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SAP University Alliances launches an innovation community within the “Idea Place”

One of the key missions for the SAP University Alliances program is to help build the SAP Ecosystem of the future.  Because universities, professors and students play an important role in creating, developing and innovating, SAP University Alliances has connected with an innovation platform named the Idea Place. This channel for innovation will allow universities, professors, and students to connect with SAP Customers, Partners and SAP Labs and participate in industry related contest, co-innovation projects and university research.

Industry Related Contest

  • Connected Cars After a very successful 2012 launch, the connected cars contest is making a comeback for 2013.  With the invention of the automobile more than 100 years ago, the era of motorized individual mobility was heralded. But megatrends such as urbanization represent a major challenge for our current use of the automobile.In fact, the World Health Organization estimates that the urban population worldwide will reach 5.2 billion by 2050. Our cities are not only the home to billions of people; they are also the home to millions of cars.
While more people than ever before are benefiting from the individual mobility nowadays, it has also emerged as one of the major challenges of the 21st century. On average, we spend ninety minutes each day in the car nonproductively. Some of the most valuable spaces in cities are wasted on parking. Idling cars in traffic jams contribute unnecessarily to air and noise pollution in cities.
Without additional advance in information technology, the quality of urban life will deteriorate in the future. Individual connectivity within and outside of the car makes it possible to find new ways to solve the described challenges. However, technology needs to be adapted to the culture, lifestyle and to the society.
Could the solution be the car itself? What if drivers could seamlessly communicate with fellow drivers? What if drivers could get real-time information from their environment such as traffic lights, road signs, parking lots and even gas stations? What if the car could enable the driver to stay connected with friends, family, and co-workers while driving?
  • SAP Utilities of Tomorrow Contest The way utilities are providing services is undergoing rapid transformation. Traditionally, consumers wanted their electricity, gas, water, and other services to be reliable and affordable. Tomorrows customers also expect their utilities to be sustainable, and offer ongoing communication, choice, control, and personalization. Consequently, existing regulatory frameworks and an aging utility infrastructure pose real challenges for companies to deliver on these requirements.
As utilities are considering new solutions for a brighter future, who is better suited to help shape that future than tomorrows customers? Utilities, and universities students have joined to collaborate and co-innovate on these problems. Direct collaboration between utilities and customers, new ideas, a CAN DO attitude, and active involvement of domain experts is the recipe to make a difference, and achieve quantifiable and substantial results.
Do you have ideas for solving the challenges of the university of tomorrow? How does the utility of tomorrow integrate into our digital life? Which modern technologies or applications could change the way we consume our resources, and change our interactions with utilities? How should we address topics of energy generation and distribution in the future? How can we take advantage of electric vehicles, solar panels, solar water heaters, purification systems, networked appliances, smart grids, and other innovations?

  • The 2013 University App RumbleAre you an undergraduate or graduate student at a University in the U.S. with a great idea for a mobile application?  If so, then SAP wants to hear from you!  Students are asked to take a design thinking approach incorporating both SAP Mobile Platform and the breakthrough database, SAP HANA.  Ideas can fall under any SAP Industry, and can be business or consumer focused.  For more information on these topics, please refer to the Useful Links.  For the Official Contest Rules, click here.
  • SAP HANA for Humanity The world is awash in a growing sea of data. Enterprise software, mobile phones, embedded sensors and automated devices of all kinds make it possible to collect more information now than at any point in history. This “Big Data” phenomenon presents tremendous opportunities for governments, non-profits and community organizations looking to foster change and social responsibility. It can facilitate the creation of new business models, unlock new sources of economic value and make organizations more transparent. But harnessing big data can be as challenging as it is rewarding.
Introducing a program that gives non-profit and governmental agencies the power to analyze and visualize big data sets. Powered by SAP HANA, this new perspective on data allows organizations to address global challenges, like climate change, healthcare and education, as well as run more efficiently and responsibly.
  • SAP HANA Cloud for Industries, SAP HANA Talent University Competition…and more

Co-innovation projects

University Research (University Innovation Center)
    • In collaboration with SAP Technolgoy Innovation Platform product management and SAP Labs Network, researchers are invited to engage in co-innovation with SAP and SAP Customers on current and futuristic Industry & Technology Topics. 
    • University of Muenster is exploring SAP HANA’s abilities to analyze unstructured data and social media analysis
    • University of Illinois Medical School has connected and is pursuing the modernization of the operating room to utilize SAP HANA in the next generation of robotic surgery suites.  SAP HANA’s abilitiy to quickly analyze cancerous cells and allow for the real-time testing of regions to ensure the removal of the cancers with no disruption to the healthy cells.

Many more opportunities will be forthcoming.  Be sure to stay connected with SAP University Alliances and if you have any questions about the Idea Place, please contact us at:


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  • Correct me if I am wrong - but hasn't Idea Place been around for some considerable time now? To say that "SAP University Alliances has launched an innovative platform named the Idea Place" is a bit disingenuous isn't it?


    Graham Robbo