Microgaming has been named the winner of The Spark Award 2017 for its Idea Factory initiative. The Spark Award celebrates organizations that experiment with ways of working differently. Previous winners include GCHQ and Places for People. It’s a part of Spark the Change, a global movement dedicated to empowering people and building happier workplaces.

Spearheaded by Lydia Barbara, the Microgaming Idea Factory is a staff-powered innovation initiative that collects, filters, refines and presents ideas on anything to do with Microgaming culture, processes and technology. The inaugural contest took place throughout 2016 in MGS House (Microgaming’s HQ). There are four rounds in total, with the Decision Panel, made up of senior Microgaming staff, deciding if the idea should be implemented or not.

Winning Ideas

The following five ideas won the 2016 contest and are currently being executed:

  1. MGS House Lotto – an internal charity initiative using scratch cards and lotto games
  2. Emoticoins Online Slot – an emoji-themed slot, scheduled for release this summer
  3. The Market – an in-house classifieds
  4. New Compliance Portal – an overhaul of the due diligence process for on boarding new operators
  5. Ideas Workshop – a new process for target-oriented brainstorming

Lydia Barbara, Head of Innovation Strategy at Microgaming, comments: “When launching the Microgaming Idea Factory, at first there was nervousness that we wouldn’t get enough ideas through to make it work. But the problem wasn’t in the quality or quantity of ideas; it was that we did not have a process in place to refine and approve them. It has been such an amazing experience, largely due to the enthusiasm of every person who has taken part. I expect to see great returns from the fantastic ideas coming through.”

Helen Walton, co-founder of Spark the Change, adds: “As always, we had some wonderful entries to the Spark Award this year, but the judges, chaired by InfoQ editor, Shane Hastie, unanimously voted for Microgaming's Idea Factory. We really admired how clear-sighted and practical they were in facing a problem that most organizations have – how to broaden participation in innovation and make space, time and resources available to nurture ideas.”

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