18 February 2019

On February of this year we held our first Student Innovation Challenge in our Birmingham offices. Team Moose from Brunel University took home the winning prize with their Communication Display concept.

Arranged by the Innovation team, SAICOLOGY was a competition for teams of university students to share ideas and evolve concepts to create a new automotive business model. The students were asked to consider key industry trends for the next 5 to 10 years when applying, including;

  • The presence of 5G connectivity – (5G is expected to be 100 times faster than 4G, allowing devices to send and receive large amounts of data instantaneously, making IoT ready for scaled application)
  • The interplay between modern information and communication technologies allows cities to become smart cities
  • That life in megacities has moved into the 3D

Students with backgrounds in business studies, engineering, technology, software development and creative marketing were invited to apply with the aim of creating an innovative solution and a business case on how digital trends such as blockchain, connectivity, internet of things (IoT), augmented reality and artificial intelligence could be used within automotive.

Insights Research Analyst and project leader for SAICOLOGY, Jennifer Morrell, said,

“The automotive industry is transforming at a faster than ever pace. This is a great opportunity for us to engage with young talent and to get to understand what they consider to be the essential products/solutions for us, as an OEM, in order to keep up with the competition and the changes. There were many exciting ideas arose from the event, which we intend to discuss with the students further.”

The challenge, which was held in the Conference Centre, hosted 11 teams from Universities across the U.K. namely, Bath, Birmingham City, Brunel, Cambridge, Coventry, Leicester, Loughborough, Newcastle, Nottingham and UCL.

The teams worked for three long days to produce an engineering proof of concept, a business plan and finally, a marketing pitch based on the challenge to “Identify outstanding issues in the next 5 to 10 years, design a solution which can be ready for sale in the near future and adds value for SAIC”.


On the final day of the competition the teams then presented their ideas to a panel of SAIC Motor UK experts.

The judging panel and mentors were wowed by a number of the ideas and the stories of contributions that they had saw from the event, including the creation of a working iPhone app, self-healing cars and a personalised transportation cabins.



Team Moose’s pitch focused on a unique communication display which aimed to solve the problem of having limited communication between drivers and the people that vehicles interact with.

Eventual winners Joanna, Paramveer and Kaelum said,

“ Overall it was an amazing experience to engage with a range of professionals from SAIC. We are glad to have had the opportunity to understand the holistic design process. Without attending the competition we would not have had the breadth of understanding we gained from interacting with experts in various fields. We are extremely grateful for the experience.”


Thank you to all of the people who helped to arrange SAICOLOGY, the mentors and everyone else who helped to make the event a success.