As the research facility of Deutsche Telekom, the T-Labs are faced with the challenge of keeping up with innovation cycles in the telecommunications sector that are constantly getting shorter. The T-Labs received their 50th award for their open innovation concept.
New products coming to market; one after another, faster and faster: That is the name of the game in the telecommunications industry. It is also the reason that Deutsche Telekom is increasing its focus on the principles of open innovation and is committed to the Telekom Laboratories, an affiliated institute of the Technische Universität Berlin. The Labs combine the best of both worlds: groundbreaking science with free enterprise. Promoting open and intensive cooperation between the parties interested in solving a problem, comprehensive solutions can be found much more quickly and, subsequently, developed into marketable products. An award for knowledge transfer Deutsche Telekom’s concept of open innovation, which comes to life in the T-Labs, won the first-ever "Open Innovation Award 2010" from Zeppelin University in Friedrichshafen, Germany. The price was presented on December 2nd at a conference held by German daily newspaper "Handelsblatt" in Frankfurt am Main. The company’s concept was honored for its open innovation concept across several areas at Deutsche Telekom and with external partners and customers. One top publication per day The T-Labs, which employ 180 researchers from around the world, have an ambitious set of goals: one top publication per day, one registered patent per week and one award per month. They concentrate primarily on solutions and technologies that are expected to be ready for the market in one and a half to five years. The outcome is then transferred to the company as a whole or placed on the external market as spin-off products. Setting the benchmark in R & D Cutting-edge research is the main innovation driver at the Telekom Laboratories. With top researchers, innovative products and services and, of course, by working in an innovative environment, the T-Labs set the benchmark in research and development. Opening the innovation processes makes a free exchange of ideas and information between selected institutions and companies as well as between experts at Deutsche Telekom from several fields and scientists from around the world. A history of winning prizes The people working in the T-Labs have won a number of prizes over the years: Gesche Joost won the Berliner Science Prize in 2008, Sebastian Möller won the Johann-Phillip-Reis Prize 2009 and Zhiyun Ren was named the Convergator of the Year 2009. The scientists working at the labs have also won the "Best Paper Award" at countless international conferences over thy years for their innovative contributions. The T-Labs even won the VOICE Award three times in 2005, 2008 and 2009 with other DT units. One of the award-winning solutions was a cutting-edge application for voice dialog system at Deutsche Telekom. The system enables a call center to adapt the automated voice instructions according to the caller’s age, gender and mood. This application is in use in several of the company’s voice portals.