EY launches innovation hub in Shanghai with Singapore and Hong Kong to come

23 July 2018 Consultancy.asia 4 min. read

Big Four accounting and consultancy firm Ernst & Young will extend its growth and innovation wavespace network in Asia by the end of the year, with this month’s initial roll-out in Shanghai to be followed by the establishment of centres in Singapore and Hong Kong.

Launched as a global network at the beginning of last year, EY’s wavespace-branded innovation hubs bring together technologists and designers with strategists to aid clients with their business transformations through a multidisciplinary and collaborative approach – with the centres further designed to act as a connected international network for shared expertise by individually focusing on specific disruptive growth strategies and technologies.

“Through our connected network of EY wavespace centers, we help clients have differentiated, eye-opening experiences because they can access capabilities and knowledge anywhere in the world,” EY’s Global Chief Innovation Officer Jeff Wong said of the launch. “This immersive environment and entrée to thought leaders across industries, academia, research and entrepreneurs will help traditional companies imagine future business models and different ways of working.”

“The wavespace network is a significant evolution in EY’s role as an orchestrator of digital providers,” added Richard Suhr, EY’s Global Digital Leader, Advisory. “Our digital and innovation strategy starts from the premise that no single organisation can maintain digital capability and expertise across all the new digital platforms. Instead, we are helping clients draw on the ‘network multiplier’ effect of platform-driven ecosystems.”

At the time of the multi-million dollar expansion announcement last year, new flagship wavespace centres to join the firm’s existing innovation network were scheduled for the Americas, Europe, the Middle East and Asia Pacific for the coming year, with the latter slated for Trivandrum in India’s southern state of Kerala. Since then, Shanghai, Singapore and Hong Kong have been added to the official list, with Shanghai having launched this month in the Shanghai World Financial Center.EY launches innovation hub in Shanghai with Singapore and Hong Kong to comeAccording to Mark Weinberger, EY Global Chairman and CEO, the Shanghai Municipal Government’s determination to promote technology and innovation was a major motivating factor for establishing the firm’s first China wavespace centre in the city, with a belief that “Shanghai could become a leading technology and innovation hub in China in the near future.” Benson Ng, EY Greater China Digital Advisory Leader said the new centre “encompasses a design studio, a showcase, a lab/incubator and a facilitated workshop environment.”

According to a report from Channel Asia, it’s understood that the Shanghai launch will be followed by the addition of wavespace centres in Hong Kong and then Singapore by the fourth quarter of this year, with the Singapore branch anticipated to be a hub for intelligent automation, robotics process automation (RPA), blockchain technology, and other market-focused digital solution technologies. Other APAC hubs are intended for Sydney and, according to the report, Melbourne.

“All these centres will be connected,” Wai Keat Cheang, head of advisory services at EY Singapore, told the media outlet. “We can bring our clients to the Singapore centre and go through an innovative design thinking session with them, and establish their priorities and challenges, and leverage on the other centres around the world.” In addition, the firm’s wavespace centres feature a mobile ‘pop-up’ capability, bringing the immersive experience direct to the client, in their “offices, a conference center — or just about anywhere.”

Speaking on the wavespace initiative, Norman Lonergan, EY Global Vice Chair, Advisory Services, concluded: “Organisations face continuous disruption at an increasingly fast pace, so senior business leaders are passionate about driving change to stay competitive. Many believe in radical transformation as the path forward to achieve their business objectives, but they don’t necessarily know how to start. The EY wavespace network encourages clients to be fearless about identifying dramatic ideas that could ultimately lead to dramatic breakthroughs.”