Global management consulting firm Accenture has announced it will be opening a new R&D lab in the Chinese city of Shenzhen. This newest Accenture Lab will focus on the development of AI, robotics and Accenture's industry-focused industry X.0 which aims to assist companies to redefine smart, connected devices. The lab is slated to open by early 2019.
Accenture's latest lab will join a network of 32 other labs and nano labs run by Accenture all over the world. Its goal will be to identify and nurture cutting-edge research in a variety of disruptive technologies.
This will be done in collaboration with some of China's biggest tech firms, as well as a number of startups, academic institutions and other local bodies. Together, they hope to create an innovative ecosystem which will help Accenture expand its portfolio of Chinese startup and emerging tech investments.
In a statement following the announcement, Paul Daugherty, chief technology and innovation officer at Accenture, hailed the move, saying: "An epicenter of innovation, Shenzhen attracts world-class talent, startups and enterprises. The new Accenture Lab will tap into the tremendous technology innovation in the region and combine it with our world-class R&D capabilities to explore the next wave of AI and robotics technology.
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"The lab will be a destination for clients to access and experience the latest Accenture thinking, capabilities and solutions from our global network to help them reimagine and grow their businesses in China – and help our Chinese clients grow their business globally," he added.
The new lab will just be one part of Accenture's strategy for the region, as the firm has also announced additional plans to open a larger Accenture Innovation Hub in High Tech Park in Shenzhen's Special Economic Zone, also by 2019. Accenture Greater China chairman Wei Zhu explained, "we recognize the significant investment China has made in innovation and the pivotal role that Shenzhen is playing as a catalyst for growth in China's vigorous Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Greater Bay Area.
"Our plans to open an Accenture Innovation Hub in Shenzhen represents a strategic step in building a more robust innovation ecosystem for our clients in Greater China. It will help our clients apply innovation to accelerate their digital transformation journeys and compete on a global stage," he added.