CUBIK Innovation is proud to announce the launch of a brand new enterprise, Cubik Creates. This inspiring initiative challenges Cubik staff to design and develop a product that will solve a real-world problem at a local, national or even global level. To add a competitive edge, the entire business has been divided into two teams to compete against each other for time and budget in a Dragons Den/The Apprentice style mash-up.
What is Cubik Creates?
The idea for Cubik Creates came after senior software engineer, Matt Jackson, suggested gifting staff time to work on a project outside of their daily remit. Matt’s idea was that the project should solve a real-world problem, benefit the wider community and help people – for free. Paul Mullen (managing director) and Sam Beard (operations manager) were so impressed by Matt’s idea, that Cubik Creates was born.
Cubik Innovation has been divided into two teams who must each design and develop a new and innovative product, following the standard Cubik phase process:
It was important to Paul and Sam that the products that are created be non-commercial, open source and universally accessible. This means the teams must ensure the products they design can be easily replicated anywhere in the world and are not restricted by accessibility to specific parts or components.
“In any business, but especially a consulting business where time-cost is key, it’s easy to lose sight of the important work that an engineering business carries out. We make things easier for people. Cubik Creates allows us the opportunity to develop a real-world product without the financial bounds that encase our daily lives and launch in a way that we cannot usually.
I am looking forward to see what the two teams come up with.”
– Paul Mullen, managing director
At the end of each phase, the teams must present their progress to the Panel and bid for the working hours and budget they believe are needed to complete the next phase of the project. The panel review the bids and award time and budget based on a set on criteria. Points are awarded for creativity, personal development, flexibility, professionalism, teamwork and of course the Cubik standard… banter.
Once Phase 4 has been completed, the business will regroup and decide together which product deserves to be taken through to the final phase, production.
The teams have been created to allow a fair split of knowledge, expertise and experience and are headed up by our project managers who ensure projects run smoothly and on time. In true The Apprentice style, the first challenge was set – team names! So, without further ado, Cubik Innovation is proud to introduce:
Headed up by Matt Weatherburn (senior project manager) Team Supreme are Phil Potter (principal design engineer), Russell Harris (senior design engineer), Will Goodman (software engineer), Steve Tucker (production manager), Mariusz Bugajski (production engineer) and Josh Cottrell (production engineer).
Dan Ford (project manager) takes the helm of Innovation X and is joined by Matt Jackson (senior software engineer), Shannon Cribb (graduate engineer), Marijan Cimerman (design engineer), James Nash (senior production engineer), Richmond Afeawo (design intern) and Michelle Foggin (production co-ordinator).
Our esteemed review panel is made up of Paul Mullen (managing director), Sam Beard (operations manager), Camilla Saunders (finance manager) and Mark Ace (business consultant).
“I think Cubik Creates is a fantastic opportunity for our staff to get to use their expertise and to think outside the box. To work together with colleagues from different departments, with different skills and come up with brilliant and innovative ideas.”
– Camilla Saunders, finance manager.
“What a fantastic initiative from this award-winning Bristol based Technology Business… inspirational people selflessly working for their community. Great company values in action”.
– Mark Ace, business consultant.
Phase 0 – Research
To kick things off, the panel awarded each team with 64 working hours to complete the research phase. Awarded hours can be divided between the team however they wish, but each member of staff can only spend a maximum of 4 working hours per week on their project. So, planning and efficiency are critical to ensure teams make the best use of their skills and experience at the right stages of the process.
As with any new project we undertake, each team held a project launch meeting to discuss the brief in detail and share ideas for their new product. A wide variety of weird and wonderful ideas were thrown into the ring including a traffic light system to signal when it’s safe to move around buses, fire safety grab bags, dyslexia learning tool, software/hardware repair café, energy harvesting and an intelligent board game. But was great to see how many of the team took their inspiration from personal experiences and shared ideas for a product they felt would benefit a close relative or friend and, ultimately, the wider community.
At the end of the project launch, the teams retired to carry out market research and determine which of their concepts they were going to take forward and present at the first panel review.