More than 370 schoolchildren to work on innovative ideas to improve standards of living in San Sebastián in a new Donostia Innovation Challenge

Fomento de San Sebastián has again provided a space, on this occasion in a hybrid format combining in situ meetings and virtual events, to enable students from thirteen teaching centres in the city to work on their capacity for innovation and design, and to find solutions for the challenges arising from the Covid-19 pandemic. The objective is for students to learn and carry through an innovative project to integrate the use of disruptive technologies and help develop personal capacities.

The 4th Donostia Innovation Challenge is now up and running, a space devised by Fomento de San Sebastián to give the student community a fun atmosphere to work as a team, to conduct research and come up with innovative solutions, carry out projects and solve the challenges faced by the city. They learn to design and manage a project from both the business and technical perspectives, making use of the new technologies of today and gaining ground in the key attitude capacities required for personal and professional development (adaptability, creativity, team work etc.).

Economic Promotion councillor Enrique Ramos said “one essential feature of innovation and talent initiatives is working with young people during their years of education, encouraging the acquisition and development of certain technical capacities and the use of new technologies, in addition to other more personal abilities which are also most important in terms of innovation. Donostia Innovation Campus is a programme forming part of the Innovation Strategy we are rolling out in Donostia, where we seek to connect the educational environment to businesses and technology centres in order to take up the challenges posed by the development of our city model. This is a learning process for all of us involved in the scheme, and it is an investment in the future.”

The process, which is already underway, is composed of in situ sessions along with follow-up and tutoring by Fomento San Sebastián using virtual work tools. The Donostia Innovation Challenge also has an online platform with all contents available, by way of a repository, and a gamified format to learn and work with the concepts and tools, alongside a virtual tour of the city.

In order to devise solutions for the challenge, the teams may avail themselves of different technologies (artificial intelligence, 3D printing, mixed reality, the Internet of Things and advanced robotics) thanks to support and collaboration from businesses and technology centres in the city involved in this project to create awareness and develop innovative capacity by way of a future strategy for the city.

The Donostia Innovation Challenge goals are:

  • To boost young people’s capacities and spirit of innovation.
  • To move teaching centres closer to the city’s considerable business and scientific/technological fabric.
  • To make a contribution to the talent initiative as a key feature of our capacity for innovation and social and economic development.
  • To broaden collaboration with educational facilities.

The sessions began in September, and will continue until January 2021. This year 375 students are taking part in 70 teams from thirteen teaching centres, alongside 14 businesses and technology centres. It has been estimated that almost 200 capacity-training and project development sessions will be carried out during the period. The scheme also features two major events: one of them on 26 October at the opening conference for the San Sebastián Innovation Week-WeekINN, where students from teaching facilities in the city will take part in a virtual Escape Room. The second encounter will be held in January at the programme’s closing event.

Teaching centres taking part in the Donostia Innovation Challenge:

Nazaret, Axular Lizeoa, Eskibel, St. Patrick’s English School, Antigua Luberri, Summa Aldapeta, Altza Institutua, Mundaiz Korazokistak, Ekintza, Easo Politeknikoa, Ceinpro, Cebanc and Tecnun.

Businesses and centres taking part in the Donostia Innovation Challenge:

Skootik, Kirol DNA, Tecnun, Naru, Depelopair, Biodonostia, Domotek, Ceit, Cybersurgery, Irisbond, Educareality, Nuavis, Ikusi and Ikor.