Tuesday, 21 June 2016 23:37

KPMG sinking millions into an Innovation Lab, ‘Insight Centres' across Australia Featured

KPMG sinking millions into an Innovation Lab, ‘Insight Centres' across Australia Image courtesy of Stuart Miles, freedigitalphotos.net/images

The Australian arm of global professional services firm KPMG is undertaking a multi-million investment in a new "leading edge" Innovation Lab and Insight Centres which will be progressively opened around Australia over the next six months, beginning in September and extending into early 2017.

KPMG says the new facilities will bring “leading edge experiential environments” to its Australian clients and, with a focus on anticipating and planning for disruption, will drive collaboration with clients on topics such as customer behaviour, technology-driven innovation and innovation strategy.

The KPMG Innovation Lab in Sydney, "pop up" Innovation Labs across the country, and two client Insight Centres in Sydney and Melbourne will be opened. The Sydney lab is to be housed in the firm’s new office in Barangaroo International Tower Three and follows the success of similar initiatives in New York and Amsterdam.

The Australian lab will be headed by Kristina Craig, previously a director in KPMG’s management consulting practice and co-founder of the MindArc Digital Agency.

Craig says each KPMG Innovation Lab has evolved to meet the “unique challenges of its local eco-system and environment, drawing upon both technology tools and a global network of KPMG innovation leaders and subject matter experts”.

According to Craig, at the core of the Lab is a methodology that mines weak signals of change and maps global technology innovation trends to provide a data-driven view of disruption at a sector or company level. It will utilise technology that analyses 500,000 online sources a day such as global patent databases, annual reports, venture capital activity, press releases and social media.

“The Innovation Lab will be a world-leading creative resource for our Australian clients," Craig said.

“We’ve identified the most successful features of different innovation labs and centres across the KPMG global network to develop a unique capability. While the Innovation Lab environment will be housed in Sydney, it will be a national, firm-wide facility, and our intention is to bring the Innovation Lab experience across Australia through ‘pop-up’ labs and other digital platforms.”

The KPMG Insight Centres are interactive environments showcasing new technologies, data and analytics, which the company says are inspired by similar spaces in Frankfurt and Hong Kong.

They contain fully interactive video walls with touch-enabled screens that KPMG says facilitate a new form of collaboration and problem solving.

In Australia, Craig says the Insight Centres will allow KPMG clients to visualise large amounts of data and rapidly draw insights which can be applied to business opportunities or challenges.

KPMG will open the first Insight Centre in Sydney in September, with a second to follow in the new Melbourne Collins Square office in early 2017.

Ken Reid, KPMG Australia national managing partner, brand and innovation, says the company’s significant investment in the Innovation Lab and Insight Centres underscores its commitment to harnessing both the latest technologies and the power of the KPMG global network.

According to Reid, businesses are operating in an increasingly globalised, digitised and data-dependent world and, he says, the fact is that Australian organisations are often struggling to understand the signals of change and the impact of emerging technologies on their business.

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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham - retired in 2020. He is a veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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