Real world product development learning
An interdisciplinary product development course at the University of Guelph involves both science and management students working together to develop products under the guidance of faculty and industry collaborators. To appreciate the real world application of product development, research and commercialization, students engage in a rigorous eight-month course designed to encapsulate the many stages of the new product process. Learning flourishes at each of the teaching modules to allow students an opportunity to engross themselves in all of the phases of the agri-food value chain. Working in groups that span various disciplines allows students to rely on each other's expertise. Together, these groups endeavor to address industry and consumer needs. We have established roots in applied research with development opportunities and product offerings reaching areas of business, marketing, agriculture, food and nutritional sciences. Having the ability to collaborate across academic disciplines leads to the development of innovative products and shared learning strategies. It is our hope to foster the creativity of students under the guidance of faculty with the mentor support from industry. Only then will the creation of innovations and learning outcomes lead to the value-added of interdisciplinary product development opportunities.