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ICT innovation / Product Design and Development __(2016/2017)__

See the current ICT Innovation Course for further information.

Degree Programs

This course is offered at the University of Trento in the framework of four tracks offered by Trento within the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT DIgital) Master School programme:

Course Objective

This course illustrates the key steps of product design and developement and guide students, forming multi-disciplinary teams, into the development of a “product” as opposed to just a “project”.

We often see nice proof-of-concept research demonstration of useful tools in magazines or on web-sites. What does it take to make this a product? For example, suppose we are building a tool that provides a better interface to a hardware device. On our blog we can say “A brief search on the internet shows us the right data-sheet for the product”. This is not feasible in a product and must be replaced by a web service, that delivers the right results to our own customers.

This course should allow students to experience what it takes to transform an idea into a product.

Lecturers and Tutors

  • Lecturer: Fabio Massacci
  • Tutors:
    • Bernardo Villalba Frías (PhD student in Embedded Systems),
    • Dr Jing Nie (PhD in Finance at Durham Business School),
    • Stanislav Dashevskyi (Phd student in Security and Privacy, 1year at SAP AG),
    • Dr Stefano Tranquillini (Phd in Service Design in Trento, CTO and co-founder,

Credits (6-9 ECTS)

This course is normally 6ECTS credits for MSc students enrolled in Trento or for EIT/ICTLabs students joining Trento as exit students. For EIT/ICTLabs master students having Trento as entry students this course will yield 9 credits as it includes the credits for the EIT/ICTLabs summer school.

Overarching Learning Objectives

  • Creativity: How to solve problems when not all steps are completely specified (this what you should try to do with your design/architectural result)
  • Intellectual Transformation: How to transform an idea into a product (the first “brainstorming” step is your research canvas, the last one is the final product)
  • Leadership: Organize yourselves into a team and arrive to make a final product (you should try to leverage on each other’s competences)
  • Making value judgement: Decide which parts are important and which are not also on the basis of ethical and social considerations.

Course Structure

  • Learning: Lectures on Product Design and Development (PD&D)
    • Introduction
    • Product Specifications
    • Concept (Mostly selection and testing)
    • Product Architecture
    • Prototyping and robust design
    • Patents and Intellectual Property
  • Thinking: Concept's Idea Canvas (up to 10/30 grade points)
    • Each team will produce a concept's idea canvas to clarify the key strong points on their product
  • Designing: Product design and architecture (up to 10/30 grade points)
    • Teams will produce a detailed architecture and a poster explaining how their product will work
  • Producing: Product prototype (up to 15/30 grade points)
    • Each team will have a small budget for hardware/software and will have to actually present a working product


Karl T. Ulrich and Steven D. Eppinger. Product Design and Development. 5th edition, Irwin McGraw-Hill, 2012.

There is also an eBook with a subset of the chapters that is used as a textbook for Karl Ulrich's Product Design on-line Course on Coursera for 30$. You can go to McGraw-Hill on-line shop and then search for Karl Ulrich or ISBN:9781308099064.

Spring 2017

Product's Idea

The following idea for the product by Michele Dallachiesa from the startup SkySense has been selected for the 2017 course (following up the sheperd drone by Samy Kamkar in 2016).

A swarming fleet of inexpensive drones can serve multiple purposes, from monitoring crops in agriculture to surveillance of industrial sites, from mapping indoor large industrial facilities to…

Some details on the idea of swarming drones are available on Ardupilot, as well as some code directly available for planning of a single drone SkySense Planner. See as well the AirSim project. Read them.


April 12 we have been moved to Romm A210

  • Wednesday - room A212 - 13:00-15:00
  • Friday - room A224 - 9:00-12:00 (up to 13:00 on the Show Room days)
Date Topic Slides Other Material
2017-02-22 Administrative Information Slides
2017-02-22 Introduction Slides
2017-02-24 Product Design and Development Process tn_01_-_introduction.pdf Latham's paper on CEO Qualities
2017-02-24 Exercise Select your case studies to present on Google Classroom
2017-03-01 No lectures (ICT Days)
2017-03-03 “Making a Product” Young Entrepreneurs P. Bouquet (OKKAM), M. Dallachiesa (SkySense), A. Rosani (Melixa), S. Tranquillini ( tell their experience in building a start-up. They are former students of Trento University
2017-03-08 Design Process Slides
2017-03-10 Product Planning Slides
2017-03-15 Concept Selection Slides
2017-03-17 Feedback session
2017-03-22 No lectures You should be working on the Canvas
2017-03-24 Feedback session Template for Concept Canvas Examples of other Canvasses used in other contexts are the research canvas and the business canvas
2017-03-29 Concept Testing slides
2017-03-31 Concept Testing (Cont) slides Sales Estimation Template
2017-04-05 Architetural Design slides the HP Deskjet Case
2017-04-07 Project Management Lecture by A. Lazzareschi Sergiusti (Former Director R&D of Defense and Military Technology Selex/Leonardo)
2017-04-12 Design for Manufacturing Slides
2017-04-14 No lectures Eastern holidays
2017-04-19 No lectures Eastern holidays
2017-04-21 Feedback session
2017-04-26 IPR Slides Patent on the coffee sleeves, book patent by Google, SEC Filing by Google, SEC Filing by Pfizer
2017-04-28 Feedback session
2017-05-03 No lectures You should be working on the Architecture
2017-05-05 Design Poster Show at CLC
2017-05-10 Robust Design Slides
2017-05-12 Robust Design (contd) Google Classroom for the DoE Excel File
2017-05-17 Robust Design (contd)
2017-05-19 Feedback Session Contact individually the assistants
2017-05-24 Running an Ethical Business Lecture by P. Sterlini, at 30 she has been the youngest President and chairwoman of one of the largest Fair Trade Cooperative Mandacaru
2017-05-26 Feedback Session

Major Milestones

Date Topic Grade Points Description
2016-03-24 Concept's Idea Canvas Show at EIT CLC 10/30 Each team will produce a concept's idea canvas to clarify the key strong points on their product
2016-04-05 Define Your Hardware Lists - Each team should specify a final list of material that they need to buy to assemble their product
2016-05-05 System Design Poster Show at EIT CLC 10/30 Teams will produce a detailed architecture and a poster explaining how their product will work
2016-06-15 Product ShowRoom (Aeroporto Caproni) 15/30 Each team will have a small budget for hardware/software and will have to actually present a working product
ict_innovation_2017.txt · Last modified: 2021/01/29 10:58 (external edit)