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Innovative-thinking, entrepreneurial spirit and collaboration are SAP core values and key to guarantee its long term success. At the SAP Innovation Center Network (ICN), we embrace those values and continuously work on shaping the next generation of enterprise software by exploring new technologies and developing bold new products prototypes. Today, we announce a new initiative which allows students from all over the world to bring their ideas to life through SAP ICN and impact the next-generation of SAP’s solution. 

SAP is now welcoming university students to tackle real-world business and technical problems through the “Innovation Exploration Challenge”. The challenge includes 22 research proposals based on emerging technologies and concepts currently explored at the SAP ICN. Interested students will work closely with SAP ICN experts to address some of the most critical pain points in the enterprise software industry. 

The Innovation Exploration Challenge provides an opportunity for students to learn from industry while retaining the intellectual property rights to their results. Students from different backgrounds can work independently or in teams on the research proposals, which vary in expected outcome ranging from user interface mockups and use case ideas to data exploration and prototype code.  


About the Challenge 

Each research proposal is associated with one of four ICN projects, which examine possible futures spanning from fully autonomous systems to augmenting human-human and human-machine interactions to the areas in between. 

  1. Augmented xP&A: The Augmented xP&A project investigates the Extended Planning & Analytics (xP&A) space with a focus on leveraging holistic data assets and real-time intelligent algorithms to support enterprise decision-makers take advantage of emerging opportunities and be resilient in volatile business environments.  

  2. Augmented Access Control: The Augmented Access Control examines how user contextual data and the concept of human digital twins can be leveraged in a privacy-preserving, predictive manner to improve access control and authorization experiences. In the long run, Augmented Access Control’s digital twin can enable the entire SAP ecosystem to create user-centric experiences via a cloud platform service. 

  3. Future of Self-Service: The Future of Self-Service project leverages user contextual data, emotional awareness, and empathy to make “self-service” truly about the self and deliver a flexible empathy layer that can sit horizontally across the SAP ecosystem. The long-term vision of the project is real-time augmentation and adaptation of interfaces, systems, and workflows based on empathy and contextual consideration of the user and their goals. 

  4. Future of Asynchronous Work: The Future of Asynchronous Work project provides another opportunity for exploring the human digital twin concept. The project goal is to explore how time can be bridged for human interactions in the workplace. 


How to Apply 

Interested students enrolled at an educational institution or partner can select a research topic, inform their institution, and submit their application explaining their reasoning for choosing the specific topic to After the application review process and agreement between SAP and the associated institution, the engagement is ready to begin.