Pocket R&D

Pocket R&D is our tactical research program led by TH!NK, allowing our employees to explore their professional passions while tapping into our network’s vast knowledge pool.

The intent of Pocket R&D is to allow all IBI staff to explore big ideas and uncover new opportunities that will help us define the cities of tomorrow.

Individually or in teams, our staff respond to an open call for proposals and our leadership team selects finalists based on the most compelling and innovative entries. We then provide time, mentorship, project promotion and access to relevant experts to further their exploration.

Our Pocket R&D approach is adaptable enough to serve as a vehicle to drive innovation throughout the firm, independent of scale, scope or topic; staff may use Pocket R&D to develop new products and services, conduct evidence based design, optimize internal processes, or explore their own unique ideas.

What we’re working on

Our Pocket R&D teams are currently working on over 25 projects. Earlier this year, we completed a study on the potential impacts (and opportunities) of driverless cars on cities. Other in-progress projects are focused on:

  • Exploring the use of augmented reality for wayfinding
  • Further advancement of a leading IBI Group flood assessment tool
  • How to use machine learning to address the affordable housing crisis

Exploring the Urban Effects of Autonomous Vehicles

The arrival of Autonomous Vehicles (AVs) on our streets appears to be only a question of time. In IBI TH!NK’s first Pocket R&D project, Alex Mereu from IBI Group’s transportation planning group in Toronto, explores the potential gains and pains of this emerging technology, and offers recommendations for cities to leverage the opportunities this technology presents. Read the full report here.