Innovation is critical for established companies to stay relevant in the face of disruption. Here's our list of corporate innovation labs.
Corporate innovation is critical for established companies looking to stay relevant in the face of disruption from up-and-coming startups. With industries being unbundled left and right (supermarkets, banking, cars — just to name a few) more companies are opening up in-house innovation labs every day.
More recently, telecommunications companies have expanded their labs to focus on 5G technology, while some retailers, which have faced tightening budgets and even bankruptcy, have shut theirs down — Neiman Marcus, for example, dissolved its innovation lab in 2019. Meanwhile, companies within industries like finance have positioned their labs to be more outward facing, connecting internal innovation teams with outside entrepreneurs and partners.
Sometimes corporate innovation goes wrong, and we’ve written about corporate innovation theater before. Now here’s our list of innovation labs, both newly formed and well established, working to turn new ideas into new opportunities at long-lived companies.
This post is broken up into sections. Click on a vertical to jump to it.
- Retail/Consumer Goods
1. HP Inc. (formerly Hewlett-Packard)
Innovation Lab Name: HP Labs
HP Labs is an award-winning research facility focusing on technologies like 3D printing, microfluidics and imaging, endpoint security, and digital manufacturing.
Innovation Lab Name: X
Created in 2010 to work on “moonshots” — or long shot technologies that “aim to make the world a radically better place” — Google X became X in 2015, a separate division within Alphabet, the parent company of Google. X is the innovation lab where some of Alphabet’s biggest projects happen, such as graduated projects Google Glass, self-driving car company Waymo, and internet balloon network Loon.
Innovation Lab Name: Xerox Palo Alto Research Center (PARC)
The PARC’s professed philosophy is “open innovation.” Founded in 1970, PARC has worked on world-changing innovations like Ethernet, laser printing, and GUIs.
PARC was established as an independent “Xerox company” in 2002. It currently focuses on areas it believes are “the future of technology,” including AI and human-machine collaboration, novel printing, and microsystems & smart devices.
Innovation Lab Name: Microsoft Research Lab
Microsoft has numerous labs, each with its own focus, aimed at applying research independent of product development cycles. Projects include Skype translation, talk-to-text transcription, real-time hand tracking for single-depth cameras, and more.
More recently, researchers at the lab created Turing Natural Language Generation, “the largest publicly known language model at 17B parameters.” The project relied on DeepSpeed, an open-source library also developed by Microsoft Research that optimizes the training of deep learning models.
Innovation Lab Name: TCS Innovation Labs
TCS’ wide-spanning network of technology, domain, and academic alliance labs lets IT experts of all stripes create new systems. Research areas range from computing systems to life sciences to media and advertising.
Innovation Lab Name: Oracle Labs
Originally founded as Sun Microsystems Laboratories in 1990, it was rebranded Oracle Labs after Oracle acquired Sun Microsystems in 2010. The labs experts use 4 research approaches: exploratory research, directed research, consulting, and product incubation. Past projects that have grown out of Oracle Labs research include chip multithreading and the Java programming language.
Innovation Lab Name: IBM Research
IBM Research was the first US corporate laboratory focused solely on scientific research. Today, there are 12 labs with a total 3,000 scientists working to produce disruptive technologies. Products include a new battery design free of heavy metals and Project Debater, “the first AI system that can debate humans on complex topics.”
Innovation Lab Name: Phillips Design
Design is at the core of many high-tech companies and innovation labs alike. Phillips Design focuses on new ideas and new technologies to improve the lives of their customers. This lab gives their innovators, who come from a wide array of disciplines, the freedom to explore and find new solutions. These solutions have garnered them Red Dot Awards, Webbies, Singapore Good Design Marks, and more.
Innovation Lab Name: Lab 126
Founded in 2004, Amazon’s Lab 126 is responsible for innovations like the Kindle, Fire, and Echo. From their humble, skunkworks-style origins in Palo Alto to their current offices in Sunnyvale, Cupertino, Seattle, and Boston, they’ve scaled up to attack new projects but keep the same focus on experimentation and innovation that helped them build the first Kindle.
Innovation Lab Name: Cisco Hyper Innovation Living Labs (CHILL)
Cisco’s Hyper-Innovation Living Labs (CHILL) brings together select customers, vendors, designers, and hackers to focus on widespread industry challenges. Each CHILL lab focuses on a different topic and gives the collaborators 48 hours to come up with solutions. Previous CHILL labs have tackled Securing the Digitized Supply Chain, Healthcare, and The Future of Work.
Innovation Lab Name: NortonLifeLock Research Group
Known as Symantec Research Labs until 2019, NRG focuses on innovation in cybersecurity technology, with current active research areas including privacy, secure systems, risk measurement, AI, and more. The group produced some of the earliest behavioral protection technologies. Other projects include tech for targeted attack protection, reputation-based security, rootkit protection, and cloud-based security.
Innovation Lab Name: SAP Co-Innovation Lab (COIL)
The SAP Co-Innovation Lab (COIL) is made up of a network of SAP product and innovation labs in 15 locations around the globe. COIL’s project portfolio focuses on IoT and machine learning, but it also includes AI, cybersecurity, mobility, and big data analytics, among others.
Innovation Lab Name: AT&T Labs Research
AT&T Labs focuses on topics such as AI, 5G, SDN, network and consumer experience, and video and media analytics. In 2017, the lab announced its partnership with India-based IT company Tech Mahindra to launch Acumos, an open-source AI platform hosted by the Linux Foundation.
Innovation Lab Name: AT&T Foundry
Since 2011, AT&T has also operated 6 foundry labs located around the world in Atlanta, Houston, Mexico City, Palo Alto, Plano, and Ra’anana, Israel. Its newest facility opened in Mexico City in 2018. Lab focuses include 5G, edge computing, cybersecurity, connected healthcare, and IoT solutions. AT&T Foundry says it meets with 500 startups a year.
Innovation Lab Name: Verizon 5G Labs
Verizon’s “next generation innovation centers” bring together innovators and entrepreneurs to research 5G technology. At the labs, experts can collaborate on new 5G concepts and trial them on Verizon’s 5G network. The labs are located across the US and Europe in New York City, Washington DC, Cambridge, Los Angeles, London, and Palo Alto.
Innovation Lab Name: Nokia Bell Labs
Founded: 1925 (under AT&T)
Nokia’s innovation lab was founded in 1925 under AT&T. Its researchers have worked on inventions like lasers, the C programming language, UNIX, speech recognition, and more. It boasts awards including Nobel Prizes, US National Medals of Science, Turing Awards, Kyoto Prizes, and many others.
Innovation Lab Name: Vodafone Innovation Park Labs
Vodafone’s labs are focused on creating the next generation of telecommunications breakthroughs. Its experts perform up to 1,000 test projects every year with over 100 suppliers; for example, they quality-test DSL routers and IoT sensors. Lab focus areas include mobile communications, video and broadcast, and fixed or cable networks.
Innovation Lab Name: Telekom Innovation Laboratories (T-Labs)
The experts at T-Labs focus on 4 fields: blockchain, AI, user experience, and academia-as-a-service. The R&D unit of Deutsche Telekom (the parent company of T-Mobile) and a close partner of Technische Universität Berlin, T-Labs was created to work collaboratively with universities, startups, corporate innovation hubs, and more to jointly research the future of communication services.
Innovation Lab Name: Wireless X Labs
Huawei’s Wireless X Labs focus on developing new applications for the wireless communication industry. Wireless X is made up of 3 laboratories that focus on technology for consumers, the home, and vertical industries. It also includes 1 joint innovation center, which collaborates with industry partners.
Innovation Lab Name: Visa Innovation Centers
Visa’s Innovation Centers focus on technologies in areas like authentication, digital, security, and cloud. The centers are located in San Francisco, Dubai, Singapore, Miami, and London, and feature collaborative spaces to prototype ideas with clients as well as experience galleries to showcase new solutions.
Innovation Lab Name: Fidelity Labs
Fidelity’s in-house innovation lab focuses on customer needs and advanced technologies to create new solutions that can range from incremental upgrades to product overhauls.
21. JP Morgan Chase
Innovation Lab Name: Financial Solutions Lab
Founded by JPMorgan, the Financial Solutions Lab is a $60M, 10-year program managed by the Financial Health Network and supported by Prudential Financial. The lab was designed to spur innovations that help support low- to moderate-income Americans save more and improve their credit. Teams work in collaborative groups to develop new financial apps and tools.
Innovation Lab Name: D10X
Housed under Citi’s venture capital arm, D10X focuses on internal innovation and supporting entrepreneurship within the bank. Its Entrepreneurs in Residence program aims to help bank employees identify client needs and develop competitive solutions in response.
23. Capital One
Innovation Lab Name: Capital One Labs
Capital One Labs aims to develop innovative products and engineering solutions that benefit Capital One and its customers. Projects include creating better infrastructure for machine learning, enhancing the fraud detection process, and redesigning the credit card.
24. Deutsche Bank
Innovation Lab Name: Deutsche Bank Innovation Labs
Deutsche Bank has innovation labs in New York, Silicon Valley, London, and Berlin. Deutsche Bank Labs connect technology startups with the bank’s internal teams, enabling them to adopt products and solutions to better serve its clients and employees. The labs aim to help Deutsche Bank evaluate and adopt emerging technologies, develop a culture of innovation, and contribute to the bank’s digital strategy.
Innovation Lab Name: Mastercard Labs
Mastercard Labs wants to “transform the way people pay and get paid.” By investing in technology and innovation, it aims to leverage advancements in payments to help businesses grow and improve consumer shopping experiences.
Innovation Lab Name: FinLabs
Synechron’s 13 Financial Innovation Labs (FinLabs) are located across the world in countries like India, Serbia, the Netherlands, and the US. The labs aim to act as innovation hubs for banking customers to collaborate and foster new ideas in interactive spaces. FinLab users have access to digital specialists, R&D experts, and accelerator programs. The labs specifically focus on technology solutions in blockchain, AI, insurtech, and regtech.
Innovation Lab Name: KOLab Collaboration Center
Coca-Cola creates new food & beverage innovations at its Atlanta headquarters, but uses its recently unveiled KOlab facility to collaborate with retail and restaurant customers to innovate new ways of reaching customers. For example, customers can use a “digital immersion room” to demo customer shopping experiences using VR. The lab aims to be a space where Coca Cola can build relationships with its restaurant and retail customers to discover new ideas.
Innovation Lab Name: Design & Innovation
PepsiCo’s New York City Design & Innovation center looks at “alchemists, mixologists, nutritionists, trend hunters, futurists, technologists, culinary artists and all kinds of cultural influencers” as potential partners and collaborators in innovation. With a heavy focus on design, the brand seeks to reach more people and make its products more accessible around the world. Notable projects include Pepsi Spire, a smart beverage dispenser that has up to 1,000 drink combinations.
Innovation Lab Name: HENRi@Nestle
Through HENRi, Nestle looks to find opportunities to make an impact on health, wellness, and sustainability for people across the globe. The innovation program partners with startups on projects that touch Nestle’s product lines, soliciting pitches and offering funding to the winning startup to partner on the project.
30. General Mills
Innovation Lab Name: General Mills Worldwide Innovation Network (G-WIN)
G-Win was created to use both internal and external channels to find startups, partners, and even consumers that can help the company expand its product lines and market shares. It looks primarily for solutions in a few main areas of interest including packaging, processing, sustainability, and health. G-Win also posts innovation challenges occasionally to address specific needs within the company.
Innovation Lab Name: SPACE10
Located in downtown Copenhagen is SPACE10, Ikea’s research and design lab. SPACE10 invites people from the worlds of art, design, and technology to work on research projects that result in a range of Ikea prototypes, exhibitions, events, and workshops.
32. The Home Depot
Innovation Lab Name: The Home Depot Innovation Center
Experts at The Home Depot’s Innovation Center on Georgia Tech’s campus collaborate with the university’s talent to explore how technology might shape retail, supply chains, and more. The second focus for the center is to track emerging technologies like 3D printing, virtual and augmented reality (VR/AR), and wearable devices.
Innovation Lab Name: Lululemon Lab
Founded: 2009 (Vancouver), 2016 (NYC)
Imagined as a “design concept store,” Lululemon Lab is “a space for experimentation in focused collections.” Design teams in Vancouver and New York City work collaboratively in a setting that encourages forward thinking and creativity to produce limited-quantity collections.
Innovation Lab Name: Walmart Labs
Walmart’s innovation lab is designed to help the company stay competitive in the increasingly online and mobile world. Teams focus on innovations that will make the Walmart shopping experience more seamless, both online and in store. After launching Mobile Express Returns, where in-store purchased items could be returned online and then dropped off in person using a QR code, in-store return transaction times dropped 74%.
Innovation Lab Name: Sephora Innovation Lab
Sephora’s innovation lab is located in San Francisco’s Mission Bay district. The facility’s first use was to build and test in-store displays, but in 2015, its focus expanded to include digital, reflecting the increasingly online nature of any kind of shopping experience. Innovations include Sephora Virtual Artist, a mobile offering that lets shoppers virtually try on make using AR, and Color IQ, shade-matching technology used in stores to match customers’ skin tone with makeup shades.
Innovation Lab Name: Kohl’s Digital Center
Kohl’s Digital Center opened in 2013. Its tech team focuses on emerging technologies to improve the customer experience, and it has developed things like the Kohl’s Pay app and other innovations to help customers pick up in-store deliveries faster.
Innovation Lab Name: Kohl’s Innovation Center
The Innovation Center is located on Kohl’s Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin corporate campus. The center was created to encourage collaboration between the company’s IT, planning, construction, and purchasing teams. The Innovation Center has a number of green features, including solar trees, EV charging stations, LED lighting, and waste-reduction efforts.
Innovation Lab Name: Lowe’s Innovation Lab
Lowe’s Innovation Labs focuses on emerging technologies that could “advance home improvement retail.” Its 3 teams develop, test, prototype, and scale projects in research areas that include robotics and on-demand manufacturing. They also developed the Holoroom, a VR headset that helps shoppers visualize bathroom and kitchen improvements.
Innovation Lab Name: Tesco Labs
Tesco’s in-house tech innovation team dreams up, develops, and tests an array of solutions for things like online search.The team also built an Android app to help customers take control of their health and choices. One notable “startup” trait: they even hold hackathons.
Innovation Lab Name: DuPont Innovation Centers
DuPont has numerous innovation centers around the country and world forming a network of over 9,000 scientists and engineers. Its Silicon Valley center explores applications in consumer electronics, autonomous vehicles, 5G tech, and more. DuPont customers work with these in-house experts to explore innovations and develop solutions for the challenges they face.
Innovation Lab Name: Innovation Kitchen
When Nike comes up with a new shoe or piece of technology, it’s figuratively cooked up in the company’s Innovation Kitchen. The Kitchen’s inventive team explores everything from barefoot shoes to activity trackers and more, in an open, laid-back space conducive to free thinking, experimentation, and self-expression.
Innovation Lab Name: Unilever Foundry
Unilever Foundry has led 200 pilots and profiled more than 10,000 startups in its effort to “accelerate innovation on a global scale.” Its focus areas include wellness, personalisation, digital marketing, sustainability, supply chain, and enterprise tech. At its Innovation Hubs in Singapore and Dublin, startups, Unilever brands, and corporate partners can collaborate and innovate in a coworking environment.
Innovation Lab Name: Open Innovation
L’Oréal has partnered with Station F, Founders Factory, and Partech Ventures to “create a new generation of innovative beauty products, devices, and digital services.” The Open Innovation project looks to partner with sources from both inside and outside the company. The startups selected go through an onboarding process, receive mentoring, and build connections with L’Oréal brands.
43. Procter & Gamble
Innovation Lab Name: Connect + Develop
P&G’s Connect + Develop program advertises the problems it needs help solving across business lines from supply chain to product lines. P&G uses this call for ideas to attract the “world’s most innovative minds” in order to “deliver on the company’s most challenging opportunities.” Its internal team works with the partners it attracts to innovate ways of improving the lives of its customers.
44. Lockheed Martin
Innovation Lab Name: Skunk Works
While the term “skunk works” has come to refer to any secretive research facility or department, the originator of the term was Lockheed Martin’s R&D team at its Burbank, California facility. The team is said to have designed the Lockheed P-80 Shooting Star in just 143 days, in a contained setup away from other engineers. Development of the fighter actually began 4 months before formal contracts were delivered, a hallmark of the division’s “off the books” methodology. Over 75 years later, teams are still working to produce next-gen aircraft innovations that adhere to founder Kelly Johnson’s mantra of “quick, quiet, and quality.”
Innovation Lab Name: Volkswagen Automotive Innovation Lab (VAIL)
The Volkswagen Automotive Innovation Lab (VAIL) brings together interdisciplinary teams to work on industry-changing projects. Located on the Stanford University campus, they partner with the school on projects like drive-by-wire and driver assistance systems, the Stanford Solar Car Project, and more.
Innovation Lab Name: Ford Greenfield Labs
Ford’s innovation lab in Palo Alto, California is home to a team of more than 300 researchers, scientists, engineers, and designers. The 182,000-square-foot facility boasts open spaces to encourage collaboration as the team works on projects across areas like urban mobility and electric vehicles.
Innovation Lab Name: Lab1886
Lab1886 focuses on nurturing innovation in-house with the company’s current employees. The lab — that boasts a philosophy of “ideation, incubation, and commercialization” — operates a network across Germany, Atlanta, and China and focuses on speed to market, if an idea fails a stress test it’s quickly rejected for the next project in line.
Innovation Lab Name: Innovation
Volvo’s innovation group operates a number of initiatives including CampX, iLabX, and MobilityXlab. Each of these provides both internal and external partners, as well as selected startups, opportunities to develop ideas that follow three primary areas: connectivity, electrification, and automated driving. In the main lab, Volvo researchers are looking to apply big data to the automotive and transportation industries.
Innovation Lab Name: Digital Innovation Lab
The CVS innovation center is focused on creating new digital health solutions. Operating like a startup and adhering to concepts like an accelerated idea-to-market schedule and a fast-paced testing and implementation process, its projects include simple things like mobile phone pharmacy reminders and complex ones like apps that turn those phones into “remote diagnostic tools.”
50. Mayo Clinic
Innovation Lab Name: Center for Innovation
The Mayo Clinic’s Center for Innovation encourages the team to think differently about healthcare. As the team tackles problems like redesigning care models, keeping patients connected to care in their homes and communities, and creating services to optimize health and wellness, the center implements design thinking to innovate new ways of delivering health care.
51. VSP Global
Innovation Lab Name: VSP Global Innovation Center
Based in Sacramento, CA, with a global interdisciplinary team, the VSP Global Innovation Center aims to encourage collaboration between VSP Global and outside partners to discover, evaluate, and integrate new products, services, and experiences for the organization’s network of 90M members and over 30,000 eyecare professionals.
The center focuses its initiatives in 4 areas related to VSP Global’s vision care and eyewear operations: digital supply chain, health-focused vision care, personalized vision products, and smart glasses.
52. Cardinal Health
Innovation Lab Name: Fuse
Cardinal’s Fuse innovation center is geared toward identifying and solving complex healthcare problems. At the intersection of “emerging technology and healthcare disruption,” its experts focus on streamlining data sharing and communication processes, enhancing healthcare delivery systems, removing barriers to treatments, and developing integrated wellness systems.
53. Johnson & Johnson
Innovation Lab Name: Johnson & Johnson Innovation Centers
Johnson & Johnson operates 4 innovation centers in south San Francisco, Boston, London, and Shanghai. Located in “the world’s top life science hubs,” the centers’ teams are positioned to collaborate with scientists and entrepreneurs working on pharmaceuticals, medical devices, and consumer healthcare products in these regions.
Company-wide, Johnson & Johnson Innovation is a network that combines in-house R&D efforts, partnerships with innovative startups, innovation hubs and incubators around the world, and strategic investments through its venture arm (JJDC).
54. LEO Pharma
Innovation Lab Name: LEO Innovation Lab
LEO Innovation Lab developed out of its parent company, Denmark-based LEO Pharma. Owned by the LEO Foundation, the lab focuses on improving the lives of people with chronic skin conditions using digital solutions.
Innovation Lab Name: BioVentureHub
The BioVentureHub is embedded in AstraZeneca’s Gothenburg location. Its goal is to create “an open and collaborative scientific community.” In the Hub, biotech startups and academic groups can work with AstraZeneca’s employees and also have access to the company’s lab equipment and supplies.
Innovation Lab Name: Lilly Cambridge Innovation Center
Within the center, the goal is to discover, research, and launch “innovative drug delivery systems.” Employees focus on both research and potential ideas that could help disrupt the industry; Lilly works with a handful of outside collaborators, too. Inside the center, employees can work in both a drug formulation lab as well as a machine shop to help find more hands-on solutions to improving simple things like pill packs.
Innovation Lab Name: IPG Media Lab
IPG’s Media Lab “identifies and researches innovations and trends that will change the media landscape.” Its team of marketers, engineers, and creatives work directly with clients and industry partners to help them adapt to the changing media environment.
58. The New York Times
Innovation Lab Name: Research & Development
The New York Times Research & Development group aims to create new products using emerging technologies that will change how people interact with media. Projects include applying computer vision during sporting events to understand athlete performance, using 5G to transmit photos in near real-time, and implementing blockchain technology to store publisher metadata in news photos.
Innovation Lab Name: Comcast Labs
Comcast Labs has development centers in Silicon Valley, Seattle, Philadelphia, Washington, DC, and Denver, where “virtual teams” collaborate with each other and tech companies to transform existing services and create new technologies. The Comcast Labs team includes innovators in web development, communications, and a variety of other disciplines. Products and features developed at Comcast Labs include the Xfinity TV Go for Apple and Android-powered devices, CloudTV, and Xfinity Internet’s PowerBoost.
60. The Walt Disney Studios
Innovation Lab Name: The Walt Disney Studios StudioLab
Disney’s StudioLab is a creative space meant to enhance collaboration among filmmakers from Disney’s film studios like Pixar Animation and Lucasfilms. With partners like Accenture Interactive, Cisco, and Hewlett Packard Enterprise, the lab is also intended to help filmmakers to explore and experience new technologies like VR, AI, and mixed reality experiences.
Innovation Lab Name: WarnerMedia Innovation Lab
Announced in 2019, the WarnerMedia Innovation Lab was envisioned as a space to “combine emerging technologies,” such as AI, VR, and ML, with content to “create new and innovative consumer experiences.” The lab aims to deepen the collaboration between AT&T and WarnerMedia, bringing together AT&T’s technical expertise and Warner’s creatives to create content for a changing media landscape.
Innovation Lab Name: Accenture Innovation Centers
Accenture works with companies across 40+ industries — including banking, health, retail, software, and more — to improve customer experiences using digital technologies. Its Innovation Architecture is made up of 6 branches: Accenture Research, Accenture Ventures, Accenture Labs, Accenture Studios, Accenture Innovation Centers, and Accenture Delivery Centers. It has innovation hubs in multiple locations around the world including Zurich, Tokyo, Bengaluru, and New York.
Innovation Lab Name: Deloitte Analytics
Deloitte’s innovation lab focuses on leveraging analytics and technology. A “rapid incubator,” Deloitte’s InsightStudio lab allows clients to present their unique needs to highly efficient teams and quickly learn key takeaways.
Innovation Lab Name: Digital Labs
McKinsey Digital Labs uses digital tools and “user-centric design thinking” to deliver products, experiences, and systems for its clients based on their specific needs. Its team of engineers, designers, data scientists, software specialists, and other experts helps scale up clients’ digital capabilities.
65. Boston Consulting Group
Innovation Lab Name: BCG Innovation Center for Operations
The Innovation Center for Operations (ICO) has model factories in France, Germany, Singapore, and the US that are focused on automation and data exchange in manufacturing technologies, aka Industry 4.0. Projects have included creating a strategy for an industrial goods manufacturer’s entry into the 3D printing market and helping a company develop a plan for building a lighthouse plant.
66. Booz Allen Hamilton
Innovation Lab Name: The Booz Allen Innovation Center
The Booz Allen Innovation Center’s project teams in Washington DC collaborate on innovative solutions for its clients in a space designed for experimentation.The center also runs a network of hubs around the US, spaces where investors, entrepreneurs, and other community members can connect with Booz Allen’s experts.
67. Ernst & Young
Innovation Lab Name: Wavespace Centers
EY operates a network of 25 flagship wavespace centers and 19 satellite centers. The centers focus on digital capabilities like IoT, AI, blockchain, and data analytics, where specialist teams work with clients to help them adopt technology and scale their innovation programs.
Innovation Lab Name: Innovation Labs
Teams at KPMG’s Innovation Labs help clients identify innovation opportunities. Capabilities range from helping redesign business models to connecting corporations with startups to assessing investment opportunities.
Innovation Lab Name: Center for Technology and Innovation
PwC’s Center for Technology and Innovation is a “think tank focused on enterprise IT trends and emerging technologies for chief information officers (CIOs) and other executives.” It publishes quarterly forecasts and white papers that focus on the changing role of CIOs.
Innovation Lab Name: Anthem Innovation Studio
Since its launch in May 2016, the experts at the Anthem Innovation Studio in Atlanta have been working on a variety of projects that focus on enriching the consumer experience, managing the cost of care, and enhancing provider collaboration.
Innovation Lab Name: AXA Labs
AXA Labs is a digital innovation sourcing unit based in Shanghai and San Francisco. The lab’s goal is to build partnerships with startups and foster innovation across the insurtech and fintech ecosystems. AXA Labs consists of 3 components: Kamet, a startup studio to help build teams in insurance and asset management; AXA Strategic Ventures, its dedicated fintech and insurtech investment fund; and AXA Partners & AXA Digital Partnerships, focused on scaling innovation through product distribution and partnerships.
72. Swiss Re
Innovation Lab Name: Swiss Re Institute
The Swiss Re Institute aims to develop and publish industry-relevant research from internal experts and external partners to drive innovation. According to the company’s vision, “Swiss Re is dedicated to making the world more resilient, working with the market, policy makers and partners to reach the underinsured.”
Innovation Lab Name: Digital Garage
Aviva’s Toronto-based Digital Garage aims to reinvent the IT department into a space that creates digital solutions for the insurance industry. The Digital Garage hosts events like employee hackathons and pitch days to encourage collaboration among its employees and other brokers and businesses in Canada.
Innovation Lab Name: Innovation Foundry
Launched in February 2018, Zurich’s UK Innovation Foundry focuses on partnerships rather than acquisitions to develop insurance solutions. The Foundry focuses on a range of initiatives, from process improvement to new products.
Innovation Lab Name: Innovation Lab and Outpost
Since 2017, Wawanesa has opened two Innovation labs in Canada. The goal is to “foster partnerships with key players working collaboratively to be at the forefront in implementing the digital innovations that are changing the insurance industry.”
The partnerships run the gamut from startups to brokers, government agencies, and tech incubators. Wawanesa is focusing on bringing to market new products and ideas to serve its customers digital needs.
76. Northwestern Mutual
Innovation Lab Name: Cream City Labs
Located on Northwestern Mutual’s downtown Milwaukee campus, Cream City Labs is a 17,000-square-foot space where employees can collaborate with each other and the startup community to engage in innovative thinking and explore new opportunities. Current projects range from the development of a financial wellness score to buildilng live collaboration technologies.
77. Southern Company
Innovation Lab Name: Southern Company Energy Innovation Center
Southern Company has prioritized a commitment to innovation throughout its corporate history. At its Energy Innovation Center in Atlanta’s Technology Square, employees and partners collaborate to answer pressing energy industry issues such as “electric battery storage, electric car technology, and the role of big data in our lives.”
78. Georgia Pacific
Innovation Lab Name: GP Innovation Institute
Researchers at Georgia Pacific’s 25,0000-square-foot Innovation Institute are working to reduce supply chain costs and drive sustainability improvements across the company’s products and services. According to GP’s website, they also work with customers to analyze their supply chain and develop “a reliable and repeatable 5-step process to come up with innovative packaging solutions that could directly benefit your business.”
Innovation Lab Name: thyssenkrupp Elevator Research
thyssenkrupp operates research innovation centers around the world. Its most recent center, the Innovation and Qualification Center, opened in Atlanta in 2019. The center will feature a 420 foot-tall elevator test tower due 2021. It is used to trial and test new elevator concepts and technologies, such as high speed elevators and thyssenkrupp’s TWIN system, which features 2 cabins in 1 shaft.
Innovation Lab Name: The Helix Innovation Center
At its 40,000-square-foot facility on the University of Dayton campus, Emerson researchers engineer commercial building controls and HVACR technology. The center contains a total of 5 real-world simulated environments, including a fully-functioning and furnished home, a model supermarket, a light commercial environment, a commercial kitchen, and a data center. These modules provide a sandbox for rapid prototyping and practical applications.
Innovation Lab Name: CAT Data Innovation Lab
CAT Data Innovation Lab is located at the University of Illinois Research Park. Students work on data-driven projects to solve real problems that Caterpillar faces. All projects must be large enough to become their own businesses, unlikely to be addressed by the company in the near future, and require new analytical capability, among other requirements. Past projects include using neural networks and predictive analytics to forecast demand for infrequently used parts, and creating an application to help Caterpillar dealers identify and replace non-CAT parts using image recognition technology.
82. Duke Energy
Innovation Lab Name: Innovation Center
At Optimist Hall in Charlotte, North Carolina, more than 300 Duke Energy employees work across departments like HR and IT to innovate new products for customers in 2-week sprints. The lab is divided into 4 spaces: The Loft, where employees explore new ideas; The Garage, where prototypes are developed; The Factory, where production happens; and The Exchange, where customers can discover what teams are working on.
Innovation Lab Name: ENGIE Fab
ENGIE Fab brings together ENGIE’s internal innovation team with its venture arm and accelerator. The innovation team leads the group’s internal and external innovation platforms. For example, its Innov&ENGIE platform solicits ideas from employees on topics that range from renewable energy solutions to alternative mobility. Experts from within the company then determine whether to launch the project and assemble a team to run with it.
Innovation Lab Name: Innovation Hub&Lab
Enel’s global network of innovation hubs and labs collaborate with startups to “transform ideas into business solutions.” Innovation Hubs identify problems facing Enel, and solutions are developed and tested at the Innovation Labs. At the Catania Innovation Lab in Italy, for example, Enel experts look to engage big data, IoT, AI, and AR to shape renewable energy technology.
Innovation Lab Name: Innovation Center
Founded: 2018 (DC location)
3M’s newest innovation center is located in Washington, DC. 3M aims for the center, which includes collaborative spaces and exhibit halls, featuring solutions for industries ranging from energy to healthcare to defense.
Innovation Lab Name: Marriott Pop-Up Innovation Lab
At the Marriott Innovation Lab in Bethesda, Maryland, researchers and designers test new ideas for the hotel’s 30 brands. The 10,000-square-foot facility features a set of hotel rooms where teams can experiment and innovate new technologies, services, and features for the hotels of the future.
Innovation Lab Name: The Hangar
Delta says it’s not “chasing tech for tech’s sake” at The Hangar, Delta’s innovation center located at Tech Square in Atlanta, but rather “looking for real opportunities to solve business problems.” Projects to date include a “pre-select meal bot,” voice assistants for flight updates, drone lightning inspections, and a mobile gate interface for Delta agents.
Innovation Lab Name: Disruption & Growth
AccorHotels drives collaboration between startups and major groups in its business by bringing them together in a space with “an open innovation laboratory on one side and a vast industrial testing ground on the other.” The company’s Disruption & Growth department coordinates efforts between the two.
Innovation Lab Name: Innovation Gallery
Hilton’s Innovation Gallery showcases the hospitality group’s newest innovations. It’s also meant to create spaces for conversations between its design experts and other leaders in the industry. The 4,300-square-foot space includes a product showcase, a food and beverage concept studio, and a virtual reality stage.
Innovation Lab Name: Disruption & Growth
Samara is Airbnb’s in-house design studio. The team’s first initiative was a communal housing project in Japan. Its current project, Backyard, is “an initiative to prototype new ways that homes can be built and shared.” Samara’s team is looking to apply advanced “manufacturing techniques” and “smart-home technologies” to create homes that are more human-centered, futuristic, environmentally-friendly.
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