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WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF

The world is changing faster than many organisations anticipated and the pace of technological change is now many CEO’s primary concern, the result of which is that innovation labs are now a business necessity, not a luxury.

 

The global pace of disruption and transformation is accelerating, and its effects are being felt in every company in every sector in every corner of the world. As more companies realise that innovation is increasingly crucial to their very survival, and not just a corporate luxury, more than ever before are accelerating the development of new innovation labs and initiatives, and increasing spending, in the hope that they will be prepared for coming.

Originally published in 2016, and updated ever since, the 2018 R&D and Innovation directory, combined with the insights provided by this site and its sister site the 311 Institute, shines a light on the hundreds of emerging technologies and trends that are shaking industries to their core, and the moves that organisations are making to try to future proof themselves and lead tomorrow’s markets.

If you would like your lab added to the directory then contact us using the contact page.

Using the directory:

To see the latest developments in an INDUSTRY click on the industry name, to see the latest innovations from an individual COMPANY click on the company name, and to visit their INNOVATION LAB click the link to it. Easy.

 

 

The Griffin 2018 Directory of

Corporate R&D and Innovation labs

 

Jump to an industry:

 

Aerospace and Defence Industry

 

Lockheed Martin
Innovation Lab Name: 
Skunk Works
Founded:
1943

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 off-limits R&D team at their Burbank, CA facility. Origin stories conflict slightly, but their first recognized feat was the design of the Lockheed P-80 Shooting Star in just 143 days, in a contained setup away from other engineers. Development of the fighter actually began four months before formal contracts were delivered, a hallmark of the division’s “off the books” modus operandi and part of the rogue culture that continues to define it to this day. Culture is king for innovation and 70+ years later, teams still strive to produce next-gen aircraft innovations that adhere to founder Kelly Johnson’s mantra of “quick, quiet and quality.”

 
 

Business Services and Advisory Industry

 

Boston Consulting Group
Innovation Lab Name:
 BCG Innovation Center for Operations
Founded: 2016

The Innovation Center for Operations 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.

Deloitte
Innovation Lab Name: 
Deloitte Analytics

Deloitte’s innovation lab takes the established science of analysis into the modern era with a focus on how their analytics teams and technology can deliver real value for customers in new and unexpected ways. Their lab allows clients to present their unique needs to highly efficient teams and quickly learn key takeaways that might have otherwise taken months to do through old methods.

Dentons
Innovation Lab Name:
 NextLaw Labs
Founded: 2016

NextLaw Labs are a global collaborative innovation platform focused on developing, deploying, and investing in new technologies and processes to transform the practice of law around the world. They are interested in building relationships with a wide swath of companies, people and other stakeholders focused on advancing the legal profession in any part of the world.

McKinsey
Innovation Lab Name: 
Digital Labs

McKinsey Digital Labs uses modern fast-paced, startup-style methodologies like Design Thinking, concept sprints, DevOps, and more to deliver innovative results for their clients based on their specific needs. Their team of 850 designers, data scientists, software specialists, and other experts allows them to scale up their clients’ digital capabilities at high speeds.

 
 

Communications Industry

 

AT&T
Innovation Lab Name: 
AT&T Labs Advanced Technologies

AT&T Labs Advanced Technologies focuses on data analytics, cloud services, networking, and much more; this venerable lab has won 8 Nobel prizes.

Huawei
Innovation Lab Name: 
Wireless X Labs
Founded: 2016

Huawei’s Wireless X Labs focus on developing new applications for the wireless communication industry. Wireless X is made of up 3 laboratories that focus on technology for consumers, the home, and vertical industries, and one joint innovation center.

Nokia
Innovation Lab Name: 
Nokia Bell Labs
Founded: 1925 (under AT&T)

Nokia’s innovation lab was founded in 1925 under AT&T and its researchers have worked on inventions like lasers, the C programming language, UNIX, speech recognition, and more. It boasts awards including Nobel Prizes, U.S. National Medal of Science, Turing Awards, Kyoto Prizes, and many others.

T-Mobile
Innovation Lab Name: 
Deutsche Telekom Silicon Valley Innovation Center
Founded: 1925

The experts at T-Mobile’s Silicon Valley Innovation Center focuses on the latest technologies (cloud communications, software-defined Networking, and more) to solve customer problems in creative ways, in an environment that fosters experimentation and new ideas.

Telefónica
Innovation Lab Name: 
Open Future
Founded: 2014

Telefónica Open Future_ aims to detect, develop and encourage technological talent and entrepreneurship in any of its stages. It boosts and expedites the growth of ideas, projects, initiatives, SMEs and bigger companies. Telefónica Open Future_ specialises in each of the stages of the life cycle of a project and, at the same time, its comprehensive nature contributes to a better development of talents and projects, without generating or imposing any limits so they are scalable and successful.

Vodafone
Innovation Lab Name: 
Vodafone Innovation Park Labs

Vodafone’s Labs are focused on creating the next generation of telecommunications breakthroughs. They perform over 1,000 test projects every year on a network powerful enough to provide mobile coverage for a country the size of Switzerland. Past innovations they’ve worked on include LTE networks, IPv6, and remote file access.

Verizon
Innovation Lab Name: 
Verizon Labs

Advances in wireless technology are fuelling a wave of innovation that’s connecting people, places, and things in meaningful new ways – changing the way we live, work, and play. Verizon’s technology platforms, including 4G LTE, are inspiring and enabling new businesses that are built on providing critical wireless enabled services. Our Innovation Centers, co-located with our Innovation Labs in Boston and San Francisco, feature state of the art showcases of visionary ideas, commercial products, and innovative solutions still in progress.

 
 

Consumer Electronics Industry

 

Phillips
Innovation Lab Name: 
Phillips Design
Founded: 1925

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.

Sony
Innovation Lab Name:
 Sony Computer Science Laboratory
Founded: 2011

The Sony Computer Science Laboratory in Paris engages in fundamental research in cutting edge areas of science that are relevant for pushing the state of the art in computing. It is a sister laboratory of the Sony Computer Science Laboratories in Tokyo.

 
 

Energy and Natural Resources Industry

 

Catepillar
Innovation Lab Name: 
CAT Data Innovation Lab
Founded: 2015

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.

EDF
Innovation Lab Name: 
Southern Company Energy Innovation Center
Founded: 1925

This newly innovation platform  Blue Lab in Brighton in the UK plays an instrumental role in innovation looking to improve the lives of consumers by harnessing the latest technologies, developing energy services or testing the new business models of tomorrow. EDF are really excited about developments which help customers to make smarter decisions around their energy use.

Emerson
Innovation Lab Name:
The Helix Innovation Center
Founded: 2016

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 five 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.cate

Georgia Pacific
Innovation Lab Name: 
GP Innovation Suite
Founded: 2014

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 “reliable and repeatable 5-step process to come up with innovative packaging solutions that could directly benefit your business.”

Southern Company
Innovation Lab Name: 
Blue Labs
Founded: 2015

Southern Company 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 issues energy-industry issues such as “electric battery storage, electric car technology, and the role of big data in our lives.”

 
 

Financial Services Industry

 

Capital One
Innovation Lab Name: 
Capital One Labs
Founded: 2011

Inspire. Explore. Enable. Deliver. While other industries have undergone major transformation, dramatic change in the financial services industry is decades overdue.  Capital One is on a journey to bring ingenuity, simplicity, and humanity back to banking. Money is never just digits on a screen to us – it’s someone’s groceries, first car, new home, or plane tickets home for the holidays. We measure our success by our customer’s success. In short, we’re on a quest to change banking for good.

Citi
Innovation Lab Name: 
Citi Innovation Labs
Founded: 2011

Citi’s globe-spanning network of innovation labs is designed to speed up work on disruptive products and technologies like IoT and blockchain. They also manage an internal accelerator program (independent of Citi Ventures) and develop strategic partnerships with other companies, startups, and even universities like Stanford, MIT, Columbia, and UC Berkeley.

DBS Bank
Innovation Lab Name: 
DBS Asia X (DAX)
Founded: 2016

DBS launched its Singapore innovation lab to break out of its “traditional banking mindset to think, behave and deliver more like a technology company,” according to Neal Cross, DBS’ chief innovation officer. DBS leaders expect to see more than 5,000 people actively innovating DBS’ services and operations at DAX each year.

Deutsche Bank
Innovation Lab Name: 
Deutsche Bank Labs
Founded: 2016

Deutsche Bank has plans to open three innovation labs (in Palo Alto, London, and Berlin) where specialized teams will evaluate new technologies and products to roll out to the larger organization. They’ll be partnering with corporations like Microsoft, HCL, and IBM as well as startups to develop these solutions.

Fidelity
Innovation Lab Name: 
Fidelity Center for Applied Technology (FCAT)
Founded: 1999

Fidelity’s in-house innovation lab focuses on customer needs and advanced technologies to create new solutions that can range from incremental upgrades to disruptive ideas.

FIS
Innovation Lab Name: 
FIS Innovation Lab

FIS operates several innovation centers around the world in vital cities like New York, San Francisco, London, and Bangkok. These centers are focused on creating new technologies to revolutionize mobile banking, payments, and more. There’s also a big emphasis on technology to show off these innovations in a relaxed setting where clients and in-house teams work together to solve problems in new ways.

JP Morgan Chase
Innovation Lab Name: 
FinLab
Founded: 2015

JP Morgan’s FinLab is a 5-year program, managed by the Center for Financial Services Innovation, designed to spur innovations that help Americans save more and improve their credit. Teams work in collaborative groups to develop new financial apps and tools. The program also includes strategic partnerships with groups like Ideo.org and Ideas42.

Wells Fargo
Innovation Lab Name: 
Wells Fargo Labs
Founded: 2013

Wells Fargo’s internal lab brings together product strategists, developers, and project managers to build innovative new products, relying on a lean startup mindset.

Visa
Innovation Lab Name: 
One Market Center
Founded: 2013

Visa’s innovation lab within One Market Center is designed to offer increased collaboration for teams working on their latest tech solutions. Their projects include tokenization, payment apps, mobile location confirmation, and more.

 
 

Healthcare Industry

 

Cardinal Health
Innovation Lab Name: 
Fuse

Cardinal’s Fuse Innovation Center is patient-focused and operates on a startup mentality geared towards creating innovations on an accelerated timescale, then rigorously testing them.

Johnson & Johnson
Innovation Lab Name: 
Johnson & Johnson Innovation Centers

Johnson & Johnson’s innovation program is pretty much as old as the company itself, but in recent years has taken on a broader approach, combining in-house R&D efforts, partnerships with innovative startups, innovation hubs and incubators around the world, and strategic investments through its venture arm (JJDC).

McKesson and the Mayo Clinic
Innovation Lab Name: 
Center for Innovation
Founded: 2008

The Mayo Clinic and McKesson gathered up a team of 60 innovators for their Center and gave them a simple mandate: to think differently about healthcare. The unit’s philosophy/mantra is to “always be there for me [the patient]” as they tackle tough problems like redesign of care models, keeping patients connected to care in their homes and communities, and creating services to optimize health and wellness.

 
 

Insurance Industry

 

America’s Health Insurance Plans
Innovation Lab Name: 
The Innovation Lab

The Innovation Lab was created as a place where professionals from AHIP’s member companies could come together in an environment of mutual cooperation and creativity, free from pitches and competition. There these experts work on the next generation of disruptive insurance ideas for customers, companies, employers, as well as the bio/med tech and pharmaceutical industries.

Anthem
Innovation Lab Name:
Anthem Innovation Studio
Founded: 1925

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.

MetLife
Innovation Lab Name: 
LumenLab
Founded: 2015

MetLife’s LumenLab is a sprawling facility located in Singapore, where innovation experts from a variety of fields, many with startup experience, focus on developing new customer-driven products and solutions. Their goal is to “rewrite the role of insurance in people’s lives.”

 
 

Leisure and Tourism Industry

 

AccorHotels
Innovation Lab Name:
Disruption and Growth
Founded:
2013

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.

Delta
Innovation Lab Name:
The Hangar
Founded:
2016

Delta says it’s not “chasing tech for tech sake” at The Hangar, 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.

Marriott
Innovation Lab Name:
Marriott Pop Up Innovation Lab

While it may not be around for long, Marriott debuted an interactive model hotel experience in downtown Los Angeles hotel in January 2017 to crowdsource real-time feedback from the public. The pop-up lab features tech-centric beverage concepts, communal-area pilot projects, and eco-conscious offerings. Marriott has also showcased hotels in “live beta” as part of its commitment to innovation.

 
 

Manufacturing Industry

 

Wangxiang
Innovation Lab Name:
Wangxiang Blockchain Labs
Founded:
2016

Wangxiang blockchain labs is a frontier research institution focused on blockchain technology . The lab will gather experts in this field to work on technological development, business applications, industrial strategy and other aspects, to provide guidance for entrepreneurs, and to provide reference for the development of the industry and policy making, in order to benefit the society and economy with blockchain technology.

 
 

Media and Entertainment Industry

 

IPG
Innovation Lab Name: 
IPG Media Lab

IPG’s Media Lab has a team of marketers, engineers, and creatives who work directly with clients, partner with other agencies, deliver custom content to publishers, and more.

New York Times
Innovation Lab Name: 
The New York Times Research & Development

The New York Times Research & Development group aims to create new products that will change how people interact with media. Projects include systems to visualize reader habits in real time, different interfaces for consuming news and other media, and crowdsourced programs looking to glean new insights from and about the Times’ considerable photo and ad archives.

 
 

Retail Industry

 

Amazon
Innovation Lab Name: 
Lab126
Founded: 2004

Amazon Lab126 is an inventive research and development lab that designs and engineers high-profile consumer electronic devices. Lab126 began in 2004 as a subsidiary of Amazon.com. Since then they have worked to produce hardware and software for devices like Fire tablets, Kindle Voyage, Amazon Fire TV, and the Amazon Echo.

Coca-Cola
Innovation Lab Name: 
Development and Innovation Lab
Founded: 2015

Coca-Cola innovates its food-and-beverage line from its Atlanta headquarters, but uses its satellite Development and Innovation Lab at Georgia Tech University to fast-track key technology initiatives and accelerate its “technological responses to business issues.” The key focus areas are big data analytics and multi-channel customer outreach strategies; projects such as on-can printing, wearable technology, and Bluetooth beacons are noted on the Coca-Cola website.

CVS
Innovation Lab Name: 
Digital Innovation Lab
Founded: 2015

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, their projects include simple things like mobile phone pharmacy reminders and complex ones like apps that turn those retaphones into remote diagnostic tools.

DuPont
Innovation Lab Name: 
DuPont Innovation Centers
Founded: 2010

DuPont has numerous innovation centers around the country and world. Their Johnston Innovation Center at the DuPont global agriculture headquarters in Iowa (their largest R&D facility), boasts nearly 3,000 professionals in disciplines like food, agriculture, and biotechnology. DuPont customers work with these in-house experts to develop new solutions to needs that DuPont might might be able to anticipate on their own.

Home Depot
Innovation Lab Name: 
Home Depot Innovation Lab (BlackLocus)
Founded: 2015

The Home Depot’s solution to startup-style innovation was quite ingenious: they acquired startup Black Locus and let them operate as an in-house innovation lab. Black Locus reports that without a sales org to support and competing objectives to focus on, they can bring their efforts to bear solving big problems for the Home Depot.

Ikea
Innovation Lab Name:
 Space10
Founded: 2015

Nestled in the heart of Copenhagen’s meatpacking district lies SPACE10, Ikea’s research hub and exhibition space. 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.

Kohl’s
Innovation Lab Name: 
Kohl’s Digital Center
Founded: 2011

Kohl’s Digital Center opened in 2011. Their 200-person tech team is housed in a 50,000-square-foot facility and has developed things like the Kohl’s Pay app and other innovations to help customers pick up in-store deliveries faster, and more.

Lowe’s
Innovation Lab Name: 
Lowe’s Innovation Lab

Lowe’s Innovation Lab’s is all about disruptive technologies, including shipping a 3D printer to the International Space Station to help astronauts print parts and tools on demand. They also developed the Holoroom, a VR headset to help shoppers visualize bathroom and kitchen improvements. 

Lululemon
Innovation Lab Name: 
Lululemon Lab
Founded: 2009 (Vancouver), 2016 (NYC)

Lululemon’s solution to the constant need for new fashions was to open two in-house labs, one in Vancouver (where their corporate offices are) and one in NYC (a worldwide fashion hub). Designers work collaboratively in a setting that encourages forward thinking and creativity.

Neiman Marcus
Innovation Lab Name: 
Neiman Marcus Innovation Lab
Founded: 2012

Neiman Marcus has earned a world-class reputation for retail innovation thanks to the iLab, its hub for evaluating, designing, testing, and piloting cutting-edge technologies and applications for luxury retail. Recent projects include connected fitting room technology, intelligent mobile phone charging stations, and voice-controlled sales associate communicators.

Nike
Innovation Lab Name: 
Innovation Kitchen

When Nike comes up with a new shoe or piece of technology, it’s figuratively cooked up in their Innovation Kitchen. This inventive team covers everything from barefoot shoes to activity trackers and more, in an open, laid-back space conducive to free thinking, experimentation, and self-expression.

Sears
Innovation Lab Name: 
iR Labs

Sears’ iR Labs (short for “integrated retail”) center was created to find ways to deliver modern shoppers the multi-channel shopping experience they demand. From within their startup-style offices, Sears workers from all disciplines (design, development, product management, etc.) work together to improve online and mobile shopping, create new in-store promotions, and more.

Sephora
Innovation Lab Name: 
Sephora Innovation Lab
Founded: 2015

Sephora’s innovation lab is in a converted warehouse near 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. Innovation team members work on solutions for web, mobile, and brick-and-mortar applications. The lab even includes a model Sephora store.

Staples
Innovation Lab Name: 
Staples Labs: Velocity, Innovation, Development
Founded: 2012

In 2012 the long-lived office superstore opened three labs in separate locations, each with its own mandate. “Velocity Lab” in Cambridge, MA and “Innovation Lab” in San Mateo, CA both handle mobile apps, digital platforms, and in-store technologies. The “Development Lab” in Seattle works on e-commerce platforms and data engineering.

Target
Innovation Lab Name: 
Target Technology Innovation Center
Founded: 2012

In 2012, Target opened their San Francisco lab staffed with commerce technologists, data scientists, and product managers to work on projects like augmented reality, wearable computing, and gamification.

Tesco
Innovation Lab Name: 
Tesco Labs
Founded: 2014

Tesco’s in-house tech innovation team dreams up, develops, and tests an array of solutions for things like online search and also built an Android app to help customers take control of their health and choices. One notable “startup” trait: they even hold hackathons.

Unilever
Innovation Lab Name: 
Unilever Foundry
Founded: 2014

Unilever Foundy works with over 400 brands across 190 countries to pilot startups and focus on digital marketing and ad tech, enterprise tech and e-commerce, products and ingredients, new business model innovation, and social impact.

Walmart
Innovation Lab Name: 
Walmart Labs
Founded: 2005

Walmart’s innovation lab is designed to help them stay competitive in the increasingly online and mobile world. One notable accomplishment was a large-scale search engine overhaul for their online site that drove a 20% increase in sales. Workers are even organized into “mini-startups,” each with their own projects.

 
 

Technology Industry

 

Amazon
Innovation Lab Name:
Lab 126
Founded:
2004

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.

Autodesk
Innovation Lab Name: 
Autodesk Labs

Autodesk, makers of AutoCAD, Revit, and a wide array of design and engineering software, has their own innovation lab, called simply “Autodesk Labs.” This innovation center focuses on “technology previews,” public releases of new technologies in development which have set start and end dates and are focused on garnering user feedback. This feedback is used to improve and refine the technology, though Autodesk is very open to admitting that sometimes what they learn is that they should let what they’re working on go and move on to a new idea.

Avaya
Innovation Lab Name: 
Avaya Labs Research

Avaya Labs Research center focuses on WebRTC, mobility, cloud, and video solutions. Innovations include an ecommerce delivery mechanism for embedding open, mobile digital communication.

Baidu
Innovation Lab Name:
SVAIL (Silicon Valley AI Lab)
Founded: 2013

The mission of the Silicon Valley AI Lab is to develop AI technologies that we believe will have a significant impact on the lives of at least 100 million people. Our research is built on the powerful combination of deep learning, large datasets and high performance computing.  In fact, SVAIL has both deep learning and systems research teams that work hand in hand to explore the latest in deep learning algorithms as well as find innovative ways to accelerate AI research with new hardware and software technologies.

Cisco
Innovation Lab Name:
Cisco Hyper Innovation Living Labs (CHILL)
Founded: 2014

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.

Facebook
Innovation Lab Name: 
Building 8
Founded: 2008

Building 8 at Facebook is focused on building new hardware products to advance our mission of connecting the world. We bring together world-class experts to develop seemingly impossible products that define new categories. We drive innovation in augmented and virtual reality, artificial intelligence, connectivity and other important breakthrough areas. Our teams move fast, with aggressive and fixed timelines. We extensively create and leverage partnerships with universities, small and large businesses, and set clear objectives for shipping products at scale.

Google
Innovation Lab Name:
Google Garage
Founded: 2008

While X may be more well known, there’s a lot of work and play happening at the Google Garage. Originally opened in 2008 by a group of Googlers who wanted someplace a bit more free-form to do their “20% work.” (“20% work” itself is a form of constant innovation: it’s the 20% of the workweek during which Google employees get to work on projects not directly connected to their core tasks.) It’s open to all Googlers and boasts 3D printers, tons of tools, a CNC machine, and plenty of collaborative workspace to encourage out-of-the-box thinking.

Google
Innovation Lab Name:
Google X
Founded: 2010

Google’s X research center is where some of their biggest projects happen. These teams work on research that’s not directly tied to a product and encompasses challenging fields like speech processing, machine intelligence, quantum AI, and more.

HP Inc.
Innovation Lab Name: HP Labs
Founded: 1966

HP Labs is an award-winning research facility focusing on technologies like natural language detection, audio/video analytics, immersive experiences, 3D printing, and more.

IBM
Innovation Lab Name: 
IBM Mobile Innovation Lab

The Mobile Innovation Lab brings together cloud and mobile experts to try to develop new technologies and applications for the IBM Cloud, their clients, and more.

Microsoft
Innovation Lab Name: 
Microsoft Research Lab
Founded: 1991

Microsoft has numerous labs, each with its own flavor, 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.

Oracle
Innovation Lab Name: 
Oracle Labs

Originally founded as Sun Microsystems Laboratories, it was rebranded Oracle Labs after their acquisition in 2010. Their research philosophies are 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.

Phillips
Innovation Lab Name:
Philips Design
Founded:
1925

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.

Symantec
Innovation Lab Name:
Symantec Research Labs
Founded:
1998

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.

TCS
Innovation Lab Name: 
TCS Innovation Labs
Founded: 1981

TCS’s world-spanning network of Technology, Domain, and Academic Alliance Labs let IT experts of all stripes create new systems. Products from these labs include HeartSense and AkTrac (“wellness apps for activity detection and physiological sensing using mobile phones and wearables”), a mobile phone digital stethoscope, and RehabBox, a “Kinect-based telerehab system for post stroke patients.”

Xerox
Innovation Lab Name: 
Xerox Palo Alto Research Center (PARC)
Founded: 1970

The PARC’s professed philosophy is “open innovation.” Founded in 1970, PARC has worked on world-changing innovations like Ethernet, laser printing, and GUIs.

 
 

Transportation Industry

 

Ford
Innovation Lab Name: 
Ford Research & Innovation Center
Founded: 2012

Ford’s innovation center boasts open spaces to encourage collaboration and works on projects ranging from autonomous car research with the likes of MIT, Stanford, and the University of Michigan, to Big Data and analytics initiatives.

Panasonic
Innovation Lab Name: 
Panasonic Automotive Innovation Center
Founded: 2013

The Panasonic Automotive Innovation Center, located inside their Centergy One building, is built for collaboration between software, electrical, systems, and mechanical experts working on the next generation of human-machine interfaces for cars.

Volkswagen
Innovation Lab Name: 
Volkswagen Automotive Innovation Lab (VAIL)
Founded: 2010

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.

Uber
Innovation Lab Name: 
Uber Advanced Technologies Group
Founded: 2016

Uber ATG is the R&D hub of Uber’s engineering team dedicated to self-driving technologies, mapping, and vehicle safety. This team is responsible for developing long-term technologies that advance Uber’s mission of bringing safe, reliable transportation to everyone, everywhere. We are ambitious, engaged and excited about transforming the way the world moves. Our research will make the process of moving real assets and real people safer and more efficient now, and in the decades to come.

About author

Matthew Griffin

Matthew Griffin, award winning Futurist and Founder of the 311 Institute, a global futures think tank, is described as "The Adviser behind the Advisers." Regularly featured on AP, CNBC, Discovery and RT, his ability to identify and track hundreds of game changing emerging technologies, and explain their impact on global culture, industry and society, is unparalleled. Recognised for the past five years running as one of the world's foremost futurists, innovation and strategy experts Matthew is an international speaker who helps governments investors, multi-nationals and regulators around the world envision, build and lead an inclusive future. A rare talent Matthew sits on the Technology and Innovation Committee (TIAC) for Centrica, one of Europe’s largest energy companies, and his recent work includes mentoring XPRIZE teams, building the first generation of biocomputers, helping the world’s largest manufacturers companies envision the next five generations of smartphones and devices, and what comes next, and helping companies including Qualcomm envision the next twenty years of semiconductors. Matthew's clients are the who’s who of industry and include Accenture, Bain & Co, BOA, Blackrock, Bloomberg, Booz Allen Hamilton, BCG, Bentley, Dell EMC, Dentons, Deloitte, Deutsche Bank, Du Pont, E&Y, Fidelity, Goldman Sachs, HPE, Huawei, JPMorgan Chase, KPMG, Lloyds Banking Group, McKinsey, Monsanto, PWC, Qualcomm, Rolls Royce, SAP, Samsung, Schroeder's, Sequoia Capital, Sopra Steria, UBS, the UK's HM Treasury, the USAF and many others.