Leveraging Design Thinking in Remote University-Industry Collaborations

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way education is delivered and how research programs are approached.

Although the inability to work face-to-face has presented many challenges for the traditional way of working, we have found that it also brings opportunities to engage in remote collaborations that can be valuable both for research institutions and industry. This paper will present a short case study on how design thinking and management processes were applied remotely using an APR.Intern project between Swinburne University and a Med-Tech company in Sydney. Despite the inability to physically visit the Med-Tech company’s manufacturing facilities, the team was able to identify opportunities for optimization of processes using digital means, such as cloud-based data analysis, visualization and CAD modelling. This partnership demonstrated the value that, even when applied remotely, design thinking processes can bring to manufacturing companies and the ability for design processes to adapt to external pressures and the technological changes of Industry 4.0.

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