SEAT has launched an open innovation programme aimed at attracting talent outside the company to accelerate the 4.0 transformation of its factory in Martorell. Under the concept “Breaking FAB”, SEAT is inviting entrepreneurs and startups, designers, students and researchers from around the world to become familiar with its major digital challenges in the production environment and put forward creative, innovative solutions to address them.

The goal of “Breaking FAB” is to incorporate creativity and innovation as an essential part of SEAT’s production process, by applying a different approach which is open to external talent that can enhance new forms of collaboration.

The initiative, called “Breaking FAB”, offers external partners the chance to propose innovative solutions that improve the factory’s production processes.

At an event scheduled for next 26 October, SEAT is opening the Martorell factory to professionals who share SEAT’s passion for innovation and technology. While touring the core of the company, participants will become familiar with the challenges for which they can suggest their ideas. For example, SEAT is looking to incorporate creative methods to verify the colour consistency among the different parts of vehicles or detect possible defects on smooth surfaces, which are processes currently carried out almost exclusively manually.

SEAT Vice-president for Production Dr. Andreas Tostmann pointed out that “SEAT is in a constant process of fostering innovation, as this initiative clearly reflects. In recent years we have made Martorell one of the smartest, most digitised in the sector. With this initiative, we are opening our doors to external talent to take a step forward in our 4.0 transformation”. In terms of production, Martorell is Spain’s most important car factory, and it has been recognised with the Lean & Green Management Award, which confirms it as the most efficient factory in the European automotive industry, and a special mention to quality in the Factory of the Year awards for excellence in its manufacturing process. The factory tour will provide first-hand insights into the role of robots in production and logistics, as well as the innovations included by SEAT to face the challenges of Industry 4.0 and create one of the smartest, most digitised and coordinated factories in the sector. Highlights of these innovations include the use of smart glasses, exoskeletons and autonomous, collaborative robots.

The programme kicks off with a meeting with startups, researchers and designers who want to incorporate their talent into SEAT's innovation ecosystem.

All those interested in participating in the “Breaking FAB” platform can register until next 18th of October via the webpage www.seatbreakingfab.com. The applicants must make a compelling case for attending and present the knowledge and expertise they can contribute to the proposed challenges. Following the meeting, participants can put forward their ideas and initiatives for resolving the company’s challenges and be considered as partners in its innovation network.

Partner ecosystem at SEAT

Beyond production, SEAT has been working for some time in several fields to adapt to future challenges and the disruptive changes that are arising in the automotive sector. With the help of the Easy Mobility Team, the company’s transversal team which was created to accelerate its digital transformation, SEAT is shaping its own partner ecosystem with the goal of providing drivers with EASY mobility experiences that are digital and connected.

Significant recently arranged partnerships include those with Google and Amazon, which will enable SEAT to integrate the Waze navigation system and the interactive voice activated assistant Alexa in its cars. In addition, SEAT has also signed agreements with businesses such as SABA, to create car and parking related services; and with entrepreneurs and startups like the participants in the SEAT Accelerator by Conector, who are developing several projects associated with the future of the automotive sector.