Canada’s leading co-operative financial group, Desjardins has launched an innovation lab in partnership with Hacking Health and InnoCité; MTL.
Desjardins Lab is a physical and virtual space that aims to pave the way for Desjardins’ future by encouraging the development and exchange of innovative ideas to improve the experience for members and clients.
The lab was opened in December by Monique Leroux, chair, president and CEO of Desjardins Group; and Denis Coderre, mayor of Montreal.
“At Desjardins, we’ve identified innovation as a key factor to our success in a rapidly changing world,” said Ms Leroux, who was also elected president of the International Co-operative Alliance in November.
“The founding of the first caisse [credit union] was in itself a major innovative endeavour; continuing in the same vein, we created applications like Hop ‘n S@ve, Ajusto and Desjardins mobile services — all testaments to how quickly our society is evolving. Desjardins has a duty to look to the future, to innovate and grow. And it’s the Desjardins Lab that will lead us down the path of progress so we can do better for our members and clients, now and in the future.”
The laboratory will develop, test and analyse applications and new technologies using a collaborative approach between members and clients, who will be asked to work with Desjardins, on-site or online, to help design products and services.
Ms. Leroux used the opening event to announce two major partnerships, with InnoCité; MTL, Montreal’s smart city accelerator; and Hacking Health, a non-profit organisation that leads innovative activities in the healthcare field.
The goal is to encourage sharing between the three organisations for the purposes of training, coaching, mentoring, accommodating creation teams and sharing expertise. Through these collaborations, Desjardins aims to: promote co-creation within the community; broaden its digital services offer; and create spaces that foster co-creation and learning.
Mayor Coderre added: “Montreal, a smart and digital city, seeks to bring together diverse groups including citizens, startups and the business community. The involvement of an important financial institution, so intimately linked with our collective entrepreneurial history, with InnoCité; MTL, reinforces the notion that we must all invest in the future of Montreal.”