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New innovation hub plans to unleash the potential of South Campus

Innovation — There is a tremendous potential hidden in both the students and the faculty residing at the South Campus argues Michala Brechling, manager of the new Innovation Hub KU PLUS. But to unleash it, the new Hub has to open up not only for business innovations, but social and educational initiatives as well, treating value-creation in broader than financial terms.

The Faculties of Law, Theology and Humanities are rarely seen as places of business innovation. This is one of the reasons why for a long time Innovation Hubs did not pay too much attention to those who feed their ranks, and focused on such disciplines as IT, engineering, or medicine instead. But this is just about to change with the opening of the new UCPH Innovation Hub at the South Campus.

KU PLUS is located at the freshly inaugurated building shared by law and theology. A hub’s manager, Michala Brechling, argues that there is a tremendous potential hidden in both students and the faculty residing at the South Campus. And, unlike other hubs, KU PLUS plans to house not only typical business start-ups, but widen its scope to, among others, social initiatives and educational innovations. It also aims at helping teachers introduce new methods of learning and provide students with cases from the outside world.

»It is about helping them find new ways of using their field of study, knowledge and skills to create value, not necessarily financial, but understood more broadly, outside of university. It is about engaging both students and teachers, and reaching out to people from different disciplines, to show them new ways of using their disciplines and knowledge in society and tackle the challenges in the world of today« says Michala Brechling.

The first projects

The first projects already moved to the Hub. FIRE Journal, is the UCPH Fiscal Relations Law Journal that received funding from the Foundation for Entrepreneurship to utilise the knowledge acquired by students during the courses in tax law. Students are invited to write an innovative scientific paper under the supervision of university researchers and legal practitioners, which subsequently goes through the full peer review process. If successful, the article is published in an open access electronic journal. But FIRE Journal also functions as a regular publication, and is open to submissions from tax law specialists and representatives of other disciplines, who in some way refer to problems of tax law.

It is about helping them find new ways of using their field of study, knowledge and skills to create value, not necessarily financial, but understood more broadly, outside of university

Michala Brechling, manager of the new Innovation Hub KU PLUS

The SEED, aims to help refugees navigate the alien and new reality of the Danish labour market. It plans to provide them with tutorials in multiple languages and offer them guidance in addressing such questions as what sorts of hard and soft skills are necessary in the profession of their choice, or what is the Danish work culture.

Founded in June 2015, Fresh.land, fights with the problem of long delays in delivery and multiple middlemen between farmers and retailers by introducing a new sustainable model that significantly shortens the supply chain and creates a direct link between farmers and retailers. Their website also allows individual consumers to buy products straight from farmers.

A point of entry to the outside world

Other projects are yet to start their cooperation with the KU PLUS. These include a podcast on how digitalisation affects civil rights and everyday life, a group of students planning to digitalise the process of buying a house or a project that aims at making Multi-Faith Spaces better. And this is only the beginning, because, as Michala Brechling underlines, »you can use the Hub in multiple ways.«

But not everyone has to be an entrepreneur and have a company. And the new Hub wants to help students in taking first steps into the professional world. It aims at providing a point of entry to the outside world by connecting students with both in-house start-ups and external companies, cooperating with organisations such as Univate in organisation of workshops and networking events, and providing possibilities such as internships or thesis collaborations. It also wants to widen their employment scope by pointing to unobvious career choices, such as humanities-based consultancy at ReD Associates.

If you consider joining the KU PLUS or if you are just curious what they are up to at the moment, be sure to visit their Facebook page,  and show up at their opening reception that will feature a concert by Rest in Beats on the 19th of June, 15:00 at room 4A.1.13,.

Ryszard Bobrowicz and his project “In the Search for a Truly Multi-Faith Space” are a part of the Innovation Hub.

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