Opening up innovation at RBS

Opening up innovation at RBS

RBS Chief Administrative Officer Simon McNamara explains everything you need to know about the new RBS technology centre based in our HQ.

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Simon McNamara
RBS Chief Administrative Officer

04 March 2016

Gogarburn RBS Scottish Headquarters

We are the only bank to open our doors and invite businesses to come in and work with us.


This is the year when innovation moves out of a basement and into the heart of RBS.  

We’ve moved our technology solutions centre, where we experiment with new ideas to make banking better from our building in Fettes Row, Edinburgh, to our HQ in Gogarburn. At the same time, we have given it a new name – Open Experience.


What is Open Experience?

Open Experience is a place where we will work differently. It will be our centre for open innovation, a new way of working now being adopted by some of the most forward-thinking companies in the world. Open innovation means bringing start-ups and other partners from outside the bank to feed into what we do to capture the smartest ideas.

It sits right beside our new Entrepreneurial Centre and will be a place where our Entrepreneurial Spark chiclets can try out new technology for themselves and mingle with internal and external experts: technology companies, customers and universities. By opening up, we broaden our pool of partners and ideas.

It will also be the focal point for our own innovation initiatives. Our global-scouting teams visited nearly 1,000 companies last year across a network spanning the UK, Israel and Silicon Valley, the best places to stay abreast of the technologies of the future.


Working in teams drawn from the whole bank

We’ll work in multidisciplinary cells, in 8 – 10 week sprints to take the opportunities from our scouts, turn them into concepts and test them in labs with our customers to refine and develop them into great experiences.

Finally, our innovation engineering teams also hold regular internal and external hackathons: events where teams compete to explore the possibilities of new, potentially ground-breaking technology.

With the opening of our Entrepreneurial Centre and of Open Experience we are the only bank to open our doors and invite businesses to come in and work with us.

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