The Business Development Lab is both a physical learning environment and a lab for learning modules developed within different GCE NODE competence projects.

GCE NODE Business Development Lab helps companies make use of digital tools to increase competitiveness and sustainability.

Business Development Lab is both a physical lab, in the shape of a teaching environment, recently established in Kristiansand, but also a common label for learning modules developed within different GCE NODE competence projects.

Business Development Lab is a result of surveys pointing at the uncertainty and lack of competence in many management groups on how the digital transformation can be utilized for value creation, and what the transformation requires in the form of investments in new technology and competence.

Many SMEs have been through a tough downturn and cannot afford to invest in technologies that will not increase competitiveness. The lab helps to build confidence and a joint focus on the strategy and targets to achieve common goals in the management groups.

The Business Development Lab builds on tools and a methodology developed in a project funded by Sørlandets Kompetansefond, which encouraged companies to go digital for increased competitiveness and sustainability in established and new markets.

Four GCE NODE companies are currently part of an initial BD Lab exercise. Representatives from Panterra, Diinef, Engineering Systems and Bestra meet regularly for workshops at the lab in Kristiansand. They are also assigned experienced coaches, and they enjoy a structured program made available through a new learning management system.

“It starts with a self-assessment, which includes an analysis of the company’s business plans, the market, competitors, products, available technology and so on. This leads to an analysis of the gap between the current and the desired state of the business and a plan for how to bridge this gap. We identify quick wins and ultimately go on a deep dive, which may lead to more profound changes in the company’s strategy and business plans,” explains Jan Helge Viste, Project Manager Digitalization at GCE NODE.

The goal is not digitalization, but value creation. Digital tools, such as artificial intelligence, blockchain technology, 3D printing, big data analysis and Internet of things merely lay the foundation for better human understanding of the current possibilities and threats.

“The company’s willingness to change and its technology competence comes into play. This could lead to new business models based on a deeper understanding of what the customer wants, how to collaborate with other players in the business ecosystem, and how to implement new technology for increased value creation and make money in a new market situation,” says Viste.

The lab is open for new companies. Please contact Jan Helge Viste for more information.