An Innovation Lab is loosely defined as collaboration within or between companies and other organizations, such as NGOs, government entities or think tanks.
Its sole purpose is to solve problems, obstacles or challenges – termed ‘breakthrough solutions’ – by fostering and developing creative and innovative ideas, in particular by using the latest technologies. Your business can set up its own cross-functional Innovation Lab in-house or, more ideally, enlist the assistance of a specialist agency that is up-to-date with the latest global developments within this space, in order to drive the process consistently. Such a team would then review the challenges or requirements outlined, help your company to refine the requisite goals, conduct research, and brainstorm and present innovative solutions and suggest the best way to apply them. As always, clear objectives with a dedicated purpose will provide a road map to a satisfactory outcome. Methodologies include open source innovation, metrics, design-focused and human-design thinking, crowdsourcing and experimental testing and trials. Some of the current new areas and trends in technology solutions being incorporated into the scope of Innovation Labs include Cashless Payments, the Internet of Things (IoT), beacon technology (Indoor navigation and tracking) and blockchain technology, just to name just a few. Innovation Labs have recently become a highly popular way for those seeking to tap into inventive thinking, and when involving a consultant agency, typically transcend from ideation into final implementation and execution.