For the next five years, Audi Korea will provide USD 250,000 for the startup program.
KAIST recently signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Audi Korea to establish a student-led startup program, the Audi-KAIST Innovation Lounge, to promote design and product development on May 19, 2015, at the KAIST Institute of Entrepreneurship on campus.
Directed by Professor Sang-Min Bae of the Industrial Design Department (IDD), the Audi-KAIST Innovation Lounge will operate a global business incubator where IDD undergraduate and graduate students cultivate their entrepreneurship skills and explore business opportunities to develop commercially-applicable product designs. Audi Korea will invest USD 250,000 in the Innovation Lounge project for the next five years.
Students will receive support from the Lounge to turn their ideas, class assignments, and graduation theses into business products through a full cycle of the product development process such as inquiry, prototype development, and commercialization. The Lounge will also provide students with mentoring services from industry professionals and experts who can assist the students in finding design solutions and building prototypes using 3D printers.
The Dean of IDD, Kun-Pyo Lee, said, “Audi has been known for its initiatives which blend technological innovations into design. Likewise, our department offers students an integrative approach to design education and research which incorporates human factors and technology as important features in the design process. I believe that the Audi-KAIST Innovation Lounge will help us lead such efforts in the future.”
Professor Bae added, “This MOU is quite significant because it shows an excellent collaboration between academia and industry. Ideas created in universities should not be left to languish as just an idea or research. Rather, they should be utilized as ways to serve the needs of our society, and to do so, it is important for the government and companies to pay more attention to these interactions taking place between academia and private sectors.”
The Head of Marketing at Audi Korea, Jorg Dietzel, said, “As seen in our corporate slogan, "Advancement through Technology," Audi has grown through numerous technological innovations. I hope Audi Korea can contribute to the support of KAIST students from the Industrial Design Department to realize their dreams as future entrepreneurs and bring more innovative ideas to their field.”
Picture: Jorg Dietzel (fifth from the left), the Head of Marketing at Audi Korea, and Kun-Pyo Lee (sixth from the left), the Dean of Industrial Design Department, KAIST, pose together right after signing an agreement to create the Audi-KAIST Innovation Lounge on May 19, 2015.