Ericsson has announced plans to launch new innovation hubs in Afrika. These innovation hubs will be developing on the Ericsson Garage concept that the telecommunications company has been working on globally.
Ericsson Garage is an open innovation platform which the company says is inspired by the lean startup methodology. Teams at the Ericsson Garage are setup to work with short development cycles in close dialog with customers, users and partners, learning and pivoting fast with each new iteration of a minimum viable product to ensure the final version fulfills actual customer needs and pain points.
"As a corporate incubator, Ericsson Garage provides a platform for the innovation community as it builds innovation partnerships with customers and academia, supports startups and accelerates the development of new business ideas. Today, I am proud to see such a great model coming to the Middle East and Africa for the first time. This open model will ensure maximum cross-pollination of new thinking and provide an inspirational opportunity for local talents to innovate and bring about real, fast-paced and creative innovations that will serve the needs of our customers,” said Rafiah Ibrahim, Head of Ericsson Middle East and Afrika.
Ericsson Garage was first launched in Kista, Sweden and has gone on to open locations across the world including in Budapest, Aachen, Paris, Silicon Valley, Gothenburg, Croatia, Montreal, Ottawa, Lund, Linkoping, Poland and Beijing.
Afrika already has its fair share of innovation hubs, co-working spaces and accelerators,with new ones being launched every year. However, many people have questioned how much of an impact or a difference these are making in Afrika, with some going as far as stating that Afrika's innovation hubs are simply an evolved way of privatizing and cashing in on societal failures.
It will remain to be seen what Ericsson Garage will to to the various Afrikan countries it eventually will launch in.