Bell Labs France has always been at the forefront in innovation including in the process with open innovation, the Creative Lab, the Entrepreneurial Boot Camp and now Le Garage. Jean-Luc Beylat President Alcatel-Lucent Bell Labs France and the Paris Region Pole Systematic helps us to discover the various transformations in recent years and what motivated them.
What were the main reasons that pushed you to work in a cross from Bell Labs with the Pole Systematic Paris Region and INRIA, EIT ICT Labs and Cap Digital?
The initial motivation for collaboration was guided by the fact that the activity of Alcatel-Lucent is centered on digital infrastructure that find recovery through new services and uses. In order to develop this rather concentrated infrastructure part and interact with our customers and our customers’ customers, it became necessary to expand our fields of activities and therefore our partnerships.
What are the significant progress made by these partnerships and collaborations?
Our ability to innovate has been strengthened with these collaborations. The Pole Systematic includes several thematic groups and areas of expertise like digital infrastructure and software to simplify. These skills are central to the core issues of the future for mobility, transformation of communication tools, virtualization and new cloud services. It works with large and small players, with whom it develops various tools and specific markets. For example, we could set up partnerships with Systematic cluster partners for innovate spatial multiplexing in an optical fiber, which can significantly increase the throughput transmitted. The simulation high performance is another example, like the data center architecture transformation.
With INRIA, this is a research partnership born from the idea of having a joint laboratory involving the INRIA research and Alcatel-Lucent research. This allowed us to interact more upstream research by working together on the algorithms and dynamics of optical networks, the evolution of wireless network, part and helped to develop advanced virtualization functions.
One of the key elements of open innovation is speed. Interaction with Cap Digital specializes in digital services has enabled very rapid progress on the development of the streaming video in the network.
The EIT ICT Labs is another approach, this structure launched by the European Commission 4 years ago groups training issues, research and innovation by connecting European cities. This is particularly relevant to enrich the ecosystems in which we operate.
What were the key factors that may have to change these different entities in terms of organizational innovation, services, and technologies?
Our involvement has enriched the ecosystems in which we operate with specialized training and doctorates by pooling research structures, as in the LINCS, that allow for the best researchers in networking INRIA, of UPMC, institute Mines-Telecom and Bell Labs.
The link with EIT EICT Lab also allows you to connect the poles of competitiveness with their European counterparts, not to innovate in isolation but in a network in order to gain relevance, direction and speed.
The startups Innovation City platform at Villarceaux Alcatel-Lucent includes telecom startups that work with teams of Bell Labs to gain speed and efficiency. It also allows at the same time to rotate the internal teams. « The Garage » Bell Labs new space dedicated to innovation, is one of the tools that can make this intermediation involving all entities of Alcatel-Lucent.
What is the future of these entities, and what are your targets?
Our world is changing very fast and innovations that must be on the market can no longer be thought of in closed circuit. The future of Bell Labs thus rests on its ability to, first focus on a set of knowledge and know-how at the heart of Alcatel-Lucent business by cultivating excellence that has always been the mark of Bell Labs but also on its ability to connect with a number of partners bringing innovation, technology, access to new markets, different approaches, different expertise. This is also why we created branches in Tel Aviv, Cambridge or Mountain View to be closer to innovative ecosystems.
French version Au coeur des Bell Labs et de l’Open innovation