Innovation: the Core of the Safran Engineering Services Strategy
At Safran Engineering Services, innovation is the core of our business strategy. Every year, innovative projects are developed in areas set out in a road map. But it’s really the employees who map out the future. Let’s hear from Laurence Finet, Director of New Technology and Innovation.
- What is the business strategy for innovation?
Last year, we produced an array of new applied technology for our fields and market sectors, which could bring added value to our business and clients. We created a road map focused on three pillars of innovation: additive manufacturing, connected objects, and Big Data.
- Specifically, what type of projects do you work on?
For additive manufacturing, we try out new design methods and work on, for example, engine parts, wiring and nacelles. Our teams have acquired new skills and their next challenge will be to optimize design for mass production. For connected objects, we are working on developing autonomous car, drones and solutions for the future of manufacturing. Finally, for Big Data, we are proposing comprehensive data analysis: implementing data collection strategies, algorithm development, data analysis, recovery, and visualization of results.
- How do you plan on achieving these goals?
Our teams are collaborating with specialized entities at Safran in these specific fields. But our areas of exploration don’t stop there. We are interested in anything related to digitization of the business, software, automating tasks, etc. At the heart of this concept, what is fundamentally important is involving our employees in initiatives to innovate. We are implementing new methods in order to encourage new ideas. And it's working!
- So, what are these new methods that are boosting innovation?
We have tried out new approaches that are more dynamic and interactive than the traditional suggestion box. Our Paris-Saclay site has a Fablab that we are using a great deal and which facilitates creativity. We held our first BizzJam there: for 2.5 hours, employees and clients worked on innovative ideas and their prototypes. We also launched what we are calling “Capsules”, which are mini-conferences and include time devoted to being creative. Finally, this month, we are holding our first Innovathon, a large-scale event. Since May, 5-person teams have been signing up and proposing an idea. They will then have a day and a half, September 20th and 21st, to bring this idea to life, designing and developing a product or service up to its potential launch. We take inspiration from the start-up model: help the idea to mature, produce in a team, convince others in order to improve the performance of our business and invent the services of tomorrow.