24 Sep 2021

Launch of an innovation platform in an industrial company 2/3

Start-up of Girbau LAB within an industrial company


Girbau’s 2016-2020 strategic plan set innovation as the main axis of business growth, which should give the company the ability to adapt. The creation of Girbau LAB is a tool resulting from that strategic reflection conceived as a door to open innovation to generate new business opportunities and advance beyond evolutionary innovation.

Girbau LAB is the mechanism with which Girbau is equipped to bet on disruptive innovation, often difficult to develop internally, and where teams focus on evolutionary innovation and business operations.

To do this, Girbau LAB works with the Girbau team, opening the organization to suppliers, partners, research and development centers, start-ups, emerging companies, or other corporations and thus constitute an ecosystem of innovation and value beyond the company.

Girbau LAB is therefore the channel and unit in charge of capturing and managing new disruptive innovation proposals, straying away from the day-to-day, from outside the company to inside and vice versa.

Girbau Lab thus becomes a mechanism for continuous collaboration with organizations and people who provide differential value. With regard to people, Girbau LAB is a mechanism for attracting differential talent to the organization and at the same time for identifying, retaining, and developing Girbau’s internal talent. This is a fundamental aspect in Girbau LAB’s contribution to the organization’s culture of innovation.

There are several mechanisms and activities that Girbau LAB has put in place to ensure a continuous flow of opportunities and that has contributed to this cultural transformation of Girbau towards innovation:

  • Intrapreneurship Program: The capture of business ideas among Girbau staff who receive support through specific training and concrete means to experiment, thus facilitating Girbau LAB to have potential innovation projects and at the same time, promote a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship in the organization.
  • Scouting of Start-ups and Emerging Companies: Girbau LAB searches for start-ups or other organizations that can respond to innovation needs and challenges.
  • In the process of evaluating these companies, Girbau LAB establishes internal work teams to evaluate external projects and, in turn, coordinates projects with mixed and complementary work teams with external organizations.
  • Girbau Lab has also been the mechanism for incorporating doctoral students to carry out the Industrial Doctorate in Girbau’s areas of interest. This has allowed us to develop projects in a very focused and intensive way and at the same time incorporate differential talent in the teams.
  • Innovators Club of Girbau LAB: Launch of the Girbau Innovators Club as a space for reflection and debate on innovative  trends, open to Girbau people with an interest in Innovation, and where regular sessions are organized with experts, entrepreneurs, scientists, etc. …
  • Collaboration agreements with external actors to establish the Innovation Ecosystem and thus have a systematic flow of innovation opportunities from these actors (Barcelona Tech City, IQS Tech, UPC Chair, ESADEBAN, Elisava, etc ..)
  • Girbau LAB’s website and profiles on social networks as communication and dissemination systems for innovation, representing a cultural change in the organization that -for the first time- carries out this type of dissemination. This new communication channel has positioned the company beyond Girbau’s usual channel and market at a corporate level.
  • Girbau LAB is committed to promoting technological vocations and young talent. In previous editions, together with the University of Vic, it has supported the international program FIRST Tech Challenge in Spain for the promotion of STEM vocations among those between 16 and 20 years old.

Launch of an innovation platform in an industrial company 2/3