Transdisciplinary innovations demonstrated at Innovation Research Lab Exhibition 2015

36 project teams representing 15 universities from Germany, China, India, USA, Brazil and Turkey presented their projects at the Innovation Research Lab Exhibition (IRLE) 2015 at Medical Valley Center in Erlangen, Germany. The winners and mentors were awarded by Prof. Dr. Joachim Hornegger, the President of Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg and IRL program director Sultan Haider.



Often students are looking for possibilities where they can fully express creativity and at the same time gain profile for future work life. The Innovation Research Lab at Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU) under leadership of Sultan Haider, founder and director of Innovation Think Tank at Siemens Healthcare GmbH, offers a unique self-motivating environment to work on interdisciplinary projects under the guidance of mentors and professors. The infrastructural support from various sponsors including FAU, Medical Valley EMN e.V. and Siemens Healthcare GmbH helps realizing tangible hardware and software prototypes.

“The Innovation Research Lab is a unique constellation as it gives the possibility to work interdisciplinary, to build teams beyond the boundaries of expertise, to present the outcomes in the yearly exhibition and to get recognition from a unique combination of universities and industries. I think this creative environment is one of its kind in Germany and is a great chance for FAU”, says Prof. Dr. Joachim Hornegger, President of FAU who gave an inspiring and lively penal speech to the audience.


Prof. Dr. Erich Reinhardt, Chairman of Board of Medical Valley EMN e.V. mentioned in his speech the value of transdisciplinary innovations and in an interview during the event, he emphasized the importance of the IRL program, “Few weeks before I visited the IRL Lab and spoke to the participants. I think it is extremely valuable as it connects various stakeholders and brings young creative people from all over the world in various projects together.”


Innovation Research Lab programs and the yearly exhibition (IRLE)

The Innovation Research Lab hosted by Central Institute of Healthcare Engineering (ZiMT) at FAU brings students and researchers with different background together which take part in various innovation management lectures. During the lectures which take place in close cooperation with Siemens Healthcare GmbH and various university institutions, the students identify projects as well as they form different teams. The team is also supported by the IRL Core Team for prototype implementation, guidance and project feedback.

The IRL Core Team furthermore is responsible for organizational and infrastructural tasks as well as for external and internal communication and marketing. “The lean structure of the IRL teams with no barriers and its management by the students make it a very enriching experience and leads to development of a self-motivating culture”, says Maximillian Reymann who is working as the infrastructural manager at the IRL Core team.

Universities worldwide and especially the IRL international collaborations are invited to submit projects for the annual IRL Exhibitions. This year 36 project teams representing 15 universities from Germany, China, India, USA, Brazil and Turkey presented their projects at IRLE 2015.

For the yearly Innovation Research Lab Exhibition (IRLE), the project teams worked for several months on a wide variety of topics and fields. The outcomes in form of 3D models and prototypes were presented to a guest jury comprising of university professors, industry experts and senior managers, students and participants from all over the world who decided for the most innovative project awards worth €3000 based on voting. The projects ranged from camera guided automated C-arms systems, 3D printed implants to Healthcare system descriptions and improvements.



“I am very impressed not only by the amazing display of ideas but also the ability of the participants to convince the guest jury. Innovation is not coming only with bright ideas but also with the right environment. For Siemens, IRL is a great platform to interact with students in various projects and to attract them to our company.” says Dr. Peter Molnar, CEO Component and Vacuum Technologies at Siemens Healthcare GmbH during his speech and highlighted the value of automation, digitization and transdisciplinary approaches connecting among other the Healthcare industry to other industries.


 “The program is absolutely amazing. I have already attended two events in the past. The presence of so many university professors as well as the university President and Prof. Reinhardt shows that there is a strong interest from various positions to support the young people, to support Mr. Haider and his idea which he brought into the company (Siemens) and now brings to the university and to let it flourish. For me as HR manager this is a perfect place to get to know talented students”, says Arne Wassermann who works in the personal department at Siemens Healthcare GmbH.

The Executive Director of Stanford BioDesign India Prof. Balram Bharghava who is also a professor of cardiology at All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) together with Dr. Prashant Jha, Fellowship director, School of International BioDesign, AIIMS, offered the prestigious Stanford BioDesign fellowships to IRL participants during their speech at the IRLE 2015. Prof. Hornegger also announced a possible cooperation with Stanford BioDesign India during his closing remarks.

After the voting session and counting of votes the FAU President Prof. Dr. Joachim Hornegger, awarded the 3 winning teams. The certificates of participation were given to all the teams. IRL program director Sultan Haider on behalf of IRL team gave recognition trophies to Prof. Dr. Joachim Hornegger, Prof. Dr. Erich Reinhardt and Dr. Peter Molnar for mentoring and sponsoring the IRL programs.



Impressions of the IRLE 2015: