What is needed to generate innovation? Last week, I visited a concept I strongly believe in at TecnoCampus in Mataró (Catalunya): Innolab and realized I had witnessed the best New Year present any student, teacher or company can get – at 30 minutes from Barcelona in Mataró. A concept not even Barcelona Universities have (as far as I have learned).
The idea of creating a space, a work area, an environment that inspires innovation, entrepreneurship and new business is a good trigger to empower students, companies and teachers to co-create. This is the idea behind Innolab – a space to foster exactly that: innovation, new business and fruitful cooperation work.
This post is dedicated to all students, companies and teachers that have been “given” this area to drive innovation. This post is a “heads up” for those that may not be aware of what they have in-between their hands. This pos is a humble “don’t miss this opportunity and enjoy what you have that very few have”.
Innolab – a space to be proud of
There are many ways to trigger innovation but few that are so visual as creating a physical space where the full essence of it is to inspire new thinking. Innolab has been designed to support that: to turn ideas into reality. With is “house-like” environment, like if you were sitting in your own living room, with the easy access to a kitchen inspiring the teamwork in cooking, the right to take a coffee while you work and the ability to work at any time, the “green area” where you can stretch out on the floor to relax, meditate and take the time you need when your body and mind requires it, the flexible furniture that can be set up in any order thanks to tables with wheels and the colorful design, the whiteboards, the drawings can’t be anything else than just that – inspiring.
I’m not sure though, that the students, teachers and companies that are thought as target for this area, are aware of what a “luxurious” tool this is to have in their nearby. I’m not sure they are aware of what a powerful resource this area is in a country screaming for innovation, new businesses and employment. Honestly, I’m not sure they profit this area as it should be profited. Lack of knowledge about its existence? Fear for being seen as “different or strange”? Low maturity in terms of innovative spirit? Whatever the reason is, I hope students, teachers and surrounding companies very soon fill these walls with inspiring projects, successful business ideas and new thinking. Because Innolab is the future and it’s a step away from those haven given the right to use it.
Alexandra E.Rodriguez M and here team, the drivers of making this space an inspiring environment, have done a fantastic job in setting up the tools and resources that are needed for brainstorming, co-working, thinking, relaxing and everything in-between. Every corner has been utilized to its best, every color has a meaning and every wall has a thought behind. It is thanks to them and everybody involved this foundation is in place and now its time for those surrounding it to take advantage of it, to really step forward and utilize its potential. I fear that the risk is that “if not” – this space will be taken away from them and when asked for in the future, it will be too late.
It is up to those that have been given this present (free access to this inspiring area), to really take advantage of it. It is the receiver of this space that needs to “concur” this area, have the courage to pick up the phone and invite those key players needed to make a dream project a reality.
It is very seldom the present itself that “makes itself useful” – that task is always in the hands of the one that gets the present to make something out of it. Innolab is a challenge the students and teachers at TecnoCampus must take-on because, in my opinion, it’s the future. And the companies can’t miss the opportunity to meet their present or future customers or employers to identify needs, test products or drive innovation by engaging in Innolab. They just can’t afford do miss out on such opportunity.
I really hope this is not forgotten in the day-to-day rush, because then another opportunity would be lost, another present forgotten in the drawer and another good idea not empowered.
I wish Innolab all my best. And I really, really, really mean it.
Have you been to Innolab? If yes! let me know what you think! If no, would you like to have such space to boost innovation?