A Bloc won NCSC Best Innovation in Finland 2019 award
Shopping center A Bloc was awarded at the Nordic Council of Shopping Centers Finnish Awards gala on October 8, 2019. A Bloc won the Best Innovation in Finland award at the annual competition. With the win, A Bloc will compete for the title of Best Innovation in the Nordic Countries at the NCSC Nordic Awards 2020.
A Bloc, that recently celebrated its 1-year birthday, participated in the NCSC Finland Awards 2019 competition with its innovation collaboration platform. “In Otaniemi, we have been working from the very beginning to intensify university cooperation and to make A Bloc a dynamic pilot platform for testing new technologies. Already at the contract stage, the tenants and us committed to a co-operation where shopkeepers give their premises and open their business concepts to pilot new innovations, and we on the other hand look for projects that bring added value to the shopkeepers from the Aalto University ecosystem”, says Jatta Reijonen, shopping center manager from Aalto University Campus & Real Estate.
Reijonen continues: ”Tenants get access to project results and data that they can use to drive sales, marketing or their own product development. There have already been a few pilot projects – including participation in the world’s largest hackathon, Junction, where coders solved challenges presented by tenants and studied Otaniemi people flow data over the weekend. The latest example is ByDrone, a fully autonomous drone delivery service developed together with shopkeepers and a growth company based in the Aalto community. Our goal is to be the most innovative shopping center in Finland.”
The winner was selected by a jury of three. Pirjo Aalto (YIT), Maarit Pönni (Citycon) and Anna Bevz (Loikka Works) gave reasons for their choice: “The innovation of the year is fresh and looks into the future. It is a platform that provides the opportunity for extensive collaboration between businesses, the shopping center and users to develop operations and solve the future practical challenges of the industry.”
“It is noteworthy that the development takes place in a shopping center environment and from a business perspective. Although this innovation is in many ways still in a pilot stage, concrete applications are already visible – for example the drone deliveries that created high visibility, and the Junction event. The jury therefore wants to encourage the development of this vision towards a well-established operating model”, the jury concluded.
Shopping center management
jatta.reijonen (at) aalto.fi