Demola is an international innovation challenge platform, which works to bridge the long-existing gap between companies and university students. Demola Global, established in Tampere, Finland, brings a team of multidisciplinary university students and company’s experts to work together and co-create a solution for an innovation challenge set by the company.
On June 2019, King’s College joined Demola Alliance amongst 16 countries, as an exclusive partner to operate Demola program in Nepal. Demola brings together more than 50 universities, involving 7, 50,000 students and leading companies from all over the world. With the increasing complexity of the global ecosystem, an innovative and futuristic approach seem inevitable to prepare ourselves in advance. Demola serves as a strong means to bring university students, university and companies together to co-create solutions for unprecedented futuristic challenges. The wide networks of the Demola alliance make it unique worldwide as it provides a platform to learn and engage in the ecosystem.
Five Nepali firms signed the agreement to join Demola project on the very day of its official launch on August 14, 2019. During the event, five different institutions including Annapurna Media Network, Young innovations, City Planning Commissions of Kathmandu Metropolitan City, Katha Nepal and M&S NEXT Venture Corp signed the agreement to join Demola as the Challenge Partners.
“King’s as an academic institute, has always believed that learning should not be limited to the concrete classrooms and prescribed syllabi,” Narottam Aryal, the President of King’s College says, “We see Demola as a tool capable of stitching an existing gap between Nepalese education institutions and companies as well as government and non-government organizations. Being a globally recognized Finnish co-creation platform, we expect Demola’s concept to nudge forward the culture of joint problem-solving in Nepal.”
Demola facilitates eight-week long projects where students and company experts work jointly on an innovation challenge, as set by the company as well as organizations. The collaboration will take place from problem identification phase to solution development phase. There are two additional elements to the Demola Project: where Demola Facilitators will bring about the global knowledge and insights in solving a particular problem of a company/organizations or helping them advance with the introduction of innovation, the University will try to apply the tested and proven academic theories, to help Nepali businesses and organizations reach further heights.
Addressing the launch event, Head of Cooperation and Counsellor at the Finnish Embassy in Nepal Kati Bhose stressed on education based research for solving modern time problems especially those faced by the industrial world. “The new changes that are surfacing in the world has not only been impacting the industries but the entire social environment,” she states, “To solve such problems, it takes a new set of thinking which is only possible by the collaboration between universities and the industrial sector.”
“Demola invites companies as well as organizations and students to work jointly on their problems starting from problem identification to solution development. While doing so, academia gradually earns the trust of companies and brings them closer, and companies realize the potential of students even before they graduate. The learnings and insights during the process will be an invaluable repository of knowledge and information for Nepalese academia and industries/organizations,” says Udgum Khadka, Educational Designer of King’s College. Currently, it operates in 16 countries: Finland, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Spain, France, Lithuania, Latvia, Hungary, Portugal, Mexico, Namibia, South Africa, Japan and China. Nepal is the 17th country to introduce Demola concept.
Demola operates as a continuous process facilitating four sessions of innovation challenges in a given year. Therefore interested Nepali companies and organizations have several opportunities to join the Demola in the near future.