Ericsson Garage Silicon Valley spans the innovation chasm

Ideas for products and services are often successful early on but die a death trying to cross the chasm between the early and mainstream markets. By focusing on the key aspects of the innovation lifecycle during each step, our innovation pipeline is designed to help move seamlessly from early incubation to global scale.

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The newly opened Ericsson Garage and the Chief Innovation Office in Silicon Valley address this challenge by establishing a framework that spans the whole process – from ideation to market adaption. Ericsson Garage Silicon Valley – along with a new Experience Center – were officially opened in October 2016. Among early visitors were guests from the Berkeley Innovation Forum, who stepped into the new facility for an interactive and engaging experience, where we introduced the Ericsson Garage and our new corporate innovation process.

We presented our innovation initiatives to 70 senior innovation officials. Diomedes Kastanis, Head of Technology and Innovation in the Chief Innovation Office; Thomas Olsson, Head of Ericsson’s Experience Center in Silicon Valley; and Attila Takacs, Head of Ericsson Garage Silicon Valley, discussed the importance of innovation and introduced the Ericsson Garage concept and our innovation framework.

Ericsson’s Open Innovation Platform resonated well with the senior innovation executives participating in the event. The plenary talks followed by technology demonstrations, was a great setting to discuss and explore new collaboration opportunities among the many different organizations and industries represented at the event.


Innovation framework and platform

Ericsson Garage and the Chief Innovation Office together provide a solution to the typical chasm challenge of innovation, by setting a framework from ideation to market adaption. By focusing on the key aspects of the innovation lifecycle during each step, the innovation pipeline is designed to help move seamlessly from early incubation to global scale. While the Ericsson Garage is best suited to working with technology enthusiasts – with a targeted and limited Minimum Viable Product (MVP) fulfilling a narrow cutting-edge need, – the business incubation framework at the Chief Innovation Office focuses on scaling and the business modeling needed to expand the MVP to the wider set of visionary customers. As the solution matures, and the global market is considered ready for adoption, a full product is developed with all supporting capabilities, e.g., services, sales and marketing functions. This, latter industrialization phase is nurtured within the Chief Innovation Office until revenue or other business KPIs have been met, which will trigger the execution of a predefined exit strategy. At the end of the industrialization phase the solution, as well as a dedicated organization is in place and functional, and so it can be moved to a permanent place within or even outside of the company. This is when the idea graduates from the innovation pipeline.

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Our corporate innovation pipeline is not an isolated process; it heavily relies on interaction with all parties of the external ecosystem. We collaborate with our customers, partners, and innovation centers. We engage heavily with startups, incubators, accelerators, and the VC community.

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The Affiliate Ericsson Garage program provides a platform for local innovation initiatives globally within Ericsson and connects the whole organization to the innovation pipeline. The technology incubation work at Ericsson Garage fuels the innovation system with high-quality ideas with proven technology and a pre-validated business case from the early market. We already have the first Ericsson Garage project moving through this innovation pipeline, from the technology to the business incubation stage. Stay tuned for more insights and announcement from Ericsson Garage Silicon Valley in future posts here on the Ericsson Research blog.

This post was written by Attila Takacs and originally appeared on the Ericsson Research blog.


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