9 December 2019 • Content team
Students come up with groundbreaking solutions
On Friday 29 November 2019, the final event of the innovation project ‘Young talent takes the floor’ (Jong talent aan het woord) took place in the auditorium of the Ministry of Justice and Security (JenV). Students of The Hague University of Applied Sciences and Avans University of Applied Sciences pitched 10 (possible) solutions to the client from the JenV domain.
The innovation project ‘Young talent takes the floor’ was a pilot project. Fifty-nine students were given ninety days to come up with innovative solutions to the problems presented by JenV organisations. And they did! It yielded great results that all participants are proud of. This can also be seen in the video that was made.
Hans Versnel, Innovation Manager at the Institute for Physical Safety and one of those presenting the problems, says: “It’s great to see how these students look at our issues from new perspectives. Because they have less knowledge about our daily practice, they are better able to think out of the box. They come up with creative ideas that we haven’t even thought of ourselves.”
In order to solve police cold cases, students devised a new way of tracking. They advised us to make a comparison of different variables within the social network, such as an unusual relocation, isolation, or a messy divorce. These can be compared over time, if relevant to the case, with then and now. Sjaak Starling, employed by the police and one of those posing questions, says: “This is something we did already, but in a completely different way. What the students have come up with is much more extensive. Because of this, there is perhaps a very good chance that a cold case can be solved.”
Another group of students came up with a technical system to replace a sniffer dog, namely ‘The Electric Nose’. Adding a new scent is as easy as adding zeros and ones so that dog training is no longer necessary. This was a solution to the issue of ‘contraband.’ It drew the necessary attention from the public and from the person posing the problem, Sven Hamelink, programme manager at DJI. According to Hamelink: “In Israel, this electronic nose is already being used in various ways in the medical field. It could certainly be a nice replacement for the sniffer dog. It’s an idea we’re certainly interested in pursuing further.”
Dutch Standardisation Institute (NEN)
During the pilot project, the students were advised by Merel Haverhals, corporate relations manager at NEN. She indicates: “NEN is aware of the frameworks within which your product must fit. These standards and measurement methods have often been developed voluntarily by a group of people, some of which internationally. Ultimately, you want the students to come up with a widely supported idea that fits within the already established standards, so the chance of success is many times greater”.
This collaboration has brought a lot of new knowledge and insights to the students, as well as to the police, IFV and DJI. A number of students are even considering applying for a job at the organisation in question after their studies. In addition, three new educational institutions have announced their intention to participate next year. When it comes to innovation, everyone immediately thinks of high-tech products. But innovation is so much more. It is also about connecting organisations and a different way of working together.