URW Lab is Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield’s Lab for Innovation.
To create Better Places together, URW Lab has 3 missions:
Our prospective approach: setting up a vision for the future
Today, the world is facing major shifts. Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield has started an internal exploration aiming at identifying the social and technological trends that will transform society and shape Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield’s future. URW Lab creates insights on key innovation topics (sustainable consumption, the future of urbanism, the future of retail, etc.), organizes explorations with experts, learning expeditions, workshops, and leads surveys on people across Europe.
Building on the findings, the idea is to structure our strategic vision and devise disruptive products and services that will serve Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield’s projects.
We focus on 3 pillars and 6 innovation priorities
Design appealing mixed-use destinations
- Create additional reasons of visits
- Offer more than daily shopping (space to work, live and enjoy)
- Build neighbourhoods and new mobility transportation hubs
Be the preferred partner for the winning brands of tomorrow
- Create the most attractive places for online brands and develop and acquisition-focused business model
- Dedicate units for conscious brands and support them in their growth
Ensure seamless customer experiences
- Kill pain points to make visits more efficient
- Offer state-of-the-art services and a personalised approach
- Ensure a continuous approach inside the malls and the stores
Leverage data and digital infrastructure to better interact with customers
- Gather data to better know our clients
- Create interaction to build an individualized relationship
- Increase their spending baskets by sharing relevant information for them
Generate more value from every sqm to meet omnichannel standards
- Convert our places from physical to omnichannel platforms
- Generate value for retailers by converting our logistics to new standards of online retail
Better manage buildings, reduce our carbon impact and create new revenue streams through IoT and Cloud technologies
- Leverage new technologies to better monitor and manage buildings
- Build the adequate digital infrastructure to support URW omnichannel and data ambitions
An innovation platform
Ureka! by URW Lab is an internal collaborative platform dedicated to the collection of innovative projects led throughout the Group by all teams. In one section of the platform, employees can get an overview of all current innovation projects led in all regions to stay up-to-date on the projects carried out and also share their own innovation projects. And a second section of the platform is dedicated to the yearly internal Innovation Awards, which rewards the best local innovation projects led in the year prior to the Awards by giving teams more visibility.
This platform aims to highlight contributions to the Group’s transformation and to effectively support bottom-up innovation by capitalising on past experiences to replicate initiatives successfully.
An innovation programme
Launched in 2014, the Innovation Champions Graduate Programme is an internal career opportunity designed for Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield’s employees who are eager to develop their innovation and creative skills. Innovation Champions were imagined as intrapreneurs (i.e. behaving like entrepreneurs while working within a large organisation) in charge of a particular exploration or pilot project on a strategic topic: 3D technology, urban agriculture or chatbots, among other topics.
The ICGP offers employees of the Group the opportunity to participate in training programmes dedicated to innovation and devote up to 20% of their time to innovation projects. Since 2014, 100+ collaborators of the Group have been involved in the programme.