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Swedish innovation teachings in Tunisia

An invitation to Tunisia gave Fawzi Halila, Associate Professor in Industrial Organisation at Halmstad University, the opportunity to teach students at ENISO, the technical faculty of the University of Sousse.

The students he taught during his stay are studying a professional Master’s, for engineers that are going to start their own businesses.

Apart from traditional teaching, Fawzi Halila also held a workshop with the theme m-health.

– The workshop was based on Alexander Osterwalder’s Business Model Canvas and the five student groups developed five products or services with the specific Tunisian context in mind. The model, which is inspired by the work process of architects where they create several prototypes for their buildings, is based on creating prototypes for the technology and the business plan. Then they can twist and turn until they find the prototype that works the best. The workshop resulted in five very interesting ideas and all of the groups are thinking of starting businesses for their product or service. Some of them wanted to start right away while others wanted to wait until they finished their education, says Fawzi Halila.

The winning product, Tbib Express (Tbib means doctor in Tunisian), is a mobile application that will help find a doctor near the customer’s geographical location. The doctors who want to be seen can buy a subscription or larger advertising space in the application.

Distinct differences

It was the Dean of the university, Professor Faysal Mansouri and Professor Zoubeir Tourki from the technical faculty at the University of Sousse, a city 100 kilometers from Tunis, who invited the Swedish Associate Professor, and the differences in teaching methods were greater than Fawzi Halila had thought.

– They are used to preaching lectures from the teacher at the podium and the students sit and listen. When I started using my Swedish pedagogy where I mixed theory and practice, while starting discussions with the students, they were surprised. But they soon got used to it and we had great discussions. They weren’t used to working in groups either and it gave me the opportunity to challenge them, says Fawzi Halila.

Back in Halmstad, he can look back at an exciting and educational time in Tunisia.

– It was intense work and more hours with the students than planned, but it gave me inspiration and ideas to bring back to Sweden, says Fawzi Halila.


M-health is an abbreviation of mobile health and is a term used for the utilisation of mobile units, such as mobile phones and tablets, for healthcare. M-health can be seen as a subcategory to what is known as e-health.

Business Model Canvas

BMC is a tool to visualise and understand different aspects of a business model. The tool helps map important resources, stakeholders and cash flow. The model can be used to identify new possibilities and create new business models for new and existing enterprises.

Updated 2016-09-19