Newcastle-based technology consultancy hedgehog lab has revealed another innovation partnership as the company continues to sustain their remarkable growth.
The organisation's latest agreement will see them partner with Home Group, a social enterprise and one of the UK's largest providers of high-quality housing and integrated housing, health and social care.
Working alongside the charity, the pair will work to identify and test innovative ways to tackle a crisis that is leaving an annual deficit of over 80,000 new housing constructions.
In June, Tech Nation named hedgehog lab as one of the region's fastest-growing companies, ranking them 9th in the Northern Tech 100. Elsewhere, the tech consultancy also announced a partnership with global paints and coatings organisation, AkzoNobel.
The company's expertise in innovation is well-documented. Hosts of the region's leading innovation event, Innovate Now, hedgehog lab are also dedicating resources to assisting in the delivery of initiatives such as NWG Innovation Festival and Great Exhibition of the North 2018.
Home Group is currently on a mission not only to tackle the housing shortage, but also to identify what housing of the future will look like. A significant commitment to this comes in their live research project, Gateshead Innovation Village.
At the village, Home Group is comparing modern and traditional construction methods to identify which perform best in the short, medium and long-term, measuring their success based on aspects such as community impact, integration with smart technology and energy efficiency.
The village will be viewable in person throughout the Great Exhibition. Attendees will also be able to gain insight from the Great North Museum, where a model of the entire community, as well as an augmented reality version of a modular home that has been developed by hedgehog lab, will be available.
Aidan Dunphy, Chief Product Officer at hedgehog lab, said:
“We’re incredibly proud to have aligned with Home Group, who join us as the third official innovation partner we've welcomed in 2018 alone.
"The partnership is of particular pride for us as it demonstrates the continued trust that enterprises are placing in us to deliver meaningful solutions. As a team, we are also hugely excited by the prospect of helping to tackle a genuine problem in the form of the housing crisis facing the United Kingdom.
"By applying our user-centered product design methodology to some of the current challenges in the UK housing market, we can assist Home Group in tackling some of the real problems that their employees and customers face in their everyday lives.
"It is now up to us to meet and exceed the expectations of our innovation partners. Our work must speak for itself, and if we can help Home Group to achieve great results, it's our hope that we'll be able to extend our initial agreement and assist the company in attaining other goals."
Katie Gilmartin, Strategy Analyst at Home Group, said:
“Home Group is so pleased to partner with hedgehog lab to further our innovation activity. We’ve already undertaken some exciting work together, and we’re really looking forward to seeing how we can further benefit our customers’ lives through this partnership.”