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The Co-up Lab

The Co-up lab is a novel approach for spurring innovation within healthcare and life science while exploring co-creation processes and innovation space.

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Pilot Co-up Lab in Flemingsberg, Karolinska Institutet Library May 9, 2019

The Co-up Lab combines “pop-up” innovation spaces and an incubation programme focusing on early incubation of ideas in healthcare and life science. It is designed as a semester-long educational experience. Students will develop ideas in co-creation with stakeholders, professionals and end users. With the mobile innovation spaces we “pop-up” at different locations such as the entrance of a hospital, forming an interface between the classroom and the public, the learning and real context and the innovation process and the user.

Join the Co-up Lab!

Apply to take part in the Co-up Lab!

Do you envision yourself as contributing to a better society through innovation?
Do you want to bring your own idea to life within the healthcare context?
Do you want to develop skills and competences that traditional programmes don’t teach you? 

The Co-up lab incubation programme is tailored to empower individuals with an interest in healthcare and/or life science to bring their own ideas to life and become future “change agents”, taking a stake in the future of healthcare.

In real projects you will take action and develop solutions to address key healthcare priorities, such as patient empowerment (prevention, managing chronic diseases, or healthcare on a distance). For the period of one semester you will be working on your own entrepreneurial journeys in teams of five. You will be encouraged to work using design methodologies and business tools to advance your projects. Teachers and experts will hold seminars, coach and facilitate the incubation.

The programme will provide you with support in form of educational activities and coaching from the various partners of this project. As a project within EIT Health, you will have the possibility to tap into the vast opportunities within this network.

Key concepts: co-creation, user-focus, experimentation, interdisciplinarity, improve health

Co-up Lab incubation programme

The programme follows the design thinking process and acknowledges the importance of real experience. Learning will happen through hands-on project work, peer to peer learning, stakeholder interaction and “real life setting implementation” of new knowledge.

Education will focus on two key concepts: 1) User-focus, including contextual user research to understand latent needs, user testing and co-creation, facilitating patient-driven medicine and healthcare. 2) Experimentation, including prototyping, iteration, involving the creation of physical space for experimentation. 

The incubation programme will thus focus on two key concepts: 1) User-focus, including contextual user research to understand latent needs, user testing and co-creation, facilitating patient-driven medicine and healthcare. 2) Experimentation, including prototyping, iteration, involving the creation of physical space for experimentation. 

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In order to bring the work closer to the actual users, we will take the learning and project work outside of the classrooms, with a “pop-up” at different locations in so called Co-up Lab “events”. At these Co-up Lab events a physical creative space for co-creation of innovation will “occupy” various relevant arenas (e.g. the entrance of a hospital) for 2 days.

Themes for the events will be aligned with the projects and phases of the design development process:

  •  user focus and understanding the challenge
  •  ideation
  •  prototyping
  • communication
CoUp lab project
CoUp lab

Dates and locations

Incubation programme: August 26 - December 16, 2019

Co-up Lab events:

Co-up Lab 1: September 11 and 12 at Södersjukhuset 

Co-up Lab 2: October 18 and 19 at Tekniska Museet

Co-up Lab 3: November 8 and 9 at Tekniska Museet

Exhibition: December 15 at Karolinska Institutet Library, Campus Solna

The lecture and seminar part of the incubation programme will run throughout the semester but will be concentrated mainly to the Co-up Lab event days.

The education aims to provide guidance and preparation that enables the project teams to co-create the “pop-up” events together with the local host, to collect data, test their ideas in the real setting and make sense of the information collected, to further develop the projects.

Time investment will be according to 7.5 credits (NB: course is not credit-giving!)

EIT-Health certificates will be handed out after successful completion.

For more information please download our brochure (pdf) and a preliminary schedule (pdf) for the programme.

Application and selection

Selection criteria are set up to enrol students (PhD, master, and bachelor) who are interested in healthcare and life science and would like to explore bringing their own idea to life.

Apply here:

Summary of selection criteria:

Well formulated interest and ambition.

Experience with previous education given by EIT-Health programmes (e.g. innovation days, summer schools), or other relevant experience to entrepreneurship and innovation (no exclusion criteria, but will be given preference).

An own idea or challenge to work on during the programme (no exclusion criteria, but will be given preference).

The Co-up Lab project 

Based at Karolinska Institutet, we also aim to explore innovation spaces - what can happen and should happen in an innovation space and what do we need to offer in such a space?

With this project, based on a concept where we “pop-up” with an innovation space at different locations, we hope to find first answers and guidelines. 

The project is deeply rooted in the idea that public participation is key to successful and inclusive innovation. Thus, the aim is to bring the projects and learning into the actual contexts, such as Södersjukhuset. 

Together we want to empower students to become entrepreneurial change makers of tomorrow.

We are a consortium of several partners who have been active within the different aspects that the project aims to impact.

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TEAM / partners

As consortium for this project, we share an interest in exploring entrepreneurial educational, co-creation in research and innovation and spaces for innovation. 

Unit for bioentrepreneurship, Karolinska Institutet, offers a two-year global Master's programme and single subject courses. Special interests are entrepreneurial learning, process design and facilitation. Activity leader. 

Stockholm Region/SÖS Innovation is the regional knowledge centre of health innovation services focusing on service design and innovation close to caregivers and patients. 

ISGlobal/University of Barcelona have long experience of teaching co-creation methodologies, and work with innovation spaces at hospitals.

Tekniska museet/The Technical Museum (TM) is the second largest science center in Sweden. Of specific importance for the Co-up Lab is their interest in educational spaces in Stockholm. 

GE Healthcare (GE HC) is at the forefront when it comes to health innovation, AI and digitalization.

Merck Sharp & Dohme (MSD) as a research-intensive company develops drugs, vaccines and services to improve human health.

Karolinska Institutet Innovations (KIAB) is an science business incubator at KI with expertise in business development and coaching.

Stockholm School of Entrepreneurship (SSES) is a platform that provides courses and incubation for students of five of Stockholm’s universities.

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Note: In the selection of participants we will make sure to create a diverse and well balanced group of students.

Anna Birgersdotter

Project leader