#MakeItHappen: mobilizing everyone around innovation
Every day, we work to develop and enrich the terrain of innovation
Our “SPOTs” are venues for innovation, creativity and production that give our employees the chance to turn their ideas into reality, by taking advantage of prototyping equipment, 3D printers and virtual reality halls at their disposal.
Our “Free to Innovate” program gives all employees of the Fuel BU an opportunity to take part in an innovation acceleration program. On a rolling basis, any employee with a technology-based idea can devote time to studying its feasibility and request support from coworkers or other units in the BU.
We also call on external talents by organizing challenges and hackathons devoted to business issues, which then lead to projects developed internally. Finally, we seek out partnerships with external ecosystems – startups, laboratories, industry – to accelerate innovation for our teams and customers.
The SPOT, “the place to be” for Framatome innovators
Explore, create, prototype, experiment, test, improve, share, validate: participants can do all this and more at the SPOT, the Framatome’s innovation laboratory in Lyon, operated by Framatome.
At the Spot, we designed 4 complementary spaces for all of our teams:
- The Créa’lab: a space dedicated to breaking down codes in order to imagine new solutions,
- The Fab’lab: 3D printers and Arduino platforms for fast prototyping,
- The Sidéra’lab: a collaborative virtual immersion room to simulate, validate and interact with our digital mock-ups,
- The Bot’lab: dedicated to developing robotic solutions, one of the industry’s future growing activities.
The SPOT immediately demonstrated its added value and the concept has inspired similar programs on several of our sites. A dynamic space of cross-fertilization, it is also the premier venue for our interactions with external ecosystems: customers, partners, suppliers and students.
Let’s innovate together at the SPOT!
The Digital Lab (DLab), a new versatile, collaborative and innovative space
Innovation is seen as a lever of differentiation and efficiency in an ever more competitive and constantly evolving nuclear energy market. However, Innovation requires place and tools to emerge and our DLab embodied it for our American sites.
Thus the new DLab laboratory was designed by our teams. Located in Lynchburg, VA, the IB-A’s new Digital & Design Lab is a multi-purpose space designed for Framatome employees to collaborate and innovate using technology. The DLab was created to help our employees find new ways to support innovation, digital transformation and knowledge management.
This space provides tools and resources to create new products and services for our customers and improve our efficiency, performance, and methodologies internally. The DLab is reconfigurable, offering employees a wide range of potential uses.
Among others, the DLab offers ;
- Augmented and Virtual Reality (AR/VR) for training, performance support & customer showcasing
- RapidMooc for video production
- Creativity space for brainstorming, workshops, and Facilitated Development sessions
- Interactive visual management for presenters and participants
- New technologies: Touchjet, GoPro and gimbal, iPad Pro, etc.
- Video conferencing for collaboration worldwide
Verbatims from the employees using the DLab:
“The DLab was a nice change from the standard conference room meeting, because it forced everyone to participate in some way or another. Having moderators helped us all push the boundaries of what we thought were the only “reasonable” solutions and allowed us to really explore different possibilities that could help solve our problem.” – Bre Dohetry
“As the nuclear industry advances into an increasingly interactive digital world, it’s crucial that Framatome rise to the challenge. Having a dedicated space that is available and flexible on demand for utilizing digital tools such as AR/VR is critical to Framatome-IB meeting the needs of its customers.”– Scott Tucker
“The DLab is a great environment for collaboration and brainstorming within and across business units. The workshop processes used in the DLab help identify where improvements can be implemented towards our goals of cutting costs or creating innovative ideas for products or services.” – Heather Wiger
Fuel BU boosts technological innovation with its “Free to Innovate” initiative
It’s all in the title: the founding principle of “Free to Innovate” is to give personnel the freedom to develop new ideas.
“Free to Innovate” was initiated by the Fuel BU in June 2018 and covers all of the unit’s activities—engineering, services, as well as fabrication—across the world scope.
The innovator is central to the initiative: at any time, a person with an idea about the technology can decide to spend time analyzing the feasibility of this idea and can call on his or her colleagues or other divisions of the BU.
The innovator can draw on local contacts and designated promoters within each technological domain. Once the feasibility study is finished, the promoter saves the idea in a database, and if it’s suitable for development, the launch of a project in the R&D program is validated.
In a year, more than 50 ideas have been explored, more than a third of which have since become part of the BU project portfolio !