Finalist

Innovation and Collaboration Space of the Year Award

OzU X Innovation Center

Finalist of the Innovation and Collaboration Space of the Year Award

"OzU-X Innovation Center: Commitment to Explore the Unexplored"


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Summary

OzU-X is an Innovation Center located at Ozyegin University Çekmekoy campus, and is the flagship building of the university campus. The building’s name was picked by students after a university-wide poll, and chosen as a reference to the word “Exploration,” the symbol of technology and innovation in the era of global digitalization, as well as Ozyegin University’s one of key values. Ozu-X is organized around a start-up incubator led by the University, surrounded by laboratories and studio space for students. A large makerspace links all the various laboratories together by offering services to all students and incubees. The space is planned as an ecosystem that streamlines collaboration, generates Innovation and augments productivity. The place acknowledges that new ways of learning requires a new type of space. OzU-X supports flexibility by creating various environments for technology, for small group working, to support interdisciplinary learning and research, project spaces, community spaces, classrooms and seminar rooms, studios and workshop. Maybe similar to other innovation spaces in terms of its infrastructure and architectural design, OzU- X is unique in the way it reflects OzU’s entrepreneurial spirit and commitment to exploration through collaboration. It is designed for product realization from design through to manufacture and occupies teaching spaces and laboratories bringing into one space various stages in the design and manufacture process, as well as reinforcing interdisciplinary work among different creative units. External stakeholders hosted at Ozu-X, such as General Motors and Turkish White Goods Suppliers Association, also contribute to innovation by accelerating the creative process at the center.

Key People


Dr. İsmail Arı
Director
Technology Transfer Office and Center for Entrepreneurship,  Ozyegin University



Tugba Beceren
Operations Manager
Rectorate,  Ozyegin University


Images

OzU X

OzU X Events

OzU X Events2

OzU X Building Plans

Open FaB Events Posters

OzU X Photos

OzU X- TTO talks poster

OzU X Open Fab-Areas

OzU X Fit Startup

IMPACT STORY

Impacting lifes

Of all the success stories whose seeds have been sowed at Ozu-X, Metehan Emlik’s is the most prominent example of student entrepreneurship, vision and hard work sprouting into a concrete product in the fertile soil of, and thanks to the philosophy and resources of Ozu-X. A first generation university student of a working class family, Metehan used to toil in local construction sites doing electrical work in order to save up money for buying equipment to use in his high school lab. Arriving to OzU as already an electronics enthusiast and with his innovative spirit, Metehan quickly started working on the first mini drone project of Turkey, ESPCOPTER, designed to provide high school students with a platform to learn coding, programming, and flying a drone. He has been supported by the Fit Factory and working non-stop in the factory area in close interaction with other entrepreneurs. Chances are you would run into him fine-tuning his project if you stepped into Ozu-X today. He has also been financially supported and received mentorship from Fit Factory. Furthermore, in June he started a project at Arikovanı (Bee-hive), a technological crowdfunding platform.* He has successfully reached the targeted threshold and the production of the 100 drones he sold has been going on at OzU – X Fit Factory since then.

Having already reached hundreds of children with his mini drone, Metehan is currently working on a project for manufacturing Turkey’s first electrical paper airplane, the first prototype of which is already completed at OzU-X. He now aims to increase the number of children he has reached through his projects from hundreds to thousands with the technology that will fly into the farthest corners of Turkey and the world to carry STEM education.

*https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jOLkR3hshLA

LEARNINGS

Lessons learned

We started our journey of OzU X with the realization that the rules are changing: The internet has changed notions of place, time and space, emerging new methods of teaching and learning based on an improved understanding of cognition, changing financial context for education: increased competition, pressure on resources, blending of living, learning, working and leisure and life-long learning. This has been leading to a change in learning as it shifts towards progression by stage, more independent learning, less didactic teaching focusing on more facilitation, curriculums with more diverse mix of subjects based. We think of a space as an ecosystem that streamlines collaboration, generate innovation, and augment productivity. To create a space of co-working requires guaranteeing accessibility, pooling resources, pooling of energy, proximity, permissiveness and privacy. We use the terms makerspaces or fablabs but no single term perfectly captures all spaces. Within the scope of OzU-X we have defined a makerspace as an open access space, with facilities for different practices, where anyone can come and make something. As makerspaces continue to emerge and develop, we expect definitions to continue changing. Our advice to people taking a similar path is to focus on the constantly changing definition of learning and producing moment by moment, and shape their own education philosophy, as well as the space supporting it by following their gut feeling distilled from constant meditation on self-improvement and excellence in building the university of the future.

FUTURE PLANS

What's coming?

For us, being an entrepreneurial university means implementing entrepreneurial principles first in university’s own operational and academic efforts, then promoting and facilitating entrepreneurship. We facilitate entrepreneurial training and support entrepreneurial practice by creating the opportunities to meet the needs of entrepreneurs in our ecosystem as and when they arise. In line with this understanding, OzU-X is about so much more than learning to start a business.

We promote the development of an entrepreneurial culture and seek to inspire students to see change and uncertainty as a source of opportunities. We provide spaces to experiment and to test ideas and access to tools, resources and networks. We plan to engage and empower students—from all faculties and schools and from outside, and aspiring entrepreneurs, giving them the knowledge, confidence, technological tools and experience they need to succeed at all stages of their entrepreneurial journey. The most important of all, we aim to reinforce OzU’s role as the pioneer university of Turkey in entrepreneurship by constantly exploring and improving not only our contribution to flourishing of entrepreneurship in Turkey, but also our innovative and creative space as the main locomotive of all our efforts.


KEY STATISTICS

300

Average number of events organized at OzU-X annually

4000

Number of Fit Start Up applications

250

Number of Excepted Fit Start Up applications

61

Number of businesses that has finished the entrepreneurship programs

260

Number of employment created by the businesses that finished entrepreneurship programs

10 mil

Amount of income created by the businesses that finished entrepreneurship programs

86

Number of maker training workshops organized by OpenFab since 2016

2113

Number of people participated to the maker training workshops organized by OpenFab since 2016

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