Development Team by your side
Casey Spitz, Business Unit Director, Component Solutions
HARTING Launches Innovation Hubs for Collaborative and Risk-Free Product Development
A key part of HARTING’s vision is to “Shape the Future with Technologies for People.” This means not just looking at the technologies that work today but understanding and developing products to address future needs. To achieve this, HARTING is branching out and establishing Innovation Hubs to enable collaboration and co-creation with other technology leaders, start-ups, and OEMs. This investment from HARTING adds to our significant teams focused on product development & R&D.
HARTING’s investment in regional Innovation Hubs in the Americas, Europe and Asia provides a more diverse design culture that will allow the company to co-develop new technologies quickly. This is particularly important today with the digitalization of all aspects of products, manufacturing, and services using Industry 4.0 and Internet of Things (IoT) concepts and technologies.
Innovation Hubs find the best minds and bring them together as both internal HARTING teams and drivers of partnerships. They work jointly and collaborate with a wide range of resources including universities, scientists, startups, and subject matter experts coupled with business leaders specializing in translating concepts into valuable real-world solutions.
Innovation Hubs have become a highly effective resource for progressive companies to quicken design cycles and meet unique customer needs. Internal company development groups are still important but adding Innovation Hubs to this strategy provides an additional dimension that enables rapid technology advances. With the fast-paced nature of our market today oftentimes by the time we know about a technology challenge for our customers and partners it is too late to develop a product. The Innovation Hubs create a framework in which we can look years into the future and create technologies. The hubs add another dimension with out-of-the-box thinking considering new technologies and methods. They are also more agile, offering companies a new avenue for addressing their customer bases’ unique needs.
INNOVATION HUBS ENABLE AGILE AND RAPID CO-CREATION
Innovation Hubs are a group of people dedicated to creating ideas through constant collaboration leading with the goal of developing new technologies quickly and efficiently. Four essential components of an Innovation Hub are technical talent, diverse knowledge, application knowledge, and driving technology partnerships. HARTING’s hubs allow for new combinations of a wide array of knowledge bases and strategically located in areas where there is an innovation culture and technology resources - Cambridge, Massachusetts and Berkeley, California. Innovation Hubs provide an environment for creative thinking and design outside of the day-to-day business.
Innovation Hubs have the explicit mission to foster innovation by promoting learning and the sharing of ideas in an open environment. This provides innovation in a much more agile and broader way with connections to a large ecosystem with continuous and strategic interaction of different minds engaging in innovate projects. Our Innovation Hubs will provide a constant flow of “fresh ideas” to consider for commercialization.
Innovation Hubs also help de-risk new technologies. We can take the burden of evaluating new connectivity solutions off of our customer’s engineering teams and bring it in house. We also bridge the gap between University lead research and true commercial products. This gap can be expensive and time consuming for our partners and customers. An Innovation Hub combines the best of minds in academic research with businesses that have a proven track record of bringing products to market. After de-risking and prototyping we rely on our experienced global manufacturing footprint to produce and launch the technology to the market.
The overall process would look roughly like following. A company would have a need and would collaborate with HARTING, who would create a technology assessment. HARTING’s Innovation Hub would be brought in to work on developing a solution to fill the technology gap. They would leverage their network of academics, start-ups, and other industry leaders to prototype. HARTING’s market and technology experts would engage in the strategy development, and finally the manufacturing plant and developers would release.
INNOVATORS SOLVE PROBLEMS - NOT JUST MAKE PRODUCTS
HARTING understands breakthrough products and services require a broader perspective reaching beyond today’s problems, always working to solve tomorrow’s problems. However, what problems the future will face is not obvious, so companies must look more broadly. Henry Ford said, “If I had asked my customers what they wanted they would have said a faster horse.” Acclaimed Harvard Business School professor who coined the term “Marketing Myopia” suggested companies should take a broader focus to satisfy customer goals emphasizing, “people don’t want a quarter inch drill, they want a quarter inch hole.” Innovation Hubs with an understanding of a wide range of new technologies and methods broaden the scope of design thinking to develop solutions of high value for companies to deliver superior value to customers.
Essentially, when developing products, it is critical to understand the outcomes the end use needs and use that as a starting point. This helps reveal the underlying pain points and jobs to be done. Innovators don’t just build the product the customer wants, they build the solution to their underlying problem, something that helps them get their job done.
HARTING is committed to collaboration by ideating, prototyping, and producing connectivity solutions for rapidly expanding industrial digitalization. If you have a connectivity need that doesn’t exist today, HARTING has the resources to help you. Our Innovations Hubs are located all over the world and will give you access to some of the best and brightest minds. We can’t wait to start co-creating with you.
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