TTO Iceland: Design Sprint for Search & Rescue

Masterclass + Design Sprint

Design and Technology Transfer for Search & Rescue

4-7 May 2021

Living on a remote volcanic island and in a coastal environment brings its challenges, such as possible rapid weather changes, extreme weather conditions and natural hazards. In order to respond to harsh conditions and emergencies in the best way possible, it's important to design and develop reliable and optimised products, services and systems which can prevent accidents and save human lives + other valuables.

We stimulate designers, engineers, researchers and employees of Icelandic Universities and public research organisations to join for our workshop. We´ll form multi-disciplinary teams that will work on developing resilient solutions for the challenging operations of Search & Rescue teams.

There will be inspiring lectures, exercises and participants will work closely together with the national SAR-team in Iceland and other highly-skilled professionals with expertise in design for extreme environments as well as technology transfer. Several prizes can be won from 66°NORTH and we´ll even have a call with famous rescuer/explorer Dan Mazur straight from Mt. Everest. This event is a great opportunity for networking and for getting support in bringing your innovative projects to the market.

The workshop is organised by Auðna – Technology Transfer Office Iceland in collaboration with the Icelandic Association for Search & Rescue (ICE-SAR), Arctic Council EPPR working group, European Space Agency (ESA) Space Solutions, 66°NORTH, Summit Climb, Icelandic University of the Arts, Kwantlen Polytecnic University and highly-skilled professionals with expertise in design for extreme environments as well as technology transfer.

Participation fee (incl. lunch):
15.000,- isk – Participants connected to Auðna TTO partner organisations*
30.000,- isk – Participants outside Auðna TTO partner organisations

Gróska, Bjargargata 1, 102 – Reykjavík, Iceland
Participation online is optional if you can´t attend in person.

* Auðna TTO partner organisations include: Icelandic Universities, Landspítali, Matís, the Ministry of Education, Science & Culture, the Ministry of Industry, Innovation & Tourism and the Federation of Icelandic Industries.

Registrations for participants now open:

(Deadline April 25th 2021)


Day 1, May 4th: Scoping the challenges

  • 9:00       Introduction to mentors and programme
  • 9:50       Short introduction from participants
  • 10:30    Lecture: Introduction to Search & Rescue operations of ICE-SAR + challenges.
  • 11:15    Lecture: Evolution of Search & Rescue equipment – protocols & standards.
  • 11:40    Mapping the sector + opportunities, forming multi-disciplinary teams and discussion on defined challenges. Each team picks one of the defined challenges to create a solution for. 
  • 12:00   Lunch & networking
  • 13:00    Exercises with ICE-SAR team in groups: trying out materials & operations.
  • 15:00   Warm drinks after SAR exercises & networking.
  • 15:20   Lecture Arctic Council EPPR working group: SAR operations in a larger perspective.
  • 16:20   Discussion with mentors & the ICE-SAR team: Designing for extremes. Tools & solution diagramming.
  • 16:45   Start working in teams: discussions & conceptualisation with guidance from mentors. Teams can continue as long as they want.

Day 2, May 5th: Design & Technology Transfer: from the studio to the field.

  • 9:00     Welcoming
  • 9:10     Lecture Auðna TTO: Technology Transfer Office Iceland
  • 9:30     Lecture ESA Space Solutions
  • 9:50     Lectures from ESA Space Solutions spin-off companies:
  • 9:50     ICEYE
  • 10:10   SKYCORP
  • 10:30   Q&A
  • 10:45   Working in groups with mentors
  • 12:00   Lunch & networking
  • 13:00   Lecture: Pitching Canvas
  • 13:15   Working in groups with mentors
  • 15:45   Demonstration
  • 16:30   Q&A + teams can continue as long as they want.

Day 3, May 6th: Prototype fast (digital or/and real), fail fast, succeed fast.

  • 9:00     Welcoming & discussion
  • 9:30     Phone call straight from Mt.Everest with explorer/rescuer Dan Mazur from Summit Climb + Q&A.
  • 10:15   Working in groups with mentors
  • 12:00   Lunch & networking
  • 13:00   Working in groups with mentors
  • 15:30   Circumnavigating design: Debrief & next steps with mentors and ICE-SAR.
  • 16:00   Q&A + teams can continue as long as they want.


Day 4, May 7th: Pitch presentations

  • 9:00       Welcoming + working in groups, preparing pitches      
  • 10:30    Introduction to the Panelists
  • 10:45    Pitch presentations of ca. 6 groups
  • 12:30    Lunch, networking + panel discussions
  • 14:00    Feedback
  • 15:00    Prizes giving ceremony with prize from 66°NORTH
  • 15:30     Music & drinks

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