On September 18th 2018, Julian Giessing visited the Linde Digital Lab in Pullach, near Munich.
The Linde Group is a world leading supplier of industrial, process and speciality gases. The digitalization team comprises, on the one hand, employees who have already gained multiple years of experience working in Linde’s traditional lines of business and, on the other, data specialists, software developers and experts who have joined Linde from the digital community. The team is rounded out with specialists from technology start-ups and universities (for example the Technical University of Munich) and with partners from innovation platforms that Linde has formed alliances with such as STARTUP AUTOBAHN powered by Plug and Play. Founded in 2016, Linde’s Digital Base Camp was recently named “Best Innovation Lab 2018”
During the visit Linde presented some of the most recent innovation projects they worked on. These included the use or VR and AR environments for training and education purposes on some of their machinery as well as Machine Learning and Big Data approaches for predictive maintenance. Linde is focused on creating innovative solutions that are directly applicable to their lines of business and bring value to their customers immediately.
This customer-centric innovation is in line with E-School focus on looking at the customer needs and pain points during the product development stages - finding a problem solution fit and product market fit are key components in a startup life and core differentiator between those that are successful and those who are not. Both aspects are important quality gates during the investment process of the HPI Seed Fund and any investment fund.
The visit at the Linde Digital Lab served as an interesting example that even large companies benefit from this emphasis for their innovation projects.