“Ultimately, the innovation success of a company lives and dies with the corporate culture to innovate”, says Laura Coconea, Head of SWARCO’s Innovation Office. “At SWARCO, we are building an innovation culture based on collaboration, at all levels, as we believe that working together towards the common good can bring significant results in terms of connections and associations of ideas and concepts as well as for the acceleration of the actual implementation and roll-out.”
The SWARCO INNOVATION HUB is a novel initiative to foster the ties between the SWARCO innovation community and corporations, cities, industry associations, academia and start-ups in shaping together future mobility. The aim is to create an eco-system based on learning and interaction among stakeholders enabling them to address in the best possible way the needs of the user and community in a win-win scenario.
“We are entering an era of exciting changes where global trends like urbanization, digitalization, automation, sustainability, along with the technological evolutions, are creating challenging opportunities“, Coconea explains. “In this dynamic world, the future can only be created collaboratively with a lot of passion and ideation: We are therefore connecting all players of our business eco-system within our SWARCO Innovation Hub.“
Why Hub? Well, a network hub is “a device that allows multiple computers to communicate with each other over a network”. This requires openness and connection, which are key principles for SWARCO Innovation. The Innovation Hub is associated in a symbolic way to a physical space in the SWARCO Traffic World at the SWARCO headquarters in Austria where it says: “In Wattens daheim. In der Welt zu Hause.” This can be translated as being at home in a small village where our geographical and social roots are, but in the same way feeling at home all around the world where SWARCO does business with its international partners.
Globalization, faster development cycles and the increasing number of product features are a motivation to involve more partners in product and process development. Therefore, collaborative product development has become routine in companies. The growing complexity of products and their development also lead companies to increasingly rely on cooperation and knowledge transfer in order to meet rising expectations which they can no longer fulfil on their own.
“Among the initiatives of the Innovation Hub we can highlight the Students’ Award which celebrates outstanding projects to encourage young talents”, Laura points out. The first winner of the award, a student from Technical University of Munich awarded for her Master’s thesis, will be joining the ITSUP area in hall 6 at Intertraffic Amsterdam to pitch the achievements of the work developed in collaboration with SWARCO in the field of infrastructure-to-vehicle communication and its benefits for modern intersection control.
We also launched the SWARCO Lighthouse Program, an initiative dedicated to Cities and Infrastructure operators. It offers a unique, free-of-charge opportunity to strengthen the bonding with SWARCO and have a head start in innovative developments in the group. “It is great platform for interested stakeholders to get exposure in the innovation community via our live-streamed Innovation Talks, to network with other stakeholders and to learn, discuss, try new things and co-create future mobility solutions by participating in the early test of practical prototypes”, Coconea underlines.
JOIN&GROW, an initiative accommodated at our brand-new SWARCO Global Glass Beads Technology Center in Lower Austria, looks for suitable synergy effects with individual companies,
corporations, inventors, universities, start-ups, research institutes, and NGOs in the field of industrial applications of glass microspheres. It offers clients and partners a platform for joint product and process development for new industrial applications in the relevant target markets. We are open to innovation in the business sectors of SWARCO Advanced Industry Systems related to micro glass beads used as reinforcement materials for plastics and 3D printing, as filler materials for building materials, adhesives and paints, or as blasting media for surface treatments.
The Center of Competence of SWARCO’s Road Marking Systems division is a globally connected department, bringing together all Research & Development units within our group and spearheading close cooperation between sales, production and road marking services companies. Within the worldwide network, spreading from Austria via the USA to Australia, experts contribute their know-how and work together to leverage trends and foster innovative products and solutions.
For the 2022 edition of Intertraffic Amsterdam, SWARCO Innovation Hub invites all visitors to live its spirit and join the Sustainability Challenge aiming to be a proof of concept for collaborative mobility management scaled down in a playful way around the event. It builds upon the concept of collaboration and nudged individual actions that foster the common good, resulting in SWARCO making our planet greener by planting trees for every challenge successfully completed.
Please follow the SWARCO website with its specific landing page (www.swarco.com/swarco-innovation-hub) on the Innovation Hub to remain posted about the latest developments in SWARCO Innovation and the part you as an industry stakeholder can play in it.