How to empower in-house capabilities to catalyze innovation?

InnSite, the new Altran Spain Innovation Center, is inaugurated on March 31st in Madrid. Its managing director, Borja Baturone, introduces what is intended to become a central hub for business development.

The Altran Spain Innovation Center (InnSite) helps companies to anticipate the future and foresee new changes in technologies, in order to create new concepts with added value, activate them with the most effective business model, and transform the structures of the companies to optimize their long-term performances.

“Very few clients have innovation sites, and we are aware that innovation systems, in general, need a physical place to connect with different players, says Borja Baturone, the managing director of innovation of Altran Spain. In this location, we can bring people together, which is very crucial to innovate. Different key players should be in direct contact, face to face, to find new ideas.”

« For innovation, you need diversity in terms of origins, in terms of studies, in terms of mindset, of knowledge, etc. »

Borja Baturone, Managing Director of Altran Spain Innovation Center

Twenty-five experts from Altran Spain are currently dedicated to innovation and forty more to R&D. Profiles are very diverse because “for innovation, you need diversity in terms of origins, in terms of studies, in terms of mindset, of knowledge, etc.”, explains Baturone.

Each staff member must have a different professional background. Engineers, developers, marketers, sociologists and even artists, explore day after day new ways of thinking.

“Artists are useful for everything regarding visual thinking, designing concepts or final art. We have a psychologist who is both psychologist and artist. She uses art to foster creativity”, smiles Baturone.

Mixing experiences brings energy, enthusiasm, joy, pleasure, which are the key ingredients for innovation, alongside hard work. “We look for passion. You need a lot of passion to really make a breakthrough.”

Eureka moments

Accomplished projects nourish the next ones, in a never-ending process. InnSite (which can be understood too as “in situ”, which means in Latin “in its natural place”) can even be used as an art gallery, to visualize and demonstrate in a compelling way the different concepts recently created in the workshops.

By doing so, InnSite can put all the different concepts around the site, and go through them to move to the next station, the next prototype, the next “eureka moment”, this magic feeling that we all experiment when we find a new way of thinking, of creating, of living. The more this feeling is shared, the more powerful it can be.

Borja Baturone’s team consolidates the four pillars of Innsite, for clients: Anticipate, Create, Activate and Transform. Every project or service is unique, and can take between one day and more than one year, depending on what companies need. “If you want to innovate, it’s normally 3 or 4 months, and if you want to become really different, it can take longer”, says Baturone.

Think differently

Dozens of projects and services have already been enhanced by Altran Spain. InnSite is intended to release the infinite dynamics of creativity.

“Very recently, details Baturone, we helped the most famous beer in Spain, Mahou, and found a breakthrough concept of beers, by creating new moments for drinking beer. In this case as in others, we didn’t invent a new beer formula, or a new product, but discovered new ways, new moments, to experience it.”

InnSite also partnered with BBVA, Repsol, Endesa, Airbus, in various ways, always with a specific approach dedicated to find untapped values.

InnSite uses clients’ knowledge and technology, then adds expertise, technical or not, by integrating some members of its staff in the original groups, to facilitate the processes and make them think differently.

« We cannot change the mind of people, we can only help to change themselves »

Borja Baturone, Managing Director of Altran Spain Innovation Center

“We cannot change the mind of people, we can only help to change themselves, continues Baturone. One of the mottos in management is that people hate change. That’s not correct. People hate to be changed by others. People love to be at the heart of their own change. When the market, the needs of customers, the possibilities of emerging technologies are changing the world pretty fast, if you do nothing, you are just going backwards, because everything around you is fast-forwarding.”

In the corporate world, short-term profit have become the first law, and is as much a driver as a hindrance to innovation.

Reducing risk is rational but feeds fear and paralyzes initiatives. “We help our clients to look at innovation differently and make the right decisions”, says the managing director of innovation of Altran Spain. Then, we partner to catalyze their innovation impact and empower their in-house capabilities.” From inside first, from InnSite finally.