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The “X-Labs” is an original format developed within the MSc Law, Digital Innovation and Sustainability (LDIS) at Luiss University in Rome.

Participants work in teams together with the mentors to create mission-oriented solutions to a set of posed challenges. Teams are made of 7-9 participants, and the activities to be done in parallel have a very high frequency: Students and mentors explore future scenarios, plan transformative visions, collect data, carry out in-depth research, conduct interviews, gather feedback to co-design and refine projects/services/new business models. In dialogue with the entire Luiss and ENGAGE.EU ecosystems, they carry out the assigned tasks, completing the activities set during the sessions. At the end of the course, they pitch their solution to a selected panel of experts, which can find further development as pilots in companies or as a team project to create a startup finding further support for the implementation.

For 2023, X-Labs challenges will be clustered into 3 laboratories, and each of those split into two communicating, mutually inspiring sub-challenges. The scope is to develop horizontal, systemic solutions that deeply rely on a multi-actor approach and cross-sector innovation:

  • The Future of Cities & Mobility/Transportation
  • The Future of Energy, Telcos, Infrastructure and Industry/Manufacturing and
  • The Future of Earth and Wellbeing.

X-Labs run on an open, ethical, and collaborative methodology, continuously tested through different artefacts, including legal hacks: solutions based on the deep comprehension of the legal frame regulating an innovation and supported by data, and on the identification of the best way to facilitate its uptake. In 2022, the X-Labs students have managed to speed-up the uptake of unmanned drones for civilian use, develop blockchain-based certification tools for compliance to water policies, design fintech tools to invest in neighborhood economies, and so much more.

In accordance with the ENGAGE.EU Alliance, Luiss University is glad to accept applications from students at any partnering university, with a background in legal and/or business studies.

What will YOU build this year?

The upcoming cycle, to be held in 2023, will be articulated in 8 weeks of hybrid sessions (remote and IRL) scheduled in March and April, and a final pitching session in Rome, at the presence of partners, institutions, and stakeholders.

X-Labs course structure through 8-weeks, 2023

The X-Labs was tested for the first time in 2021 and again through 2022, including students and faculty from the ENGAGE.EU partnership.

The course is designed around the principles of enquiry-based education, supporting students to work with scientists, public institutions, enterprises and exposing them to the challenges and dynamics of contemporary work environments, reverse-engineering the “training on the job” model into a “job on the training” one.


Application for the X-Labs are accepted until the10th December. XLabs participants will work in remote for 7 weeks, then travel to Rome on the last week of the course for the final pitch days (financial support from their own institution is possible to cover travel expenses).
To apply, please send an email to with object “Engage X-Labs 2023 / [name of your university]” and the following attachments:
  • Curriculum vitae et studiorium and 
  • A short motivation letter.