How we developed а navigation system for the largest technopark in Europe in two weeks
September 2016 turned out to be hot: tropical weather and extremely urgent job. The Navigine team was offered to make a navigation solution for the Skolkovo Technopark building, which was at the final stage of construction. The challenge was serious (as usual): we had to implement the inside interactive navigation for the 96,000 square meters area in two weeks and, moreover, to develop a special app for the significant business forum, Open Innovations, which was about to start in a month.
We had the largest technology park in Europe with 96 000 square meters, more than 400 resident companies and just a few weeks before the event with more than 14 000 participants. The task was further complicated by the fact that the main building was in the commissioning process. The management company had just received and approval to access to the building, not all processes were set up, many rooms were closed.
Sometimes it was difficult to identify a proper key holder. In this confusion, we examined the building, placed BLE-beacons and simultaneously integrated our system in the mobile application. The final app was designed to assist technopark’s guests and residents in indoor navigation, guiding them to the right office, floor, auditorium or dining room, providing with an opportunity to book a meeting room or make an appointment with colleagues. Additional functionality was required for the application dedicated to the Open Innovations Forum, which was held on October 26-28, 2018 in the opened Technopark.
This Forum gathered 14 000 people from 99 countries, over 2, 000 corporative representatives, 4 000 start-ups, about 300 investors, more than 650 journalists, and 150 interactive sessions. For the organization purposes, we equipped the developed app with special tools helping users to find interesting interlocutors, appoint meetings, find a route to any section and not get lost in a vast territory.
We managed to complete all this work in just two weeks, introducing the indoor navigation system simultaneously with the commissioning of the building. Technopark mobile app has become available in the AppStore and Google Play at the same time. The core functionality included the search of residents, shops and other key points inside the building, the ability to make an appointment and book a meeting.
Now Skolkovo management uses this service both for communication with current residents and attraction and involvement of new people in its ecosystem. Nowadays this ecosystem comprises Customs Finance Company, intellectual property center and shared equipment center, which provides access to diverse technologies and equipment for creating prototypes, devices or products. The latter is not only a useful facility for young technological companies but also an attraction spot of Skolkovo guests.
Today the mobile app broadcasts all about the technopark everyday life. We expect that its functionality will grow and in future Skolkovo employees or resident companies will use this app for renting buildings or offices in the Technopark.
A mobile app with navigation system is a convenient tool for every infrastructure company that plans to arrange various events, especially with foreign guests. It is always challenging to navigate in a different country or big city, particularly if it is another language speaking country. Soon our service will navigate people to the technopark from the main Moscow transport hubs - airports (Domodedovo, Sheremetyevo, Vnukovo) and all railway stations.
While a traditional navigator in Moscow finds the most appropriate "way home" from anywhere in the capital, our mobile app makes the same for a foreign person, who stays at Skolkovo.
Not only guests could benefit from the developed mobile app. The technology park management could also use this service by offering additional services to residents: from parking to rent.
The technopark app with the navigation function is a useful marketing tool that makes life easier for residents and guests, and have a perspective to bring additional profit to technopark management.