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26.11.2020 | School of Business

International collaboration on Enterprise Modelling and Cyber-Physical Systems

The FHNW School of Business is launching a new international pilot programme for master’s students to strengthen the competence for international collaboration.

“Modeling and Prototyping Enterprise Solutions” is a short-term programme where Swiss students collaborate with students from South Africa. The programme reacts to a future demand, Society 5.0., a human-centered society which integrates cyberspace and physical space. The programme shall be offered on a regular, yearly basis and establish a sustainable collaboration between the partner universities. This would create a sustainable opportunity for part-time students to gain international experience.

Different cultural background – same passion

The programme brings together students and lecturers from three different universities. Swiss students from the master programmes in Business Information Systems and International Management get the opportunity to collaborate with students from South Africa. Although the participants have a different cultural and educational background, they share the same formation and interest in Information Systems with a different focus on either IT or business.

Kick off in summer 2022

The project will develop and run a three week programme, which will take place in summer 2022, starting at the University of Pretoria and the Cape Peninsula University of Technology, in Cape Town. The students will have physical contact lectures, creative workshop sessions and the possibility of online collaborations.

In the first phase, the students will get an introduction in Enterprise Modelling and Design Thinking. Applying this knowledge, they will work in project teams to create innovative concepts for new business models. During this phase they will collaborate online when creating models and discussing implementation alternatives. For the last week, students from South Africa will travel to Switzerland where they will have the possibility to work with prototypes and test their models with a cyber-physical setting – an installation from the OMiLAB.

The Open ModelsLaboratory (OMiLAB) is a research and experimentation platform for developing modelling methods and tools both in the physical and virtual space. Physical prototypes like robots, toy vehicles or drones show behavior of real-world production. These devices give immediate feedback whether the concept of the business model satisfies both the technical and business requirements.

Scene2model is an example of a cyber-physical prototype that makes use of SAP Scenes. The latter consists of a set of paper-based elements, which can be combined to create storyboards about problem situations. The OMiLAB Scene2model incorporates a camera for the automatic detection and transfer of the physical storyboards into digital models. The Scene2model modelling tool then allows the further conceptualisation of the digital models.