Incubator to help business advisory firm’s clients create new products and services
Business advisory firm Deloitte has unveiled the next stage of its evolution in Scotland by expanding its Edinburgh digital studio and opening a new incubator in the Capital.
As well as opening Deloitte Digital’s third UK studio, it has launched the Edinburgh Greenhouse, an incubator which holds up to 25 people, to help its clients quickly create new digital services and product prototypes.
Designed to encourage collaboration and tackle challenges in new and different ways, the Greenhouse is set to host bespoke ‘labs’ for its users. The facility will also provide access to state-of-the-art tech, including 3D printers, virtual reality, analytics, artificial intelligence, and digital platforms to help design and trial new scaleable products and services.
According to Deloitte, it offers a high-energy, creative environment, employing techniques and approaches proven to generate new insights and develop original ideas.
The ideas generated in the Greenhouse will be taken to Deloitte Digital’s Edinburgh studio to be built. Deloitte has similar spaces up and running in London and Belfast, supported by nearly 2,500 specialists across its technology consulting and Deloitte Digital teams in the UK, as well as a global network of over 26,000 in 100 different countries.
The Deloitte Digital Edinburgh Studio is expected to employ 20 specialists in digital design, product development, and technology, from across Scotland’s tech, digital agency, and start-up scenes by the end of the summer. It plans to recruit 70 people in the coming years across several of its “feature” teams.
Rich Hurley, Partner at Deloitte Digital, said: “Our new Greenhouse and Digital Studio underline our continued commitment to, and investment in, Scotland, our clients, and our people.
“It will be a centre of excellence for prototyping, with a distinctive identity and voice within Deloitte – providing services, not only to Scottish businesses, but nationally too.
“Our investment is underpinned by the strength of our Scottish client relationships, the breadth of the local talent base, and the opportunities presented by the burgeoning tech scene.
“The Greenhouse will help our clients to bring their ideas to life and give them the ability to turn ideas into something real within a matter of weeks. It can be used for all sorts of purposes beyond product development: for example, using virtual reality in financial services to train staff on regulatory issues, which has a much bigger impact than looking through reams of documents.
“It could also be set up as a ‘connected store’ for a fashion retail outlet to demonstrate how the customer and employee experience can be enhanced using technologies such as the Internet of Things.
“What we’re aiming to do is combine a small, agile approach with an enterprise-scale support structure behind it – whether clients need consulting, tax, or corporate finance services in addition to prototyping.”
Clydesdale and Yorkshire Banking Group (CYBG) is one of the companies to have already benefited from Deloitte Digital’s offering after teaming up to launch ‘B’, its new banking service.
Debbie Crosbie, Group Chief Operating Officer, said: “Deloitte worked with us to design and deliver B, our new omni-channel banking service, to the market. By bringing new ways of working along with their depth and breadth of expertise, they helped us turn an idea into reality.”
Hurley added: “Digital is our biggest growth area and our investment in the Edinburgh Studio marks a significant step forward in our evolution in Scotland. It creates a new type of space for our people, which coincides with our existing office in the city.
“The Greenhouse will immerse us further in Edinburgh’s ambitious start-ups and tech companies by working collaboratively with the wider community through initiatives like our recent Datathon and forthcoming Disrupt the Enterprise event.
“We aim to use the Greenhouse as a glue that binds the local ecosystem of corporates, start-ups, and other partners together – it can be a beacon for fostering partnerships and an important step forward for the entire sector.”