Great ideas come from within
When Volvo Cars presented its inflatable child seat concept to the public in 2014, its innovative design gained international recognition. This compact little creation weighed a mere five kilos, was capable of self-inflating in less than 40 seconds, and could fit neatly inside a normal-sized rucksack when not in use.
The inflatable child seat concept is just one of many successful innovations to have come from Karin André and the team at the Volvo Cars Corporate Innovation Office.
“We’re always curious and open to new ideas,” explains Karin. “We get a lot of information, and inspiration, from studying customer behaviour and the challenges facing society – both today and in the future. Most of our ideas, however, come from within – from our dedicated colleagues around the world.”
To collect these ideas, Volvo Cars organises an annual global innovation week known officially as Innovation GiG – Global Idea Generation.
“Innovation GiG is all about collecting ideas from our different departments around the world,” says Karin. “Thousands of people take part, and when it’s over we usually have several hundred new ideas that we can take back to our labs and start working on. If we discover an idea with real potential, and which measures up to our demands, then we take it to the next stage of development.”
There are certain challenges Karin and the team at Corporate Innovations especially love trying to solve.
“The most interesting projects are the ones that involve trying to solve one of society’s problems – where we take a challenge that society is currently facing and attempt to turn it into an opportunity."
And the team has just started working on such a project. "The goal is to investigate and discover ways in which we can re-use materials and products we no longer use in our cars," says Karin.
Be assured that I Roll will keep you up to speed on the ideas Volvo’s Innovation Office comes up with next.