Sugar - International Business Challenge



SUGAR,is a network that includes 20 top-ranked international universities, 25 international companies, and more than 160 students annually. 
The program's goal is to let students work on an actual project proposed by an international company in a multidisciplinary and international environment to develop future skills (see below). The selected students will work in teams, receive training in innovation project management, and are supported by a coach provided by the university. 
The SUGAR Global Innovation Program lasts 9 months (from the end of October to the end of June) and is designed to be compatible with your university schedule.

The project of this year: This year our Company Partner is LBBW, one of the biggest banks in Germany, who posed the challenge:

How can we generate and present ESG key figures (e.g. ratings, CO2 emissions, water consumption) transparently, comprehensibly and reliably for our corporate customers, starting with the product, through production to the overall view of the company?

In practical terms, UCA will select 3 to 4 students to work with 3 to 4 students from the partner University, the Hasso Plattner Institute, in Berlin to design an innovative solution to solve the challenge. 
We look for applicants from all study backgrounds (scientific-humanistic-artistic and so on...)! 
In innovation, multidisciplinary is key; therefore you don't need to be an expert in finance, economy, or sustainability to be part of the program. 

Your learning path: The SUGAR Innovation program is an experience-based learning path. Students work in a team and apply their knowledge to real-world design challenges. During the program, you will participate with your teammates in about 13 workshops + some more meetings with the company and an experienced coach who will support your team throughout the program. Since SUGAR selects a few students, you will have a close relationship with the company and your coach to exchange feedback. The workshops entail a brief theoretical pill and practical activities to practice what you learn immediately. In other words, you won't have to stay silent for hours listening to someone speaking.

The Stanford design thinking approach:
The main goal of the workshops is to introduce you to the design thinking approach, innovation & project management, and business innovation.
Design Thinking is an approach to innovation born at the University of Stanford, which is currently adopted by Silicon valley's most innovative companies (have you ever heard of Apple, Google, IBM...).  Design thinking helps you train problem-solving, critical thinking, innovation, creativity, the ability to deal with complexity and ambiguity, and communication, which according to a study from Mckinsey, are the top soft skills in the job market. 

Deliveries & Output
In SUGAR there are three main deliveries:

  • Fall presentation, mid-end of December
  • Winter presentation, mid-end of march
  • Final presentation in San Francisco, end of may- beginning of june
For each of the three deliveries, you will be required to produce a presentation, a report, and some prototypes.

IDEX UCAJEDI: This Program is supported by the French government, through the UCAJEDI Investments in the Future project managed by the National Research Agency (ANR) with the reference number ANR-15-IDEX-01.



SUGAR shows the need to partner with other universities to spread this vision and create impact through new products, services and processes. Over the years, SUGAR has grown from 18 projects to 31 projects last year.


The Sugar Network aims to create impact by bringing together universities and industries from around the world to promote an alternative pedagogy, where students take ownership of projects and are encouraged to be passionate about learning. SUGAR empowers students to solve real-world problems based on human-centered, conscious, and responsible design.


The program format entails the following activities:

  • end of October - 1-week kick-off in Europe (T.B.D.) to meet the international team
  • end of may-beginning of June, global Expo in San Francisco, CA, USA
  • about 13 workshops targeted for the  Université Côte D’Azur students  (on Thursday late afternoon* T.B.D.) where students receive training about innovation immediately applied through practical activities.  

  • bi-weekly meeting with the company partner.

  • local team working sessions (which can be scheduled autonomously by the team members) 

  • international team working sessions (which are scheduled by the team members) 

  • weekly coaching session (scheduled autonomously by the team member and the coach) 

  • International travels to visit the partners and gather with the network 

  • Three official presentations with the company in December, March, and June.

    Except for the final event in San Francisco, most of the meetings and events can be adjusted to the team-member calendar, which is usually compatible with university courses.

Who can apply ?

All Master students  

Capacity number students

From 4 to 8 TBD


From october  21th 2021 to june 30th 2022



Economic contribute

Students receive an economic  contribute (more info during the interview)


The SUGAR Program can be recognized as a 5 months part-time internship. The students who take part in it are eligible for the Bonus entrepreneuriat +0,25 and  for the INVENT diploma. Please, consider that incentives and recognitions may vary according to specific agreements with each master.


Space Vernassa + international travels


You are a proactive and motivated master student with good English proficiency, a crush for R&D and innovation. You are eager to experience an international environment and to work within a team together with other students from different backgrounds. You want to learn how to manage a real project and collaborate with professionals. 

May you have any problem with your application, please write to: