Information on individual educational components (ECTS-Course descriptions) per semester

Degree programme: Master Sustainable Energy Systems
Type of degree: FH Master´s Degree Programme
Summer Semester 2021

Course unit title Opportunity Identification: Shanghai
Course unit code 800101011700
Language of instruction English
Type of course unit (compulsory, optional) Elective
Semester when the course unit is delivered Summer Semester 2021
Teaching hours per week 4
Year of study 2021
Number of ECTS credits allocated Second Cycle (Master)
Number of ECTS credits allocated 6
Name of lecturer(s) Thomas METZLER, Hui YAN

Prerequisites and co-requisites

Good knowledge of English required.

With your registration the participation in the study trip is obligatory.  

For the trip to Shanghai, the program costs (organization and transport costs on site) are approximately 700 - 900 Euro per person (based on the current Yuan exchange rate). The hotel costs for 5 nights are about 600 Euro (based on single room, depending on the booking situation, without meals). The actual program costs will be announced separately, as they depend on the number of participants.

The other costs for flight, food, insurance and personal expenses have to be paid additionally and organized individually. 

The ÖH insurance does not cover liability damages abroad. We ask you to take care of adequate insurance coverage (liability, accident, health and possibly travel insurance) yourself.

Course content
  • Identification and analysis of future trends, technological possibilities, innovative business models and market opportunities.
  • Development and answering of an own question within the framework of the module (e.g.: How does Virtual Reality affect the Vorarlberg tourism industry and which business opportunities result from it?).


Learning outcomes

Students deal with the possibilities that a digitalized and globalized world offers for the business model of their company or field of study (= Opportunity Identification).

In this module, students can deal with their own future-relevant questions in an interdisciplinary and interactive setting. The structure of the course provides sufficient space for reflection and exchange. In order to broaden their own horizons and gain intercultural experience, students travel to Shanghai (China), an impulsive, future-oriented hotspot. As part of the Journey to Shanghai, the students deal intensively with their own questions and exchange ideas with relevant managers, founders and recognised experts. The results are discussed critically and recommendations for action are derived.


- Students are familiar with relevant technological, business model- and market-related developments. 


- Students understand cultural differences between China and Austria. 


- Students formulate and discuss a practically relevant research question.


- Students are able to identify, analyse and present future trends and opportunities. 


- Students can combine and reflect on their theoretical considerations and the practical insights gained during their journey into the future.

- Students can derive recommendations for practical problems. 


- Students are able to justify the relevance of innovative, novel solutions with regard to a business model and they can estimate the market opportunities in China.

Planned learning activities and teaching methods
  • Exchange on different business opportunities in an interdisciplinary context
  • Journey to a thematic hotspot
  • Access to and insight into innovative companies that would be denied to individuals
  • Intercultural exchange of experience
  • Coaching by lecturers


Assessment methods and criteria
  • Independent final presentation (25%)
  • Independent final thesis (75%)


Good command of English required.

The ÖH insurance does not cover liability damages abroad. We ask you to take care of adequate insurance coverage (liability, accident, health and possibly travel insurance) yourself.

Participation of alumni possible.


More information about the trip to Shanghai can be found here:

Recommended or required reading

Recommended reading:

_Osterwalder, Alexander; Pigneur, Yves (2010): Business Model Generation. A Handbook for Visionaries, Game Changers, and Challengers. Hoboken, New Jersey: Jon Wiley & Sons, Inc.

_Dodgson, Mark; Gann, David M; Phillips, Nelson (2013): The Oxford Handbook of Innovation Management. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

_Foss, Nicolai, J. Saebi, Tina (2018) (Eds.), Business model innovation: The organisational dimension. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Mode of delivery (face-to-face, distance learning)

Face-to-face course with attendance expected

The content of the module is divided into three phases.

In the first phase, the students theoretically deal with business models and their embedding in the environment within the framework of a kick-off unit. Influencing factors such as technology trends, cultural or market developments are discussed. Following the first phase, the students transfer what they have learned to the business model of their company or to their department and derive relevant research questions. In sprint workshops, students develop answers to their chosen research questions and discuss them in plenary sessions. The process is coached by lecturers from the FH Vorarlberg.

The core of the second phase is the journey to Shanghai. In China, the students intensively deal with future trends and China as a future market. A An emerging understanding about the culture of the country, the development of the economy and the possibilities of the market is gained through discussions with relevant key persons and helps to answer one's own research question.

In the third phase, students bring together their theoretical considerations and the practical insights and discuss the findings in a touchdown meeting with interdisciplinary fellow students and interested listeners.