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Maintaining its role as market leader and pioneer of technology and innovation is a challenge that Fresenius Medical Care faces every day. However, as innovation manager Stefan Herz learned, “Sometimes ideas fail because of mundane obstacles, like a lack of testing facilities.” Such barriers will now be a thing of the past. The Innovation Lab rolls out the red carpet for creative ideas.
It offers a large space away from routine business to develop new concepts, form temporary working groups, discuss and experiment with innovative approaches. The Innovation Lab comprises four spaces: the Creativity Space, the Digital Lab, the Machine Lab and a support and project support office. The centerpiece is undoubtedly the creativity space – a place for new ideas, events and workshops.
“We were lucky enough to find space in a hall of the company premises for the creativity space,” says Herz, who has been with Fresenius Medical Care for a year now and was in charge of the innovation lab. . The Innovation Lab is located outside of the current Technology Center building, but right next to the Production & Service Equipment department, which offers technologies such as 3D prototype printing. Both aspects are equally important. After all, being physically removed from your own office and daily work with its schedules, routines and administrative tasks promotes creativity. “It just makes a difference whether you sit together in the usual meeting room or in another cooler environment,” adds Herz.
And the latter is exactly what the creativity space is designed for. The technical ideas that have been developed in the Creativity Space then go next to the Digital Lab, where they are tested to see if they have potential. Specialists have all the possibilities of modern simulation software at their fingertips here to evaluate concepts. Promising technical ideas are then implemented and tested in the Machine Lab. The office team not only coordinates the activities of the innovation lab, but also actively supports ideas, for example by organizing workshops, through knowledge transfer with internal and external experts, stakeholder management and budgeting .