Global Innovation Challenge

An International Experience Integrated in your Master's Program

The Global Innovation Challenge offers MMM students a new opportunity to study in an international environment and gain practical experience with companies.

The benefits of the Global Innovation Challenge at a glance:

  • 8 triple accredited business schools encourage their master's students to take part in a joint course including a corporate project.
  • Students can complete an intensive learning experience within a short period of time (10 days).
  • Upon successful completion, students receive 6 ECTS for the course.
  • The course can be easily integrated into existing studies, as a learning agreement can be issued when taking the course at the partner universities and the course can be recognized afterwards (“International Course” module).
  • When taking the Mannheim module, no learning agreement is necessary, since the course is an integral part of the MMM module catalog (OPM 693).
  • The course takes place after the end of the spring semester in Mannheim so that participants do not miss any classes within the regular lecture period.
  • The course includes lectures introducing the topic as well as in the second week the handling of a real-life case “Corporate Challenge” including a presentation in front of company representatives and their feedback.
  • MMM students will meet master students from seven other renowned business schools, all of which are internationally accredited and internationally oriented. When choosing the module abroad, a two-week stay at one of the other business schools is guaranteed. (Unfortunately, in 2021 it is probably only possible to participate online).

The Partner Business Schools of the Initiative

The Global Innovation Challenge (GIC) cooperation is an initiative of the International Business School Network (IBSnet). The Business School is a founding member of the initiative and has been part of the network of international oriented Business Schools since 2008.

Dates and Hosts of the Challenges

At the end of each spring semester (from Mannheim's point of view), four of the eight participating business schools offer a Global Innovation Challenge project, with different focuses within the spectrum of business subjects.

The Challenges are expected to take place at the following schools over the next three years:




Católica Lisbon School of Business and Economics, Portugal

University of Mannheim Business School, Germany

University of Stellenbosch Business School, Cape Town, South Africa

BI Norwegian Business School, Oslo, Norway

Maastricht University School of Business and Economics, Netherlands

NCCU, Taipei, Taiwan

QUT Business School, Brisbane, Australia

Aston Business School, Birmingham, United Kingdom (to be confirmed)

Católica Lisbon School of Business and Economics, Portugal

University of Mannheim Business School, Germany

University of Stellenbosch Business School, Cape Town, South Africa

In the summer of 2021, the Challenges will take place in the following time periods:

  • The Courses at the University of Mannheim and Católica Lisbon School of Business and Economics will take place from 21 June to 2 July 2021.
  • The University of Stellenbosch Business School course will take place from 26 June to 10 July 2021.

Please note that the module in 2021 might be in the examination period of the spring semester 2021 in Mannheim. Since the network agreed on a period early on, this unfortunately cannot be changed and, due to the pandemic, cannot be arranged differently in 2021. Of course, you would be able to take your exam(s) and would be exempted from course participation for this time, should there actually be an overlap during the official course times.

Course Offer in the Summer of 2021

Sourcing Excellence

The Mannheim course is offered by Professor Christoph Bode, holder of the Endowed Chair of Procurement, and deals with the topics of “negotiation & sourcing”, taking into account tactical approaches as well as economic and also psychological factors in negotiations. Participants will be working on a topic-related real “innovation challenge” given to them by a well established and successful company.

Video: Insights “Sourcing Excellence”

Consulting for Impact

At Católica Lisbon School of Business and Economics, Professor Kyryl Lakishyk and innovation expert André Pinho offer a course in consulting and innovation. They will teach how to apply a collaborative consulting methodology that helps understand and solve management and business transformation challenges.



Video: Insights “Consulting for Impact”

Exploring Business in South Africa

The course at the University of Stellenbosch, Business School deals with business opportunities from a South African perspective and an evolving market. The focus is on the exchange with local companies for which strategic management solutions are to be developed within the framework of the “innovation challenge”.


Video: Insights “Exploring Business in South Africa”

In 2021, due to the Coronavirus pandemic, the Global Innovation Challenge will take place exclusively online at the Business School of the University of Mannheim and the Católica Lisbon School of Business and Economics. At Stellenbosch Business School, it is very likely that the course will take place exclusively online too. The Stellenbosch Business School has not yet made a final decision as to whether or not it will be possible to have a presence on campus.

Your Application for the Challenge

As an enrolled MMM student, you have the following options to apply for participation in 2021:

  • You can apply for Professor Bode's module in Mannheim through the regular course registration via Portal2. Mannheim has initially five places to allocate. If there are not enough interested students at the partner universities, it might be possible to increase the number of places. However, we will only find out about this in April and unfortunately you cannot make firm plans for this. If you are granted one of the five places at the beginning of March via the regular MMM course registration procedure, you can of course plan firmly with the course.
  • For the modules at Católica Lisbon School of Business and Economics and Stellenbosch Business School you can apply to Ms. Janna Ried from the International Team of the Business School. Please send a current transcript and a CV as well as a short letter of motivation (maximum one DIN A4 page) to Ms. Ried via email. The application deadline is 21 March 2021 (extended deadline!).

Interested students from the business schools within the network should contact the coordinators at their business schools for application details.

Global Innovation Challenge Website

The network is currently working on a joint Global Innovation Challenge website. As soon as it has been launched, you will find the link here.

Contact for Mannheim Students

Janna Ried, M.A.

Janna Ried, M.A.

Manager International Affairs, Master-Level Exchanges & Special Programs
At the moment, I can’t be reached via phone. Please schedule an online appointment.
University of Mannheim
Dean's Office Business School
Schloss – Room EO 388 (3rd floor)
68161 Mannheim
Consultation hour(s):
Please note: Only online consultations are offered currently. Please make an appointment at