Forbes – How Innovation Labs Can Keep You Ahead of the Curve

By Adi Gaskell


I’ve written a few times about the growth in open innovation, and the swelling appreciation that companies need to be sat at the heart of innovation ecosystems where they can easily learn from and work with startups, academics and non-profit organizations working in their field.

It’s resulted in a growing number of companies establishing innovation labs to help cultivate this ecosystem, and as the number of labs has grown, so to have attempts to understand them.

For instance, a study published last year that was led by academics from the Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology (LIST), looked at a number of innovation labs to try and find similarities among them.


Building an innovation ecosystem

The platform consists of three core pillars of success.  Firstly, it aims to ensure that the existing capabilities of Thales are fully utilized and there aren’t hidden pockets of expertise siloed away somewhere.

Secondly, the platform aims to support Thales in positioning themselves at the heart of the startup community in areas such as defense, aerospace and security.  Lastly, it attempts to do similarly with the academic community, supporting the development of strong relationships with key institutions.


Innovation As A Service

Of course, much of this represents a culture shift for many organizations, which has led to companies such as the VTC Group emerging to offer this kind of innovation lab as a service.

They do all of the legwork, whether that’s recruiting the right participants for the lab, following the trends in the industry and ensuring the right dots are connected to one another.  They have already worked with companies such as Lockheed Martin on a cyber security innovation lab that contained over 70 startups and 13 leading universities.


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