It’s common knowledge that the automotive market is a fierce battleground; the constant headlines about changes in the sector are quite telling. Disruption is often bringing businesses to loggerheads, and the old-school players are being forced to embrace new approaches with open arms.
Unsurprisingly, auto executives such as General Motors’ CEO Mary Barra recently stated that the industry will go through more upheaval in the next five years than we have seen the past half-century entirely. This same message was relayed by Laura Mack-Titelius, Head of the London Connectory, at the Bosch ‘Digital eXperience Day’ on 18th September.
Home to entrepreneurs, start-ups and corporate innovators, the London Connectory was one of seven ‘offline’ hosts of the first ever Bosch-wide digital version of the event - including Connectorys in Guadalajara, Mexico and Shanghai, China.
Alongside an international network of virtual attendees, a range of partners from Nitrous and Transport for London gathered at the Shoreditch incubator to discuss topical issues such as the changing mobility landscape, automotive media trends, and the importance of industry collaboration.
The London Connectory stands amongst other tech companies around London’s so-called Silicone Roundabout, with the aim to strengthen Bosch’s relationship with partners in the public and private sector.
One of the first partnerships is with Transport for London, and sets out to explore how the challenges facing London’s strained transport network can be addressed. During a presentation from Michael Hurwitz, Director of Transport Innovation at TfL, he discussed their changing approach to industrial partnerships: “Everything we do has to be open and fully transparent.”
But are these partnerships necessary? The automotive arena has been dominated by industrial giants for many years, but new players and technologies are rapidly posing a threat to the status quo.
“We’re dealing with, shall we say, the young and the restless, who are fundamentally different from the established automakers. These companies, many of them start-ups, work at a much faster pace and take a different approach.” adds Stefan Seiberth, Chief of Bosch Progressive Mobility Players
According to Bosch, the renewed focus on collaboration across divisional and company boundaries is said to be the key to developing the connected, sustainable transport solutions that cities such as London so desperately need. The facility in London is being used by the company to leverage relationships with its external partners, aiming to develop bespoke mobility solutions for the region.
We caught up with Laura Mack-Titelius, Head of the London Connectory, to discuss the importance of the event:
“The urban mobility sector is an eco-system of collective partnerships, working together through concepts that solve today’s challenges of travelling in high density population areas, such as London. Here at the Connectory, we partner with strong players in the eco-system to co-innovate solutions, in early phases, but also in later stages of development,”
“The need to develop concepts and ideas for the urban mobility challenge is high, the time is ticking, and the fields are competitive. In such a fast-moving sector, the need to stay current in digitalisation is clear and also challenging.” she adds.
In addition to the typical keynote presentations and workshops, willing visitors were also invited to take part in an interactive ‘digital challenge’ with attendees from other Connectory locations around the world.
So what makes it digital? Under one virtually global team, a group of fifteen people joined an ‘international take on an escape room’, and were tasked with decoding a key that allowed the next Connectory in line to unleash their challenge.
"The digital challenge was a unique way to connect with people from across the business, both locally and internationally. After an intense start, we managed to link our ideas to crack to code, and were able to successfully pass the baton on to the next Connectory! ” adds Elliot Fearn - Challenge Participant, and Marketing Intern from Bosch Power Tools in Stowmarket.
“It was great to see so many Bosch colleagues from the different divisions, as well as external partners and start-ups join us. We think the event was a great success, and thank all of our speakers and guests for joining us at our first Digital X Day at the London Connectory” concludes Laura.
The event was just one of many in the Connectory’s annual calendar. To find out more about the location, visit www.londonconnectory.com.