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Upskill 4.0 has developed a new approach to innovation process management that accelerates the digital transformation of Made in Italy.

Through Design Thinking, we start by listening to companies and territories, identify design challenges and mobilize ITS students from all over Italy. We create multidisciplinary teams that collaborate with companies in developing innovative solutions. The journey is possible thanks to continuous support from the Upskill 4.0 side, up to the presentation of prototypes, followed by an impact evaluation to ensure constant progress of the projects.

Our method is developed in seven steps:

  1. Scouting: Active listening to enterprises and territories.
  2. Problem framing: defining design challenges
  3. Creating work teams: Upskill 4.0 engages students from across Italy to solve challenges
  4. Project development: through the methodology of design thinking students and businesses work together to solve the challenge
  5. Accompanying and curating Upskill 4.0: operational and scientific coordination throughout the project
  6. Project presentation: presentation of prototypes made to solve challenges
  7. Impact evaluation: follow-up meetings and interviews for continuing projects

Design Thinking is a method for managing innovation processes that integrates people's needs with the opportunities provided by technology.
Developed by the consulting firm Ideo in collaboration with the Stanford Design School, the method has been successful in solving complex problems in very different business sectors. Given a problem, Design Thinking breaks down the creative process into five steps making the design accountable and iterative at each point in the process.

The phases that characterise the methodology are: Empathy, Definition, Ideation, Prototyping and Testing. For each phase there is a specific toolkit that can be implemented in any type of project.


Design Thinking


The success of Design Thinking compared to other innovation methodologies is based on three elements. Empathy, i.e. the ability to listen to the expressed and unexpressed needs of the user. The development of critical thinking and therefore the ability to analyse user needs and transform them into innovative solutions. Prototyping, i.e. the ability to transform ideas into physical or digital prototypes.


Upskill 4.0 has created an innovative platform that has digitised the Design Thinking methodology in a simple and functional way to manage relations between schools and businesses.

Upskill platform
Upskill platform

Through the platform's functionalities, the Upskill team develops the dialogue between schools and companies regarding individual projects. The platform accompanies the working groups through the various stages of Design Thinking, facilitating document management and certifying the progress of the work.

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