09 Jun 2020

Covid-19 has shown us that innovation must be constant and open

Girbau LAB with Girbau Group has helped activate immediate solutions before the Covid-19. In turn, we are already working on developing opportunities detected in the medium term. Wash to disinfect, but also to protect, for example. The ecosystem of internal innovation and startups has been moved to meet the needs of the pandemic.

Girbau LAB director Mariona Sanz explained the innovation projects now and in Girbau’s model during the online session in the Girbau Innovators Club on JUne 11th and, previously in the session organized by Barcelona Tech City “Transformation, innovation and relationship with startups in the industrial fabric” on June 4th.

Sanz explained how Girbau has first helped to respond to early hotspots such as hospitals and nursing homes. At the hospital level, a mobile washing unit was transferred to the Hospital Clínic de Barcelona . It was located right next to the UCIs so that it could wash and reuse the Individual Sanitary Protective Equipment. Other clients have been advised for disinfection in washing systems.

Girbau has also worked on raising awareness and communicating to professionals in the sector. To do this, webinars have been organized on topics such as disinfection and textile hygiene in hospitality.

New Covid-19 innovations and washing

In the medium term, Girbau has refocused its innovation from different detected opportunities. A new business has been reopened to monitor disinfection from the Internet of Things (IoT). An IoT platform allows you to demonstrate in what temperatures clothes have been washed to confirm their disinfection.

Another area explored is touchless, to trigger actions without touching materials and protect users from washing machines. The need has been identified from the increase in online payment in self-washing services. An outlet of already used machines has also been launched, with the anticipation of increased demand for disinfection from washing.

Covid-19 has shown us that innovation must be constant and open


The next step is to find washing solutions that allow clothes that protect against infection. This can be products in washing processes, or processes themselves. Wash, therefore, to disinfect and to protect.

The other guests gave very interesting contributions. David Tapias, of Fluidra, presented his model to help identify disruptive innovation needs and incentivize all internal and external stakeholders in their development. Anna Casals of Celsa Group explained the opportunity to accelerate digital transformation from a startup-generated project.

For her part, Joan Pons, of Sorigué, presented the portfolio of innovation projects balanced according to budget, technological risk and synergies with existing businesses of the company. Finally, Xavier Berneda of Munich reaffirmed that innovation should never stop and that, if it does, it makes it easier to reactivate solutions at critical moments such as these times.

Mariona Sanz recalled that all innovation carried out from Girbau LAB must be done in a context of open innovation with external and inmates. At the external level, the short and long term in the relationship with startups and innovation can be linked. Each company must find formulas for its path. The important thing is to have a diversification of the portfolio enough to have quick wins and others in the long term.

Internally, the fact that innovation emerges internally is very interesting. Surprising, Mariona Sanz said, that ideas come not only from the R&D area, but from any profile in the company that can bring disruption. Here, Girbau LAB’s iDrivers intra-entrepreneurship program has a lot to do with it.