HP Sharpens HP Labs to Drive High-impact Research
New approach calls for bigger bets and accelerates transfer of technology breakthroughs to customers
HP today announced that it has sharpened the focus of its advanced research group, HP Labs, to address the most complex challenges facing technology customers in the next decade.
The new HP Labs now consists of 23 distinct labs across seven worldwide locations; it is led by Prith Banerjee, who joined as director last August. Collectively, the labs are focused on five main areas: information explosion, dynamic cloud services, content transformation, intelligent infrastructure and sustainability.
The redesign of HP Labs is intended to balance exploratory research with an entrepreneurial approach so breakthrough technology can be transferred more rapidly into commercial applications for customers.
HP Labs will pursue 20 to 30 large research projects – instead of the 150 smaller projects in the past – based on insight gained from newly expanded relationships with universities, partners, customers and venture capitalists.
Labs researchers will turn discoveries into commercial offerings under the guidance of a new review board composed of HP technologists and business executives. Review board members will identify the most promising research areas and build business plans for projects early in their research lifecycles.
In a press event today at company headquarters, some of HP Labs’ leading-edge research was demonstrated and HP executives explained the ideas behind the group’s new approach.
“HP Labs has a long history of delivering innovation that has changed the way people use technology,” said Mark Hurd, HP chairman and chief executive officer. “The steps we’re taking today will further strengthen Labs and help ensure that HP is focused on groundbreaking research that addresses customer needs and creates new growth opportunities for the company.”
Initially, HP Labs’ refocused research agenda will address the following five areas:
* Information explosion: Acquiring, analyzing and delivering the right information to individuals and businesses so they can act on it.
* Dynamic cloud services: Developing web platforms and cloud services that are dynamically personalized based on an individual’s location, preferences, calendar and communities.
* Content transformation: Enabling the fluid transformation of content from analog to digital, from device to device, and from digital content to physical products.
* Intelligent infrastructure: Designing smarter, more secure devices, networks and scalable architectures that work together to connect individuals and businesses to rich, dynamic content and services.
* Sustainability: Creating technologies, IT infrastructure and new business models for the lower carbon economy that save money and leave a lighter footprint on the environment.
HP Labs will help drive the company’s strategy for addressing a major shift taking place in the IT industry, which it calls ”Everything as a Service.” This view asserts that the IT industry is moving toward a model in which a new category of dynamic cloud services are personalized and aware of the user’s context, including location, preferences, calendar and communities. HP is making investments across its businesses to help lead this industry shift.
“The next wave of services will anticipate the needs of people based on a real-time understanding of an individual’s location and preferences,” said Shane Robison, HP executive vice president and chief strategy and technology officer. “To deliver these new, rich experiences, the technology industry must address significant challenges in every area of IT – from devices to networks to content distribution. HP Labs is now aligned to sharpen its focus on solving these complex problems so HP and its customers can capitalize on this shift.”
New initiatives foster collaborative research and faster pace of technology transfer
HP additionally unveiled three initiatives to encourage a model of open innovation and technology transfer.
First, the company introduced HP IdeaLab, a web-based service that offers a peek into certain early-stage innovations emerging from HP Labs. Designed to encourage open feedback from consumers and the developer community, HP IdeaLab provides a rich web forum that actively involves and immerses users in HP Labs’ technology development. The site – www.hp.com/idealab – will initially feature six projects and be updated with new initiatives as they become available.
Second, HP Labs has established an Open Innovation Office responsible for deepening HP Labs’ strategic collaborations with those in academia, government and the commercial sector. The office is designed to ensure joint research endeavors result in high-impact research that meets the scientific and business objectives of HP and its partners.
As part of this initiative, an Entrepreneur in Residence Program is being established to give venture capital investors and their portfolio companies early access to HP Labs research. In return, HP will receive insight into emerging market trends and potential business development opportunities.
Third, HP Labs has established a Technology Transfer Office charged with speeding the transfer of research into products and services through multiple routes. The office will focus on three primary channels: product development within HP’s business groups, intellectual property licensing agreements with third parties, and the venture capital community.
Banerjee, senior vice president of research at HP and director of HP Labs, said: “Our new approach to open innovation and technology transfer will ensure HP researchers are engaging the world’s best research talent and business minds inside, as well as outside, of HP. This is an innovative new blueprint for corporate research. It will enable HP Labs to lead the academic community and the industry into the next wave of information technology.”
Underscoring the company’s renewed focus on HP Labs, an identity has been developed to unite the 23 new labs under one brand and convey the new direction for the research group. Employing a visual play on scientific equations, the logo put the bracketed framework of the company’s main logo around the word “LABShp”.
In addition to its headquarters in Palo Alto, HP Labs operates research labs in Bangalore, India; Beijing; Bristol, England; Haifa, Israel; St. Petersburg, Russia; and Tokyo.
Images and more information about the new HP Labs is available online at www.hp.com/go/NewHPLabs.
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