toolbox. The previous criteria will be defined before piloting begins (spring 2019). That process will be built upon the connection between client company needs, curriculum design and the most highly relevant e-Competences.

The goal of IoT Proto-Labs is to construct an open-design learning architecture that enables multidisciplinary teaching, learning, and co-creation within the European Knowledge Triangle context (higher education, research institutions, and enterprises). This goal will be achieved through a Project-based Learning format (PbL) which enhances the level of specific student e-Competences (to be identified, defined and validated during piloting) within a dynamic problem-discovery and guided self-learning process. The innovative IoT Rapi-Proto Labs curriculum design will bridge the gap between academics and the IoT business world by deploying multidisciplinary cross-border student teams who are simultaneously supported by teachers, SME/Start-up clients and other experts. Establishing a valid process of experimentation during the three project piloting phases is essential. This validation process will be gradually enhanced during the iterative pilot implementations (Pilot 1, 2, 3). The experimentation process will allow researchers to confirm (validate) student learning outcomes (e-Competence proficiency). The final assessment of specific e-Competences and learning outcomes will be achieved through a process of appraising the knowledge, know-how, skills and/or competences of individual students against predefined criteria (learning expectations, measurement of learning outcomes etc.). IoT Proto-Lab Labs piloting will begin in January 2019. The primary goals for the IoT Rapid Proto-Labs project piloting stage includes:

  • Establishing Underlying Pedagogical Principles: How teaching and learning in an open design multidisciplinary innovation lab environment occurs (ideal and formal curriculum), and how to align curriculum within existing curriculums/programs?
  • Defining Learning Objectives, Activities and Outcomes: How the open-design labs are setup (operational curriculum), and implemented to achieve the desired student learning objectives (increase level of most relevant e-Competences)?
  • Assessing the Learning Outcomes: How the open-design lab objectives and activities are evaluated by the teacher (perceived curriculum) and by students (experiential curriculum)?
  • Validating the Learning: What are the learning effects from the open-design labs and how are these learning effects related to the implementation (learned curriculum) and outcomes for European SME’s and start-ups?

Join the Network

Higher Education institutions and Small/Medium sized enterprises/Start-ups can freely join the IoT Rapid-Proto Labs network.

Benefits of membership

Team up for a Project

The Rapid-Proto Labs Arena matches project partners, supports cross-boarder student teamwork, enables project management and client communication

Manage a Project

Knowledge Sharing

Sharing project results is an integral part of the Rapid-Proto Labs design. Knowledge sharing will help improve European innovation capacity and reduce risks in IoT product development is.

Project Dissemination

Founding Members

The founding members of IoT Rapid-Proto Labs are composed of full partners and associated partners from four Erasmus+ Programme countries. This partnership respresents an excellent balance and variety of expertise, sectors and capacities needed to implement the project aims and outcomes.


HAAGA-HELIA (HAA) is one of the first Universities of Applied Sciences in Finland and focused on Digital Business, Vocational Teacher Training, Entrepreneurship, and Service & Sales. HAA enrolled 10,500 students in 2016 (bachelor, master’s and eMBA) and employed 700 staff/administrators. Together with The University of Westminster (U.K.), HAA launched a doctorate programme.

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Fondazione Bruno Kessler (FBK)

Fondazione Bruno Kessler (FBK) is a private no profit institution. Its mission is to develop both knowledge and expertise in the field of Microsystems/Microelectronics and Information Technology, aiming to conduct technology transfer in the local, national and international industrial spheres. The Centre for Information and Communication Technology is focused on high quality research in Information and Communication Technologies, computer science and systems.

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University of Trento (UNITN)

The University of Trento, Italy (UNITN) was founded in 1962 and consists of seven schools. UNITN is consistently ranked among the top three mid-size universities in Italy. UNITN covers a broad spectrum, with 25 bachelor-level and 28 master-level courses currently serving about 16 000 students. The project research activities are conducted by the UNITN Laboratory of Embedded Electronics and Measurement Systems (EEMS) of the Department of Industrial Engineering (DII).

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Leiden University (UL)

Leiden University (UL) is one of Europe’s foremost research universities. It is the oldest university in the Netherlands (1575), and ranks in top 100 of most international rankings. UL has 23,000 students and 4,000 staff. The faculties offered include bachelors, masters and PhD programmes. The Leiden University Graduate School of Teaching (ICLON) offers post-academic training.

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Delft University of Technology (TUD)

Delft University of Technology (TUD) is one of the world’s top universities of technology (#15 in QS Ranking). The University has 13,000 students, 5,000 staff members and 8 faculties. TUD offer 16 Bachelor’s programmes and 35 English taught Master’s programmes (science, engineering and design).

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Houston Inc.

Houston Oy (HOU) is specialized in agile software development and consulting for end-to-end solutions (prototype to maintenance). HOU constructs full end-to-end digital solutions for clients in a wide range of sectors (industrial, services, consumer).

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247GRAD GmbH is a digital agency based in Koblenz, Germany. Founded in 2010 by Sascha Böhr, 247GRAD has successfully worked for renowned brands such as Zurich, Adidas, Gazprom and Bayer and, besides that, established its own digital products with hundreds of thousands of users.

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European IoT Development Network

A Higher Education Network combining ICT, industrial design and industrial engineering. Cross-border student teams (Finland, The Netherlands and Italy), teacher-coaches, and experts rapidly develop/test IoT solutions for start-ups & small/medium size companies.

Membership Benefits