Does innovation happen in a flash of light? Quite the contrary. We believe that innovation is a long journey, with many milestones. One of them being to gain a competitive advantage in the industry.  However, there is no rulebook or step-by-step guide on how to fast track your journey. Innovation cannot be done in silos, and to succeed, must be applied across all aspects of business and technology. Should you listen closely to your customers or go with your gut feel? Buy the most expensive technology or upgrade an existing one?

At the Applied Innovation Exchange (AIE), we help companies answer such questions. With the help of functional prototypes and a team of qualified experts, we blend technology and business to help companies with tailor-made solutions to their problems.

Our AIE centers helped Boulanger (a French electronic retailer) chalk out a digital strategy when it decided to move to an urban center. We also helped an Eneco (Dutch energy major) get a better picture of the electricity usage pattern of its customers. We believe that being closer to the customers helps us pinpoint and understand the specific challenges they face.

With the opening of the AIE in Singapore just round the corner (Feb 28, 2017), we are very excited at the prospect of working with companies in Singapore, and the APAC region. The country is a favorite investment destination and enjoys the advantage of being on a busy trade route. The Singapore Economic  Development Board (EDB) is also working hard to position the country as an innovation hotbed by creating an ecosystem of start-ups and research centers. A major focus area for the board is the Fintech sector to bolster a strong banking system in the country.

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has apportioned a $225 million budget for the development of a Fintech ecosystem. A recently concluded Fintech conference stressed the importance of ingrained digital technologies for banks. Keynote speakers discussed the need for imbibing digital technologies rather than just wearing a ‘Digital Lipstick’. This fact is even more glaring when we see companies in a mad rush to adopt digital technologies without aligning it with their business strategy.

The AIE Singapore will mark our efforts to ensure that companies are on the right track to develop sustainable, scalable innovation, and not get caught up in an ‘innovation trap’ by trying to be innovative for the sake of it. We have the infrastructure and experience to help them navigate the path intelligently.

In days to come, the AIE Singapore will partner with our network of 10 existing centers to bring expertise in areas like Robotics and IoT. We will also encourage innovative start-ups with a seed funding of $50,000 and support them with extensive networking opportunities.

With such a thriving start-up culture in the country, one of the key responsibilities of the AIE will be too groom local talent by providing graduates an opportunity to interact with industry experts.

As we look at the growing APAC market, and the challenges being faced by companies in the region, our priority will be to collaborate with them in terms of new ideas, people, and technologies, that will also benefit the society.

Collaborative business experience is our DNA. Our ability to leverage cross-industry solutions and scale up ideas to enterprise grade products & services will be a huge differentiator. At the AIE, we will look at not only immediate problem areas, but also new business models that we can co-develop with ecosystem partners in the APAC region. It will also play a vital role in driving economic growth in Singapore by embracing initiatives around Cybersecurity, IoT, Smart Cities, Digital identity, etc.

Stay tuned for further news and exciting updates from our Applied Innovation Exchange through our page: www.capgemini.com/aie.