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Accenture Plans AI Lab in Shenzhen, China

November 5, 2018

Accenture will open an Accenture Lab in Shenzhen, China, in the first half of 2019 that will specialize in applied research and development (R&D) activities in artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics, as well as Industry X.0, which is Accenture’s business area focused on helping companies redefine smart connected software and physical products.

The Accenture Lab will conduct leading-edge R&D in disruptive technologies with a mission to identify and develop the latest innovations in China. Accenture will accomplish this by collaborating closely with an ecosystem of partners that includes leading Chinese technology companies, emerging startups, academic institutions and other local organizations. This newest R&D lab will join a global network of 32 Accenture Labs and Nano Labs.

“An epicenter of innovation, Shenzhen attracts world-class talent, start-ups and enterprises. The new Accenture Lab will tap into the tremendous technology innovation in the region and combine it with our world-class R&D capabilities to explore the next wave of AI and robotics technology,” said Paul Daugherty, chief technology & innovation officer at Accenture. “The lab will be a destination for clients to access and experience the latest Accenture thinking, capabilities and solutions from our global network to help them reimagine and grow their businesses in China — and help our Chinese clients grow their business globally.”

Accenture Lab in Shenzhen

The Accenture Lab will initially focus on how deep learning and knowledge graphs can be used for sophisticated reasoning and decision-making capabilities, helping machines understand information in the context of broader relationships. In the manufacturing industry, for example, this could mean providing quality engineers with new ways to increase inspection precision, accuracy and speed — or programming robotic arms to predict upcoming steps or recognize gestures and commands more naturally. In the retail and consumer goods sector, it’s about applying AI for more personalized customer experiences and smart products. In the energy sector, it could mean using AI to maintain equipment, improve the way energy is managed and offer consumers new services.

The Accenture Lab in Shenzhen will be one component of a new Accenture Innovation Hub in Shenzhen that is also launching in 2019. The Accenture Innovation Hub will be located in High Tech Park, Shenzhen Special Economic Zone and will be a place where clients from across industries can experience innovation at scale through customized visits, design thinking sessions and co-innovation workshops in a highly collaborative, immersive environment.

Additional capabilities at the Innovation Hub will include an Accenture Liquid Studio, which helps enterprises turn concepts into business solutions through rapid software application development, and Accenture Ventures, which partners with and invests in growth-stage companies that create innovative enterprise technologies using an open innovation approach. Accenture Ventures will focus on expanding its portfolio of investments in Chinese startups and emerging companies. Accenture’s recently announced investment in Shenzhen-based Malong Technologies is an example of its commitment to investing in innovative local companies.

“We recognize the significant investment China has made in innovation and the pivotal role that Shenzhen is playing as a catalyst for growth in China’s vigorous Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Greater Bay Area,” said Wei Zhu, chairman of Accenture Greater China. “Our plans to open an Accenture Innovation Hub in Shenzhen represents a strategic step in building a more robust innovation ecosystem for our clients in Greater China. It will help our clients apply innovation to accelerate their digital transformation journeys and compete on a global stage.”

Accenture Innovation Hubs are an integral part of the Accenture Innovation Architecture, which brings together capabilities from research, ventures and labs to studios, innovation centers and delivery centers to develop and deliver disruptive innovations for clients, and to scale them faster. The Innovation Hub in Shenzhen will join others in Bengalaru, India; Tokyo; Zurich; Canberra, Australia; Singapore; and nine Innovation Hubs in the United States including Atlanta; Boston; Chicago; Columbus, Ohio; Detroit; Houston; New York; San Francisco, California; and Washington, D.C.; as well as The Dock in Dublin.

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