Creating real impact on society is an important recruitment factor for Nokia Bell Labs

Nokia Bell Labs has an outstanding reputation for major technology breakthroughs. The fact that these innovations, one day, find their way into society is a motivating factor for many researchers to apply for a job.

That is the viewpoint of Peter Vetter, president of Bell Labs Core Research. “Bell Labs is where the first transistors and other device technologies like lasers and charge coupled device (CCD) cameras were invented. We also invented implementable technologies like cellular networks and solar cells, and made great theoretical leaps forward with the likes of Information Theory. We have an outstanding global reputation as a technology leader with significant impact on humanity,” explains Peter.

“But there is more, researchers appreciate the impact they can realise with their innovation. For me personally, prior to my management role, I had been working in the fiber-to-the-home research. This technology is now an integral part of the global broadband access infrastructure. Being able to create such an impact on society makes researchers proud, and that is a structural benefit for incoming talent.”

Co-innovation together with future clients

An important success factor at Nokia Bell Labs research is the implication of clients and future clients in the innovation funnel. “It’s our strategy to engage customers in our research, and ensure the outcome is of structural value to their future business,” adds Peter. “When we first started doing research on 5G more than a decade ago, Nokia did not have a focus on industrial clients at that time. So, we approached a few manufacturers to co-create and test the technology for their future 5G infrastructure. This created inroads to future enterprise business for Nokia.”