Les Roches International Hotel School Launches Innovation Cluster Dedicated to Hospitality

Les Roches and the Association of Crans-Montana Municipalities (ACCM) are joining forces to create an innovation cluster aimed at fostering the future of Hospitality while developing innovative solutions for all businesses that place the customer experience at the heart of their strategy. Located within the hotel school, the new Innovation Hub Les Roches Crans-Montana will be operational as of September. Both an incubation center and a place dedicated to applied research, the Innovation Hub Les Roches Crans-Montana brings together a large network of experts both locally and internationally. This dynamic ecosystem directly contributes to the economic development strategy of the high-altitude town in the Valais.

A unique multi-disciplinary platform dedicated to innovation

The municipalities of Crans-Montana, Icogne and Lens will soon have an innovation cluster specializing in the fields of hospitality, hotels and restaurants, tourism and travel, luxury goods, services and e-commerce. This initiative is in line with the specialization of the Institut Les Roches Crans-Montana, which is at the origin of the project, whose training courses are focused on entrepreneurship and innovation.

A multidisciplinary center, bringing together technological and sectoral expertise, the Les Roches Crans-Montana innovation cluster is an open space where technology experts, Z generation students, entrepreneurs, innovators, start-ups, global and local companies are creating the future of Hospitality. Connecting e-business, industry, transport and communication, the objective is to co-create the services and products of tomorrow’s Hospitality by reinventing the customer experience.

A place dedicated to applied research for entrepreneurs, technology experts, investors, professors, students, from start-ups to international companies, the innovation platform led by Pablo J. Garcia will offer a range of support services: start-up coaching & incubation, a development and testing center for products and services, corporate challenges, along with vertical technological expertise – Artificial Intelligence, Internet of connected objects, Blockchain, Robotics, virtual and augmented reality.

Bringing together a network of experts, the Innovation Hub is tasked with initiating in 2020 and 2021 an ambitious program of activities, exchanges and international events focused on innovation and sustainable development.

The Innovation Hub will have a dedicated 200 m2 area at the heart of the infrastructure of Les Roches. Visitors and participating companies will have access to dedicated areas. The Innovation Showroom is a collaborative space, while the Innovation Multimedia Center is both an ideas lab and a digital production studio.

Through this initiative, the ACCM is resolutely confirming its positioning in innovation. This partnership is indeed part of a territorial development strategy initiated two years ago and aims to establish innovative companies in the three municipalities. “Participating in the development of a sustainable economy, beyond tourism” is the common objective described in the letter of intent for the ACCM- LRCM (Les Roches Crans-Montana) collaboration.

In return for this public-private partnership, the ACCM will benefit from the services of the Innovation Hub. In addition, it will be able to draw on the solid network of Les Roches with a view to attracting companies to Crans-Montana. The institution already welcomes hundreds of the most prestigious companies and organizations every year.

For Mr. Nicolas Féraud, Vice-President of the Association of Crans-Montana Municipalities and President of the municipality of Crans-Montana: “This is extremely valuable for our region. Crans-Montana has a longstanding tradition of welcoming customers with tourism and international events; we are now working to diversify our economy to welcome companies at the cutting edge of innovation. This innovation cluster brings important added value to Crans-Montana and comes at just the right time. Moreover, Les Roches has already proven itself as a reliable partner for us.”

Dr. Christine Demen Meier, Managing Director of Les Roches and member of the InnoSuisse Board of Directors, notes that, “The Innovation Hub has obtained the recognition of a key player in the region with the ACCM. Our visions match. For us, it is extremely important to be able to fit our work into the regional ecosystem, in close proximity to the economic players. Together, we aim to co-create innovative and viable solutions capable of meeting the priority needs of the industry,” adding that, “The initiative is also a wonderful opportunity to promote the image of an innovative territory. This is linked to the extraordinary quality of life in Crans-Montana and to a favorable and dynamic economic environment.”