Student teams: working together and moving in times of corona
At the end of November Kennispark can welcome them: from then on the five student teams will move into the offices of the joint business premises at Capitool 25. The joint accommodation must contribute to a closer collaboration between the teams and must make the connection between top talent and companies at Kennispark.
“We had hoped that by the end of October we could all move into our own offices, but that turned out not to be entirely feasible,” says Jorik Burghardt, operations manager of Electric Superbike Twente. “The contractors have now informed us that by the end of November we will probably move on from our makeshift office in the workshop to the new offices in the building.
“With the relocation of the five student teams to this building, we want to exchange our knowledge among ourselves and thereby further strengthen our joint competitive position in Twente. We don’t yet have a fully worked out plan on exactly how we will work together, but the lines in such a joint building are short and we know where to find each other when we need each other”, continues Emmelie Huisman, responsible for the marketing and events of Electric Superbike Twente. “We can drop in on each other if we have questions about something another team knows more about. Meanwhile, we are also working on keeping the lines short with Solar Team Twente and Esports Team Twente. These two teams will not be coming to our premises because unfortunately there is no room for them. If we have to organize something with all the student teams, it is important that you also have good contact with the other teams and that you know what they are doing. The teams that do come to our building are Green Team Twente, Solar Boat Twente, Aerobotic Tech Team Twente and RoboTeam Twente”.
Innovating in times of corona
Because of the corona virus, the team of Electric Superbike Twente is forced to work partly from home. “We have currently divided the presence at our work location with Green Team Twente because we are the only two teams that are already in the building at the moment,” Jorik says. “We work three days at home and two days in the workshop. It’s also really necessary to see each other from time to time and to be able to access last year’s engine. We have to measure and look at things before we build our bike, which is now in the design phase. Emmelie adds: “We are very strict about the fact that we have to keep our distance. The workplaces that have now been set up are all one and a half meters away and when we get away from our spot, we wear a mouth shield. If someone doesn’t keep a meter and a half distance or doesn’t wear a mouth cap, we talk to them. Fortunately, there is still a nice working atmosphere and in this way you stay involved in what everyone is doing. In order to still work productively on the days we work from home, we have created a Discord group with all teams. Here everyone logs in and if there are any questions you can easily ask each other. This way we keep in touch while working from home.
Races in the planning
The ultimate goal of all student teams is to test and show their product to the outside world. “We hope to be able to participate in a number of races with our bike this academic year,” says Jorik. “For example, we hope to race in Finland in July and we have a race planned in Bermuda in September 2020. However, our goal is a race closer to home: the Varsselring race in Hengelo on May 9th next year. It will be difficult to meet that deadline. If everything goes according to plan, we will be finished with our bike one month before the race. But then everything has to go exactly according to plan, provided that the races can go on at all of course”.
For example, if the corona races don’t go ahead, the team will want to think of other events to race. “For example, we could race against another electric motor to see what it can do and test our engine. It’s also important for the partners to have our bike running, so we want to do a stunt or race anyway,” Emmelie explains her marketing ideas.
Sponsor the team!
The student teams can put the companies at Kennispark to good use. Jorik: “Especially for knowledge, materials and sponsoring. It’s nice to make use of the knowledge available at the companies at Kennispark. For example, if we want to know something about 3D printing, we first look for a company at the park that can give us information about it. What we really need now is to get in touch with ICT companies at Kennispark. Sponsorship is always nice, of course. Our budget is not very large, so sponsors are a welcome addition. This way we can continue to innovate!
“We hope that companies can take a look at our premises from the end of January. The offices have of course been ready before, but in the workshop it’s still an organized chaos”, jokes Jorik. “It has to look nice and tidy of course! And of course we’ll have to wait and see how the virus develops. Should it be the case in January that we are still only allowed to meet in small groups, then we will have to rearrange the opening for companies. Then we might be able to free up a whole week to receive everyone anyway. We are going to see it! To be continued.
Want to know more about Electric Superbike Twente? Then take a look at the website.