22 June 2015

ODEON & UCI Cinemas Group is proud to announce the official launch of two new ODEON/UCI Innovation Labs in London and Barcelona, following the success of a pilot scheme in London in the first six months of 2015.

The move represents the research & development arm of the company’s strategic programme to explore and develop the most innovative cinema experience of the future and push the boundaries of the use of data and technology in the industry.

Ian Shepherd, Group Chief Commercial Officer explained “We initiated a major programme ten months ago to overhaul the technical and digital operations across our Group’s operations in the UK, Spain, Italy and Germany. This is giving us new technical services and allowing us to launch new digital and retail services for our guests.

“It is also giving us a fascinating glimpse of the future and the opportunities ahead, and since January we’ve been quietly running a pilot programme to explore new ideas with some of the UK’s most innovative start-ups and innovative tech brains.

“A trickle in the UK is becoming a rush in Europe as word spreads that we’re prepared to support and assist people who want to help us develop a cracking cinema offer for the future.

“After an initial discussion and pre-screening round to ascertain if both parties feel there is an exciting opportunity for us to collaboratively improve Guest Experience, for a day each month our Commercial and IT teams then come together for a open day with digital startups and other innovators to bring forward ideas for collaboration and co-creation.

“The strongest ideas will be selected for testing and ultimately for implementation across our cinema network, one of the largest in Europe. Over the coming months, a new physical Innovation Lab will also be created in Barcelona with special 'sandboxed' test cinema environments designed specifically to allow digital innovators to rapidly bring their ideas to life in an agile, collaborative process, with a focus on ensuring they are realised quickly, and able to benefit the companies and customers as soon as possible.

“We’re starting to see what happens when we support and nurture some of the incredible number of young, talented entrepreneurs in London and Barcelona, which are now two of the most vibrant digital technology sectors in Europe. We’re very excited about working with these innovators and tech specialists to create an amazing experience for our guests."

The next ODEON UCI Innovation Lab selection day will be in London in August, and the first in Barcelona will be on September. For further details, contact innovation@odeonuk.com.