Call for applications | MEL Creathon 2021 Lille, Belgium and the Netherlands « Sport, Health and Design »

MEL Creathon 2021 Lille, Belgium and the Netherlands “Sport, Health and Design”

Are you a BA/MA/PhD student or a young professional residing in Belgium, the Netherlands or the Lille city region (MEL) with innovative cross-disciplinary ideas about the interaction between design, sport and health, and do you have a creative entrepreneurial spirit?

If the answer to the above is yes, then apply for our trinational Franco-Belgian-Dutch Creathon “Sport, Health and Design” before February 14, 2021.

The Creathon is organised by the Lille European Metropolis (MEL: Métropole Européene de Lille) and the French-Dutch Network for research and higher education (RFN: Réseau franco-néerlandais).

What is a Creathon?

Creathons can be described as ‘creative marathons’ or interactive workshops that bring together talented students and Young Professionals residing in France, Belgium (the MEL-editions) and the Netherlands, from different backgrounds and fields of study. The participants of the Creathon work together to deliver innovative solutions, projects or digital prototypes, related to a pre-formulated topic. Click here for more information about our (previous) Creathons.

Last year’s MEL-Creathon had to be postponed due to the Coronavirus outbreak, but the last edition took place in March 2019 and was about the topic of food and wellbeing. The winning team developed a tangible educational tool, named Edibox, to teach school children about growing, sharing, and cooking plants, which are local, seasonal and organic, all by following nature’s example.

Why the Lille European Metropolis ?

The city-region of Lille has a rich heritage of design traditions and constitutes an intellectual, cultural, socioeconomic and creative design hub capable of competing on an international level. Last year this was highlighted by Lille being the World Design Capital 2020.

Our Creathons play a significant role in the diplomatic outreach of the Lille European Metropolis (Métropole Européene de Lille or MEL in French) and actively focuses on the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as well as intercultural dialogue.

The overall objectives of the Creathons are to reinforce the attractiveness of the MEL among Belgian and Dutch academic, scientific and economic partners and to initiate new collaborations at the scale of the macro-region of North-West Europe. To this end, the Creathons’ goals are to foster mutual cultural knowledge and trigger macro-regional cooperation while reinforcing the skills of students and young professionals entrepreneurship and promoting language learning.

MEL Creathon: context and opportunities

This year the trinational Creathon explores and rethinks the interaction between sport, health and design. The Creathon raises the question how health conditions can be improved by embracing the aid of sport and design, particularly in the workplace and in urban life. This year the Creathon will particularly focus on how the participants can develop their projects from an entrepreneurial perspective. The influence of design in the world of sport is far-reaching. Design helps improve performances, brings style to technology and encourages people to participate. In the workplace, as in urban life, design solutions allow us to be fitter, happier, more productive, age better, live longer and help us live together in a positive and meaningful way.

During the Creathon you will be asked to form small groups and to work collectively on innovative design elements, which can either have a physical palpable or an intangible component. This resonates with the idea that you can mobilize design to conceive objects, but also to change mindsets.

Two experts (Ramon Verberne and Adamantia Batistatou), will be coaching you during the working sessions to help you improve your achievements. Each team will be composed of four participants, including at least one participant from France, one from Belgium and one from the Netherlands. 21 spots are available for seven participants from each country.

Online meet-ups

The Creathon is divided into two stages, the first being the preparation stage on March 9, will be organised as an online meet-up to get to know each other and the local territory, help you become familiar with the topic from various perspectives and get inspired by concrete examples of topic-related projects. On this day, you will be asked to form small groups and to work collectively on preliminary project proposals that will shortly be presented to the other teams, the coaches and the organisers to collect valuable feedback.

One week later, on March 17-19, the second stage will kick off with a few guest speakers who will be discussing how one can turn creative ideas into business activities in the three different territories. Subsequently, the focus will lie on (pre)prototyping and fine-tuning your projects based on the received feedback. At the end of the final part, all groups will give a pitch to present their final works in front of a jury of experts.

When presenting your final proposal (a concept plan or a digital prototype for instance), you provide an implementation plan including for instance a global timeline, a budget overview and a feasibility assessment.

The winning team members receive financial aid in the form of a mobility grant, to help further develop your group project.

Practical information:

Organisers: The Creathon is organised by the Réseau franco-néerlandais and the Métropole Européenne de Lille (MEL)

When: March 9, 17, 18 and 19, 2021 virtually from Lille (F).

For whom:  BA/MA/PhD students and young professionals aged between 18 and 30 years old are eligible to apply for this event. Also international students Also international students residing in Belgium, the Netherlands or the Lille city region (MEL) are encouraged to apply.

Language: The working sessions will be in English.

Costs: The online participation in the Creathon does not involve any initial expenses for the participants.

Participation: All 21 selected participants will attend both stages. Participation in the full programme is mandatory. Any unjustified failure (absenteeism, inappropriate behaviour) will lead to exclusion from further participation in the Creathon.

All Creathonians will be invited to an in-person meeting and networking event with local partners and businesses in Lille in September 2021. More details to follow.*

*Under the current health guidelines, it is impossible to organise any physical event uniting participants residing in France, Belgium and the Netherlands. In line with national and university guidelines, the nature of both stages remains subject to modification due to the ongoing evolution of the pandemic.

APPLICATIONS ARE DUE BY FEBRUARY 14 to Lex Kuil and Magalie Herlem

Preliminary programme:

Application Form Contact