What are Sandboxes? 

Nova Scotia’s Sandboxes focus on fostering an enthusiasm and capacity for innovation and entrepreneurship amongst NS university students. Experimentation and curiosity are at the core of what we do! A diverse catalogue of extra-curricular programming and access to Sandbox staff and resources offer students the opportunity to develop their capacity to:

•work productively on teams,

•communicate effectively to any number of stakeholders,

•build powerful networks,

•engage in creative and human-centred approaches to problem solving. 

These are skills that are valuable in any work environment –start-ups, research labs, industry, corporations, family businesses, governments, communities, and organizations.

What Is IDEA?


IDEA is a multidisciplinary collaborative initiative that integrates NSCAD Design with Dalhousie's Faculty of Engineering and the  Rowe School of Management. The IDEA Sandbox is built around new product development. IDEA provides professional mentoring, seminars, programming and space for students, faculty and businesses in support of product development. 

Using a design thinking process, IDEA runs a Product Development Bootcamp, where teams of design, business and engineering students and faculty collaborate on the development of viable products that integrate all the professions perspectives.

To find more about design thinking click here.


The Team


The integration of product design, engineering, and business are key components in the design, development, and commercialization of successful products.

Team lead Dr. Clifton Johnson,

CRC Chair in Design Engineering,

Dalhousie University



What Is Bootcamp?


IDEA runs a 6-week Product Development Bootcamp where teams of design, business and engineering students collaborate on the development of viable products that integrate all the profession's perspectives using a design thinking process.

The goal of this intensive experience is to develop a deeper understanding of a product design and development process that students can employ in their career. 

All participants will be given a paid stipend to attend.

Interested in being a part of the Bootcamp? Click here for an application form.

Link to see examples of previous Bootcamp products like Indent or Tilt Organics or Blinx



Who can apply?

Anyone in Engineering and Business at Dalhousie University or anyone in NSCAD

What type of students are we looking for?

We are looking for proactive and collaborative students that are open to working in a multidisciplinary environments with a diverse group of students.

What if I am not in engineering, design or business? Can I still apply?

Yes! While our initial target are these three areas of study, we also welcome candidates from other programs to apply. 

What is the time commitment to the Bootcamp?

Six weeks

April 30 - June 8, 2018

Monday to Friday

9:00 am - 4:00 pm

How much is the paid bursary?


What if I have a product idea already?

We like students with product ideas but you will have to convince two other people to be on your team so that your team has a designer, engineer, and business student. Usually students groups go through the bootcamp and develop a collaborative idea.

What happens after the Bootcamp with the products we develop?

Product development is a long process and in 6 weeks students usually may get to the point of an appearance model and an initial business plan. For those students and groups that want to develop their idea further they can apply for IDEA seed money to take it a step further under IDEA guidance and mentorship.