Innovation in Europe: Challenges and Drivers

Organizing institution
HU University of Applied Sciences Utrecht - Economics and Management
Course code
Course fee (excl. housing)
€ 950.00

Having the capacity to adapt to an ever-changing business environment is the single most important factor for companies to remain successful. During this course you will explore various innovation challenges faced by European companies, gain insights on how governments and business cultures in the European Union influence innovation, and discover the traits of innovative ventures and people. Learn about emergent business models, corporate social responsibility, and creative approaches to brand identity. This course combines a theoretical and practical approach using interactive lectures, group assignments and company visits; including an overnight stay in Brussels to visit the European Parliament.  

Having the capacity to adapt to an ever-changing business environment is turning out to be the single most important factor for companies to remain successful. With the European Union (EU) struggling for its once crucial role in the global economy, this perhaps goes even more for European companies than those on other continents. Incredibly tough competition -both within the EU as well as from other parts of the world-, an economic crisis that does not seem to end, and the legislative opportunities and barriers within the EU are all factors that are challenging European companies and initiatives in remaining successful players in their field.

This course provides you with the opportunity to explore these challenges and the solutions companies find, and gain insight on how the different business cultures in the EU influence the choices that are made. Optimization of supply chains, emergence of new business models, implementation of corporate social responsibility, focus on sustainable innovation, and creative approaches to brand identity – these are all (parts of) innovation strategies used by European companies to deal with their challenges and prepare for the future.

The rapidly changing business world also affect today’s job market, and increases the need for innovative and entrepreneurial individuals. Often, this requires more than a brilliant idea or unique skill set. For the next generation of leaders this course offers the opportunity to develop the mind-set, skills, competencies and experiential learning that enable you to promote innovation either as a productive member of an emerging firm or as an entrepreneur. You will work on topics like personal values, communication, and team diversity enabling you to develop your own creativity, opportunity-seeking and opportunity-recognizing abilities.

The course combines a theoretical and practical approach. Interactive lectures, group assignments and company visits will help you to shape your views on what works and what doesn’t. An overnight visit to Brussels is part of the programme.  

NB: This course is part of the track "Innovation in European Business"

Download the day-to-day programme (PDF)

Course director

Bart Toering MSc


Bart Toering MSc

Rini Roerig MSc

Bas Delmee MSc

Target audience

This course is an interesting challenge for students in Business Studies, and is also open to bachelor and master students from other fields. The main requirement is that students have either some background or a strong interest in innovation, trends and topics in the EU. A good command of English is necessary.

Course aim

This course aims to help participants increase their knowledge of innovation challenges within in a European business setting, and the skills needed to understand those challenges. Participants will have an understanding of current trends and topics, and increase their own innovative strengths through assignments and case studies in which they analyse and solve problems, and focus on the implications of theory for real-life.

Study load

102 hr(s) lectures/field excursions + assignments (self-study)


Course fee
€ 950.00
Housing fee
€ 350.00

Housing through Utrecht Summer School

More information

Recommended combinations
Innovation Lab: Co-creation and Service Design
Innovation Supportive Leadership and Performance Happiness


Application deadline: 18 June 2019