Hyundai Motor announced on Jan. 13 that it would build open innovation centers in Berlin and Beijing this year to complete a global open innovation network.
The Korean automobile giant originally planned to launch open innovation centers at five major locations in the world by the end of last year. Starting with the Hyundai Cradle set up in the United States in November of 2017, the company opened the ZER01NE Innovation Center in Korea and the Hyundai Cradle Tel Aviv in Israel. But it could not open a center in Berlin and Beijing last year.
The open innovation centers are under the control of the Strategic Technology Headquarters that was launched in February last year. As the name implies, they focus on innovation through collaboration with startup companies.
Chung Eui-sun, vice chairman of the Hyundai Motors Group, said in his New Year message for 2019, “I ask Hyundai employees to respect the value of being different and enjoy making new attempts and blending with heterogeneous things.” The innovation centers are meant to put Chung’s message into practice.
The delay in the opening of the innovation centers does not mean that no results have been produced. Hyundai Motor is already working on an autonomous drive vehicle project with Baidu, the largest Internet service provider in China, and DeepGlint, a Chinese artificial intelligence (AI) startup.
The Korean carmaker also mapped out a plan with the Tsinghua Industrial Development Institute in China to invest in hydrogen industry infrastructure and innovation startups in China. The planned open innovation center in China is likely to take the lead in collaboration with Chinese startups.