Ernst & Young-Nottingham Spirk opens innovation hub in Cleveland
CLEVELAND — There's a new hub now open for business owners and creators in Northeast Ohio.
Ernst & Young LLP announced Tuesday that its EY-Nottingham Spirk Innovation Hub in Cleveland has officially opened.
The EY-Nottingham Spirk Innovation Hub is a 60,000-square-foot facility that "helps businesses tap into the unlimited potential of new technologies as well as digital, automation and ecosystem platforms to create highly curated experiences," according to a press release about the opening.
Throughout the pandemic, the facility has been supporting clients virtually, combining Nottingham Spirk’s design, engineering, and product development offerings with the global EY organization’s strategy and commercialization capabilities and wavespace network.
"The Innovation Hub uses the power of our physical and digital capabilities as well as our ecosystem of partners to help our clients solve their biggest challenges and opportunities,” said Jerry Gootee, EY Global Advanced Manufacturing Leader. “From concept to execution, we’re able to help our clients move with speed and at scale to turn breakthrough ideas into real and tangible solutions and outcomes.”
The facility is outfitted with the best technology available, including Microsoft Surface Hubs and interactive displays. In the newly renovated space, clients have the opportunity to explore practical applications of new technologies including HoloLens augmented reality goggles, virtual reality experiences and a 4K LED touchscreen video wall.
“The dynamic environment of the Innovation Hub allows PTC to integrate our digital technologies into experience modules that demonstrate solutions and facilitate transformation with connected products and manufacturing equipment,” said Howard Heppelmann, PTC General Manager, Smart Connected
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EY-Innovation Hub at Nottingham Spirk wants to do innovation differently
For Ernst & Young, opening up an Innovation Hub as it did last week in Cleveland is not anything novel.
EY has been on the forefront of the global explosion of business accelerators, incubators and innovation centers as the need to fast-track business growth and tech adoption has become more urgent.
And although the EY-Innovation Hub is one of more than a dozen such facilities the global tax and professional services giant has in North America alone, it's the collaboration with Nottingham Spirk, the 50-year-old design, engineering and commercialization firm, that makes it unique, said EY's Jerry Gootee.
"What is new is to have an innovation hub and connect it to a real company, one that's making real products, creating intellectual property with game-changing ideas. Nobody's doing it in the world right now," said Gootee, EY's Global Advanced Manufacturing Sector leader.
The facility is the culmination of a $4 million renovation of Nottingham Spirk's 60,000 square foot historic headquarters located near University Circle and Case Western Reserve University. The buildout included a $1.5 million research and development grant from the state's private nonprofit economic development organization, JobsOhio.
Clients in Cleveland, as in EY's other innovation hubs and labs, have access to the firm's wavespace methodology, which leverages a global network of experts to help work through the development of new business models and products, or to help drive technological transformation. Each EY wavespace specializes in one or more capability, such as the Internet of Things, artificial intelligence, blockchain, cloud technology or cybersecurity.
Gootee said that what makes Cleveland's manufacturing innovation hub different than others is that after clients work out a product idea or come up with a process fix, instead of waiting until they get back to their facilities to try out the idea, "they can go downstairs" to the production space in Nottingham Spirk — the company that created the Spinbrush and the Twist & Pour paint can, among other innovations — and prototype the idea.
"People want these collaborative spaces," said Michael Goldberg, associate professor of design and innovation at the Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve University. "These business accelerators are an acknowledgment by corporate America that it is very difficult to innovate from within."
Opening an accelerator is a strategic decision that allows big corporations to stay relevant and competitive in a rapidly changing economy, he said, adding, "These experiments in innovation are now an 'and,' not an 'or,' to how business needs to operate."
Manufacturers, in particular, are grappling with the joint mission of taking advantage of emerging markets while transitioning to the next generation of advanced manufacturing.
The Cleveland hub's capabilities were designed to accelerate product ideation and commercialization, along with technical adoption to improve processes efficiencies.
"Tell me what is your biggest issue, the one you can't solve. Let's see if we can tackle that issue with some new digital technology and bring something new to the table," Gootee said.
Another distinction unique to the Nottingham Spirk hub, Gootee said, is partnerships with companies such as Microsoft, Nokia, PTC and SAP that provide its digital technology platforms. Massive LED touch screens cover the walls of one room of the facility where clients and visitors are introduced to "digital twin" technology using these software platforms to collect data. The screens are filled with a virtual representation, or "twin," of the physical product.
The displays receive real-time information from sensors located throughout the device; everything from the mechanical performance, temperature, energy usage and even weather conditions are captured, displayed and processed. Each machine's specific data is aggregated and reported back to a central hub where inventory and supply chain information is added, along with AI learning and even predictive models all demonstrating the value of digitization.
"You walk into the space and all sorts of digital applications come to life," Gootee said. "You can experiment with the combination of hardware and software, which is where most products are going."
The predictive modeling applications keep production lines up and running by monitoring not only how the machines are performing, but estimating how they will perform in the future. The applications also forecast breakage and inventory outages to help keep production seamless.
In the same room, visitors can use the virtual- and augmented-reality glasses to see how technicians might receive virtual assistance whenever they need to service broken machines. It's another bit of information that is flagged in the digital twin interface.
The data accessed also is analyzed using sustainability metrics, from the materials and processes used in production to distribution, with the goal of reducing the overall carbon footprint.
"There's actually software tools we have that will tell us how much greenhouse gases are created by the flow of material in the building of the product and suggests substitute materials," Gootee said. "That's a real-life example of how you can use data, software and tools for purposes of improving."
Tatiana Stettler, an assistant professor in the Marketing and Entrepreneurship Department at Kent State University, said there is an urgency for the manufacturing industry to be more competitive by lowering cost and adding value.
"We see a drive by these industries to think about, not only the financial component but also the environmental and the social components of their business, to compete in the market with global products," Stettler said.
Improving productivity and driving down prices coupled with higher environmental, social and governance standards could drive higher growth in Northeast Ohio's manufacturing sector growth, she said.
As EY plans to bring, on average, two clients a month from all over the world into to the new hub and therefore into Cleveland, the interaction could prove to have beneficial residual effects.
Even if the region's smaller and midsize manufacturers do not directly participate in the services the hub provides, Stettler said, there is an expertise transfer that happens with these innovation hub ecosystems — something she refers to as a "knowledge spillover."
"That knowledge spillover can transfer through the product development, through reverse engineering, or through the observation of the latest developments," Stettler said. "Other local organizations also benefit not only from the business-to-business knowledge transfer but also employee-to-employee contact between organizations."
IIoT Interview With John Nottingham
EY-Nottingham Spirk Innovation Hub in Cleveland, Ohio, has officially opened. Watch the interview with John Nottingham, Co-President of @NottinghamSpirk to learn more. https://t.co/LW6ssc6rWE @CRudinschi @CyrilCoste @nerdyiotguy #EY_IIoT #DigitalTransformation #manufacturing pic.twitter.com/pFy3PgzKHB— IIoT World (@IIoT_World) November 8, 2021
EY-Nottingham Spirk Innovation Hub in Cleveland is all about connections and data
Cleveland Business Journal
The folks at Ernst & Young, the global professional services network, and Nottingham Spirk Design Collaborative introduced their Cleveland innovation hub to the public on Tuesday.
EY-Nottingham Spirk Innovation Hub combines the depth and breadth of E&Y's professional practices with Nottingham Spirk's disruptive innovation process.
On Tuesday, the innovation and design experts demonstrated how manufacturers can use the hub to learn Industry 4.0 practices that head off stalled production lines, ensure raw material supplies, manage workers, and provide better experiences for customers.
The Cleveland Business Journal talked with Jerry Gootee, Ernst & Young's global advanced manufacturing sector leader, and John Nottingham, co-president of Nottingham Spirk, about what Industry 4.0 can mean to Northeast Ohio. This interview was edited for brevity and clarity.
What does Industry 4.0 mean?
Gootee: It's connecting devices on the shop floor and using the data they produce for improving operations. You can use embedded technologies such as sensors to track, trace and gain visibility on where materials are within the supply chain. Sales data can inform operations about what's selling and how to manage inventory. It's all about applying artificial intelligence to the data to improve your product. This drives more revenue for your customer, which, hopefully, adds to customer satisfaction. Meanwhile, product and customer data go back to the shop floor to improve operating performance.
Nottingham: Many Northeast Ohio legacy companies are at Industry 3.0. They have computer-controlled machines, but the machines are not connected to each other or to data-collection devices. Our companies know they need to get to Industry 4.0 to compete. This is a place they can come to understand what connectivity and data can mean to them. This is a way for them to get to that next level.
What percentage of Northeast Ohio manufacturers are at Industry 4.0?
Nottingham: Unlike some other sectors, manufacturing is behind. I'd say on a scale of one to 10, the manufacturing industry is probably somewhere in the two to three range. Think about how connected we are personally. We're all connected. We're all using data. We probably are somewhere in the range of seven or eight on that scale. But if you go into most production environments — not just in Northeast, Ohio — they're still pushing paper. The work hasn't been digitized. A lot of the machinery is not connected.
We've worked with a lot of manufacturers in Northeast Ohio to connect their machines to get that data. That's the first step to Industry 4.0. Once you have data, then you've got to do something with it. That's where a lot of digital applications create a lot of value.
Ernst & Young-Nottingham Spirk opens innovation hub in Cleveland
Press Release Featured in Business Insider and Smart Industry
NEW YORK, Oct. 19, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Ernst & Young LLP (EY US) today announced that the EY-Nottingham Spirk Innovation Hub in Cleveland, Ohio, has opened its new facility. The Hub, which has been supporting clients virtually throughout the pandemic, combines Nottingham Spirk's design, engineering and product development offerings with the global EY organization's strategy and commercialization capabilities and wavespace network.
"The Innovation Hub uses the power of our physical and digital capabilities as well as our ecosystem of partners to help our clients solve their biggest challenges and opportunities," said Jerry Gootee, EY Global Advanced Manufacturing Leader. "From concept to execution, we're able to help our clients move with speed and at scale to turn breakthrough ideas into real and tangible solutions and outcomes."
The Hub's historical, 60,000-square-foot facility helps businesses tap into the unlimited potential of new technologies as well as digital, automation and ecosystem platforms to create highly curated experiences across five key strategic areas: product and service innovation, business model transformation, work reimaged, customer experience and digital enterprise realized. Across the various experience zones and modules outfitted with Microsoft Surface Hubs and interactive displays within the newly renovated space, clients will have the ability to explore practical applications of new technologies including HoloLens augmented reality goggles, virtual reality experiences and a 4K LED touch screen video wall.
"By bringing together people, software and hardware into a real-world production environment, we can help leaders visualize and experience customer-centric solutions," said John Spirk, Co-president and Co-founder of Nottingham Spirk. "There's no better or faster way to turn great ideas into everyday business realities."
The Hub supercharges business growth by selectively pairing companies with leaders from the cutting edge of science, technology and business, all while providing the space and time to focus on a problem or opportunity. The addition of in-person and virtual EY wavespace™ methodologies and connectivity to a global wavespace network gives companies the mindset and tools they need to solve problems at speed. The end-product or service can be brought to life through a collaborative effort of modeling, design, prototyping and deployment.
EY US has assembled an ecosystem of global technology alliances, including Microsoft, Nokia, PTC and SAP, to support an immersive end-to-end value chain experience.
"The dynamic environment of the Innovation Hub allows PTC to integrate our digital technologies into experience modules that demonstrate solutions and facilitate transformation with connected products and manufacturing equipment," said Howard Heppelmann, PTC General Manager, Smart Connected Operations.
To learn how you can experience the Hub and ignite your business growth, visit the EY-Nottingham Spirk Innovation Hub.