Inside EDGE – LIF: from Learning comes Innovation

Paolo Valpolini

This can be the motto of the LIF, the Learning & Innovation Factory, a centre of excellence created in 2021 by EDGE to provide proper training to its employees of all levels

While visiting the LIF, we were told that the following day 16 Chairman and Executive Officers from various entities within the group would have attended the one-day CEO 4.0 training programme. In the newly built LIF venue all employees from the many entities that form the EDGE ecosystem are supposed to pass at regular intervals to improve their skills and open their minds.

A talent development factory aimed at improving industrial capabilities, in the past two years the EDGE Learning & Innovation Factory generated 18,000 trainee days, 11,000 in 2023 only, stepping by this peculiar “factory” being part of the mandatory training process at all levels. Of these 18,00 trainee days, the vast majority was provided to EDGE employees, the LIF hosting however also external personnel from UAE companies, 4,000 days having been dedicated to them in 2022-23.

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And learning is mostly done by doing, role simulation occupying over 50% of the time trainees spend at the facility. With a very reduced number of personnel, overall some 12 people are part of the Learning & Innovation Factory, the entity relying also on external consultants, many of which coming from other countries.

Beside certifying people, the LIF also aims at creating a common language among the group personnel through several learning and training programmes.

Among those we find the CEO 4.0 programme with industry 4.0 modules, the role-based programme for subject-matter experts, hackathon series, and the five-day Leadership 4.0 programme with modules that span five domains.

A number of topics such as Lean Management, Six Sigma, Lean Digital, Agile, Data Analytics and Internet of Things, are among the training curriculum subjects that the LIF offers to the trainees, combining theory, technology, experiential simulations, and practice under a single roof.

Activities are provided in different forms such as workshops, competitions, and demos, the latter allowing for example technology partners to showcase futuristic prototypes and advanced technologies.

In the main open space at the ground floor clusters of personnel were busy in various activities, from role-based sessions to working on futuristic assembly chains. All training is done in person, and with the continuous growth of the EDGE group, for the Learning & Innovation Factory there is no risk of being left without work.

Photos courtesy EDGE