AT&T was one of the first companies to pioneer the concept of an innovation center. These spaces are where we develop and test new technologies, taking ideas from concept to commercialization faster than previously possible. Today, there are 6 AT&T Foundry innovation centers, with locations in Atlanta, Tel Aviv, Plano, Silicon Valley and our newest, focused on Connected Health, in Houston.
Recently, we hosted the Canadian Governor General, His Excellency Right Honourable David Johnston, Canada’s Director General of North American Advocacy Jim Nickel, and Consul General of Canada in Dallas, Sara Wilshaw, for a tour of the AT&T Foundry in Plano, Texas. It was a great opportunity to have a conversation about why driving innovation is so essential to the success and future of AT&T – and also to Canada and the U.S.
AT&T Chief Technology Officer Krish Prahbu gave an overview of our work at the facility. To give you an idea, we’ve met with more than 1,500 organizations through the AT&T Foundry program and our outreach. We’ve hosted fast pitches, building strong relationships with venture capital firms and relationships with other companies that want to work with us. The AT&T Foundry has generated more than 28,000 ideas and $44 million in seed funding to top projects since we launched in 2011.
Our team described how bringing various viewpoints to AT&T Foundry project teams – engineers, programmers, legal, marketing, and communications – accelerates the development of new products. We toured the hall of AT&T’s patents including Alexander Graham Bell’s telephone patent, showed the AT&T 3D Printers in action, and highlighted our strides in Data Analytics and how we’re leveraging analytics in a safe and responsible way.
Charlene Lake, AT&T Senior Vice President for Citizenship & Sustainability, talked about our commitment to giving back by leveraging our knowledge and assets. And, Brooks McCorcle, AT&T Senior Vice President – Partner Solutions, discussed how lessons learned from the small and agile Foundry structure have an impact on improving traditional business segments of our company.
AT&T has a 140-year heritage of innovation – including 8 Nobel Prizes and more than 12,500 active patents worldwide. Our success is due to a strong culture of openness, teamwork and collaboration across our company and within the industry. Hundreds of the world’s best innovators bring their knowledge to AT&T to help shape the future of communications, from the living room to the cloud.
Promoting innovation is important for both economic growth and social good – for businesses and policymakers. Many thanks to His Excellency and the Canadian delegation for allowing us to highlight our work.