How do you build an innovation culture from scratch, and what could it look like? Twelve months after our official opening, we think we’ve discovered a few answers.
Walk through The Dock on any given day, and you can see our innovation culture in action.
In just 12 months, it’s grown from an ambitious concept to a living, breathing, working community of more than 300 innovators, where cutting edge ideas go from “what-ifs” to real, workable solutions that are already having an impact on people’s everyday lives.
On February 10th 2017, the then Taoiseach Enda Kenny opened The Dock’s doors along with our Chairman and CEO Pierre Nanterme. Since then, 13,000+ curious clients and visitors have come to hear our story and find out what makes The Dock such a special place.
There’s a certain magic in the community that we’ve built. We now have a team of over 300 "terrifyingly bright people" from over 34 nationalities.
Our multidisciplinary teams work within a vibrant, open, “collision culture”, and you can see them bouncing ideas off each other and testing the boundaries of what we can achieve each and every day.
Together, we have vastly expanded our capabilities in AI, Advanced Analytics, Engineering, Design, and Client Innovation Services.
The beauty is - it works. The 61 patents that our team have filed over the year is testament to the culture that we have created and nurtured. From using artificial intelligence to save lives in the pharma sector, to imagining the very future of industry, our discoveries are making innovation real in the here and now.
There are so many moments and projects that stand out from our first year, but for me, our work with ID2020 was very special indeed. The project uses Blockchain and biometrics and has the ability to give 1.2 billion refugees an identity. ID2020 is a non-profit and, ahead of a major summit here, a multidisciplinary team from across The Dock and Fjord worked with Microsoft to develop a prototype that became a call to arms to give migrant people a digital identity that can change their lives.
At The Dock, we’ve always aspired to use our real business and technology skills to work with the big societal challenges. When we were announcing The Dock, I couldn’t have dreamed that within a year we would be at the centre of something that could have such a meaningful impact on society. That one project alone surpassed our expectations for this very special place.
Another project we worked on was when we co-created with a client who started out with the bold ambition to do something entirely disruptive to make patients fundamentally safer. When at the end of an immense and complex process you hear your client say, “it’s beautiful - I think I’m going to cry” it is hugely gratifying.
One thing that I’ve learned from these projects and from our first, thrilling 12 months in The Dock, is that we have to hold our nerve. To solve incredibly complex and challenging issues, we need to go broad to identify the issues that we need to solve. And then we have to hone our focus on those things that we do so well.
That’s a very tricky journey to plot out in advance. But to see a client have such a positive emotional reaction to your work, you know that it’s all been worth it.
We’ve been overwhelmed by how interested people are in The Dock. Twelve months ago, we took a decision to have an open-door policy, because we learn from every single person who comes here. We’ve held 127 multi-day Innovation Sessions with our clients, where we’ve worked with them to explore how digital and emerging technologies will transform their business, and how we can challenge their boundaries and shape the future of their industries.
Our challenge now is to build on our skills and build on our craft, and to strike a balance between being open and gathering all these new stories that are coming to us, and focusing on those things that we are now known for, and that we do really well.
There is a bright, vibrant, brilliant community that in just 12 short months has sprung up in The Dock. The most exciting thing now is to see where we go from here as this is only the beginning.
Interested in seeing what projects we are working on? Follow our journey here.