Best Practices: Collaborative initiatives at European level involving universities and enterprises in the domain of GI.

LaPS (Lake Poli School)


Lake Poli School (LaPS) was an annual initiative which took place at Politecnico di Milano – Como Campus during the first semester of Academic Years 2011-2012, 2012-2013, 2013-2014 and 2014-2015.

The Lake Poli School aims at:

  • Entering real problems
  • Giving fresh ideas to companies
  • Connecting different disciplines
  • Interacting with different cultures

The project aimed at nearing students to companies and real problems, providing further opportunities to best and motivated students and opening their minds, working in an international and multicultural context. Crossing the boundaries of disciplines and cultures, LaPS challenged students, teachers, companies tackling open issues.

The idea at the origin of LaPS was linked to the difficulty that both practitioners and academics have in overpassing the boundaries of their disciplines and languages. Starting from this seminal idea, LaPS was a multi-disciplinary initiative where MSc students from Management, Environmental, and Science Computing Engineering worked in group to develop real projects proposed by local companies or public bodies, and are supported by junior and senior academics.

Typically there were 6 groups of students every year, each composed of 5-6 students.

Methologies used

The course (5 ECTS) develops over 6 months, where “lessons” are substituted by “meetings”. There are weekly meetings with three teachers (senior academics) from the three disciplines involved (Environmental, Management and Science Computing Engineering). Biweekly meetings at the university with the external companies are also scheduled. A key role in the initiative is played by the junior researchers assigned to each group, who become project managers as well as the main reference for both the group and the external company. There are no traditional lessons taught, but seminars or lessons “on demand” when gaps in knowledge emerge during the project development. The main role of senior researchers is to provide more experience advice to tutors and students, and to solve problems that can rise.

The benefits achieved from the initiative were multiple. Students could open their minds within a completely different experience compared to their traditional university courses, as they were facing a real business case proposed by a real company. They cud experience the practical difficulties typical of any real-world problem where many stakeholders are involved. Companies could have their business ideas developed in few time and with the great enthusiasm and quality provided by students.

Technologies used

Different from each specific project