INCREDIT: Interdisciplinary Creative Education in Deep Tech

INCREDIT is an interdisciplinary approach towards deep-tech education which aims to make the deep-tech industry more approachable, not just for technical students but also for design and business students and focusing upon the interdisciplinary collaboration amongst them to create novel solutions. Through experiential and problem-based learning methodologies, the INCREDIT practice-based approach allows students to partner with real-life industry startups and organizations, as well as lowering the gap for students between their studies and subsequent employment. Through life-wide learning, INCREDIT aims at the inclusion of working professionals into our educational planning and development activities. Ultimately, the well-networked and integrated ecosystem aims to place any stakeholders at the centre of the INCREDIT knowledge triangle. The specific objective is to increase the participation of partners with expertise in deep-tech and other research-oriented endeavours and partners with strong connections to the market and an understanding of customer and consumer needs.


To reach its objective of the Deep Tech Talent Initiative, INCREDIT embeds four distinct approaches through two underlying themes.


The four approaches are:

  • Interdisciplinary, to provide a unique method towards the development of a wider interest among students and graduates in the view of deep tech sectors as a sustainable career option, and to successfully implement an entrepreneurial education for students,


  • Practice-based collaboration to reduce the gap between education and working life for students and to mitigate the possible tensions and anxiety students, particularly non-STEM majors, may face when working with deep tech sectors,


  • Life-wide learning opportunities to contribute towards displaying new models for industry-academia collaboration opportunities to support and facilitate knowledge triangle initiatives through the collaboration of industry and academia, and


  • A well-networked and integrated ecosystem to develop stronger relationships between INCREDIT and other knowledge triangle partners such as city/municipal organizations, research infrastructures, businesses, and other private organizations;


Through the two selected themes, which are:


  1. Digitally Driven Societies: related to the inclusion of deep technologies such as artificial intelligence and machine learning, blockchain, Web 3.0, and electronics with the main aim to support the transition towards a more digitally fair and just society.
  2. Development of Experiential Entrepreneurial Competences: to develop and deliver experiential learning models and methods through which key skills and competencies about entrepreneurship and the entrepreneurial mindset are transferred to the students to understand how experiential learning methods, combined with an interdisciplinary and design-driven approach, can motivate and support students in viewing the deep-tech sectors as viable career options. Moreover, the theme also aims to explore the knowledge-triangle collaboration and understanding of how universities can support the development and incubation of early-stage deep-tech startups.


Specific objectives of INCREDIT are:

  • to support 3 startups by connecting them with an interdisciplinary group of students and outlining their interest and focus on working closely with industry and market,
  • to train and educate 750 students,
  • to mentor more than 100 students by supporting and guiding them on the selected topics,
  • to train 70 academic (15 mentored) and 70 non-academic staff (15 mentored) on selected topics to the integration of deep-tech orientation within their existing educational offerings,
  • to explore and develop the ecosystem by including five new partners, and
  • to explore and develop additional deep-tech-oriented supportive structures, increasing the range of possible competencies.


To support its actions, the INCREDIT project has received a total grant of 750.000 euros from the European Union’s EIT HEI research and innovation programme.


Full partners: Aalto University (FI), Hanken School of Economics (FI), Umeå University (SE),  Universidad Internacional de La Rioja, S.A. (ES), Vaasa University of Applied Sciences VAMK (FI)


Associated Partners: Pääomasijoittajat ry (FI), Linköping Universitet (SE), (SE), Aalto Entrepreneurship Society ry (FI), CERN (SW), City of ESPOO (FI)




Time span: 14 months


Funding type: European public