Infosys’ Innovation Fabrik (Berlin): a space for fostering collaboration and enabling & accelerating innovation
My colleague Katrin Schleife and I were recently invited to visit Infosys’ new “Innovation Fabrik” in Berlin. The Innovation Fabrik is the first innovation lab of this kind and adds to a number of competence centers around the globe. The focus of the Innovation Fabrik is quite different from that of other centers: it is designed to provide a space that fosters collaboration and innovation, as well as tangible solutions with a business value.
What does that mean in detail? First of all, the Innovation Fabrik focuses on the three clusters of topics around AI & Analytics, Digital & Blockchain, and IoT & AR/VR.
The official mission of Infosys’ Innovation Fabrik is to “offer the right space, state of mind, and environment for companies to articulate innovative ideas by creating collaborative experiences with start-ups, academia and experts. With innovation workshops & fast prototyping we give these ideas form and turn them into tangible solutions with real business value.”
“Fabrik” is the German word for factory and the Infosys Innovation Fabrik is located in the building of a former industrial bakery which has been transformed into a place for start-ups and creative companies, called “Backfabrik”. The name and history of the location underline the emphasis Infosys places on creating tangible solutions and implementations.
Infosys also emphasizes that the Innovation Fabrik does not have a sales role, nor is it a showroom, but rather acts as an open space where first prototypes are created, which then often are the starting point for larger projects – with or without Infosys’ involvement. However, in the vast majority of cases so far, Infosys has been involved in some way in a follow-up project.
Nevertheless, the clear focus and the spirit of the Infosys Innovation Fabrik is to provide a space where start-ups, large clients and Infosys experts come together to collaborate and create tangible prototypes, using methodologies such as design thinking. The team has been building an ecosystem of start-ups and provides them with a range of resources, such as working spaces, access to Infosys experts and technology, easier access to third-party technologies or infrastructure services, and, of course, access to Infosys’ clients. The idea is to provide them with space, methodologies and resources with “no strings attached” to promote an open collaboration and co-creation process.
In order to deeply delve into a topic, the Infosys Innovation Fabrik selects one main theme at a time, usually related to a specific industry, and runs a series of workshops around the related topics. A recent theme was digital healthcare and the main theme for the months to come will be retail and supply chain.
Infosys’ role in this approach is to bring together space, methodologies and ecosystem. And the benefits for Infosys are also clear: an increase in know-how in new technologies and methodologies, further improving its innovative image, and delivering follow-up projects. We believe that these benefits are fair enough.
The attitude behind the Infosys Innovation Fabrik is very open and we think that this is a very good approach as it enables meaningful innovation and sustainable collaboration. A strong emphasis on advanced prototyping and implementation supports the sustainability of the approach for all parties involved.