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21th Century Urban Innovation (all studies)

Are you interested in experiencing what it would be like to advise clients in the field of innovation and Urban Renewal in the 21th century? Then choose the 21th Century Urban Innovation minor! As an Urban Innovation Consultant, you will be solving issues in a multidisciplinary international team with the goal of making cities inclusive, smart, resilient and sustainable.

As a Junior Urban Innovation Consultant, you will discover what it is like to work with national and international students from different study programmes on an assignment from an external client. Examples of clients include companies, institutions and even government bodies. Each junior consultant brings their unique perspective to an issue based on their own area of expertise and together you will come up with innovative solutions, supervised by an Avans teacher, lecturer-researcher or senior consultant. The Urban Innovation minor is a based in the Urban Living Lab Breda.

You will act in a team with several other students to work on a shared assignment. As a specialist in your area of expertise, you will be expected to contribute your specific know-how and put your skills to work.

The Urban Living Lab
You will attend sessions at the Urban Living Lab in Breda on two set days a week. In addition, you will be able to collaborate with students and lecturers in your own virtual community which is always available online. 

You will spend about 20 hours a week on the group assignment over a period of 18 weeks. For the other 20 hours a week you will work on your individual
development goals and learning arrangements.

Teaching methods
Urban Innovation is taught at the Urban Living Lab in Breda at the location Uitvindfabriek. The programme's lecturers will act as senior consultants who will help you as junior consultants to achieve results. As part of this you will listen to 'campfire' stories, take part in training sessions and follow courses about the research approach, project implementation and applied knowledge related to the professional content.

Examples of clients and assignments:
This minor has been given since 2011 at Avans University. In the past period we had a lot of interesting clients and assignments. To give you an idea, here is a short list of this:

  • To investigate the possibilities of Urban Farming in the center of Breda for the Research Group Robotics and Sensors
  • To investigate the possibilities of using Wind energy in urban area’s for the Research Group Smart Energy
  • Conducting research into and giving advice on the current situation of waste processing at a business park in Breda for the Municipality of Breda
  • The Equal Life project is an European project in which a team investigated the impact on the mental health of young people aged 0 to 21 years. This project required a method to monitor the activities and location of the subjects. To this end, the project group of the Minor Urban Innovation has conducted research and formulated various methods that can be used in the Equal Life project.
  • How can the Red team Breda project team, in collaboration with the municipality of Breda, the smart energy research group at Avans and Team Red from Eindhoven, issue advice on making the Minervum area more sustainable in the field of energy/energy transition and the consequences at the level of make users visible
  • What is needed to create broad social support for large-scale and intensive robotized agriculture in the city of Breda
  • Inventory of development towards more green and lighter materials for infrastructure and construction and the effect on CO2 emission reduction in the value chain, but mainly during the transport of the materials.
  • Which form(s) of public lighting fits(s) with the (future) layout of the outlying area of the municipality of Etten-Leur? Account must be taken of the different users (recreation, housing, agriculture and small-scale activity) in the area as well as the biodiversity of the area.
  • To advise Repair Cafe's in Breda how to scale up and work together
  • Advise and develop a foodhup in Breda
  • Set up a research program for a neighborhood in Breda related to the Doughnut Theory

We've had students from all over the world for example: The Netherlands, Germany, Sweden, Spain, Finland, Mexico, South Korea, Thailand, Colombia. The minor is not only multidisciplinary but also multicultural which gives it a very interesting setting! It's also good for your network. 



You can apply the knowledge you acquire during the Urban Innovation minor immediately for the completion of your graduation project.

After successfully completing this programme, you will be able to:

  • apply multidisciplinary expertise, both independently and as a team
  • apply research methods
  • analyse specific problems in the professional practice
  • manage a consulting process
  • direct the development of your skills, knowledge and attitude

Career opportunities

Upon graduation you will be able to apply the skills acquired during the programme in a future role as a manager or consultant. As the Netherlands has the highest manager number of consultancy jobs in Europe, the career prospects in this country are good if you are aiming for a career in consultancy.

Some of the most appealing aspects of consulting are the huge variety of projects you will work on, the colleagues you will work with and the clients you will
meet. Many consultancies also offer international travel opportunities You will be entrusted with responsibility and working with senior clients very early on in your career, which is exciting if you are the type of person who thrives on challenge.

A career in consulting offers the chance to keep learning and developing throughout your career.

Thanks to the toolkit of business and management skills you will develop, consulting could open up interesting options in other career areas further down the line. If you work on a successful consulting project there is immense satisfaction when you see that it has made a real difference and benefited a client.


This programme is open to students from all disciplines, national as international. You may enrol if you have:

  • successfully completed the propaedeutic phase of your own study programme
  • successfully completed your work placements
  • completed at least three-quarters of your bachelor’s degree programme

You are expected to demonstrate strong skills and be highly motivated. To make sure you are aware what this programme demands, you will be invited to a personal intake interview.


The 21th Century Urban Innovation minor spans 20 weeks. You will be placed in a team with several other students to work on a shared assignment. As a specialist in your field, you are expected to contribute your specific know-how and put your skills to work.

For 2 scheduled days a week, you will be working from the Urban Living Lab right in the centre of Breda and 1 day a week will be spent with your team on location with the client. These dates are always planned in coordination with the client. The other 2 days will be spent on developing various competencies. In addition, you will stay in touch with fellow students and teachers for the duration of the minor via your own Virtual Learning Community.

Approximately 20 hours a week will be spent on your group assignment for a period of 20 weeks. As a team you will be giving joint advice but you will also offer advice on an individual basis based on your area of expertise (this takes approximately 80 hours).


The Urban Innovation minor is taught at the Urban Living Lab in Breda. The programme’s lecturers will act as senior consultants who will help you as junior consultants to achieve results. As part of this process, you will listen to campfire stories, take part in training sessions and take courses concerning the research approach, project implementation and applied knowledge related to the professional context. We use the Virtual Action Learning Method.

Various guest speakers, such as consultants and other professionals in the fields of research, personal development and more, will provide the necessary expertise. You will gain experience in:

  • communicate with real clients
  • defining and clarifying the issue at hand
  • applying research methods
  • analysing data
  • formulating solutions and advice
  • presenting your advice

You will also work on various learning assignments to help you develop the 5 competencies that are central to the minor.

Aanvullende informatie

third-year bachelor's

Start of programme
Every September and February

1 semester (20 weeks / 30 ECTS credits)

Urban Living Lab Breda

When you register for Avans University at Studielink please choose the course Business IT & Management. 

For questions please contact us by email:


- Paul Walraven 
  Coordinator Minor

see also: Minor Urban Innovation @ Urban Living Lab Breda