Panasonic Avionics Opens First of Five Innovation Studios on May 23, 2019

Pictured (left to right): Al McGowan, senior director of Innovation; David Bartlett, CTO; Andrew Mohr, head of Innovation; Gaston Sandoval, VP of Product Line Management and global head of Marketing; and Sebastian Petry, director, Innovation & Design – all Panasonic Avionics Corporation. Image: Panasonic Avionics Corporation

Panasonic Avionics Corporation is following in the footsteps of numerous players in the aviation industry by opening dedicated Innovation Studios that aim to foster creativity and innovation.

The past few months have seen a continuation in the introduction of “Labs” focused on accelerating change in air travel. The concept has proven popular with both low-cost carriers and full-service carriers alike – take Viva Air and Singapore Airlines, for example – as well as suppliers, as proven by the latest move from Panasonic Avionics Corporation (Panasonic).

Panasonic officially opened its first Innovation Studio close to Silicon Valley in Pleasanton, California, yesterday. It will serve as a collaborative space for airlines and their partners to engage in “innovation, ideation and solution-building” with a view to improving the passenger experience.

“Our new Innovation Studios will leverage our cloud-based infrastructure to foster an ethos of collaboration.” – David Bartlett, Panasonic

Plans for the California-based Innovation Studio, and four further locations across the globe, were first revealed in April 2018. While the locations of the others are yet to be disclosed, in its original press release, Panasonic said each facility would be located close to leading universities and centers with an established start-up culture.

In terms of facilities, each one will have a “Collaboration Area” for workshops led by Panasonic’s digital design consultancy, Tactel, who developed its Arc Inflight Map Platform, as well as a “Demonstration Area” for displaying emerging products and technologies including both functioning prototypes and works in progress.

The new Innovation Studios feed into Panasonic’s mission to improve “The Fourth Place.” Based on a concept introduced in 1989 by the sociologist Ray Oldenburg, who coined the term “The Third Place” – the first being home, the second being work – as a neutral zone where people can interact and collaborate with their communities, Panasonic believes that “The Fourth Place” is the act of traveling.

David Bartlett, chief technology officer, Panasonic Avionics Corporation, commented, “Our new Innovation Studios will leverage our cloud-based infrastructure to foster an ethos of collaboration, strengthening our partner eco-system and with it, the range of value-added services we can offer our airline customers.”