What’s happening at Wavespace, EY’s new innovation centre?

12 Feb 2020

Helena O’Dwyer and Frank O’Dea, EY. Image: Naoise Culhane

We went inside EY’s new Wavespace centre in Dublin to find out what the firm plans to achieve with this new flagship innovation lab.

Located in EY’s Dublin office on Harcourt St, Wavespace is a 650sq m facility where the company’s clients can collaborate with its business and tech experts.

The flexible, multi-use space has been kitted out with interactive tools to connect with EY’s global network of Wavespace centres, which currently includes 22 flagship centres plus 17 satellite centres focused on particular competencies or emerging technologies.

‘One of the great opportunities we have is to bring together those business people who really understand the problems with the technologists who understand what’s possible’

Last week, representatives from EY Ireland and the company’s global team gathered in Dublin to celebrate the official launch of the new centre.

Frank O’Dea, chief innovation officer at EY Ireland, said this latest addition to the Wavespace network evolved from Dublin’s base as a centre of excellence doing some interesting work in audit and tax using analytics and artificial intelligence (AI). Spearheaded by figures such as O’Dea and John Ward, EY Ireland’s head of emerging technology, the team put together a strong business case on the back of this work to get flagship status for the Dublin centre.

Helena O’Dwyer, who will lead Wavespace Dublin, said clients can expect to come to the centre with “their most difficult and challenging strategic questions” and work with EY’s specialists, technologists and local and global experts on answers.

“We co-create with them in a truly immersive working session and they leave, actually, with something really tangible,” she said.

One of the experts clients can consult via Wavespace is Nigel Duffy, who leads artificial intelligence globally for EY.

“AI generally and machine learning in particular are incredibly powerful technologies that can be used to solve all sorts of problems. Probably the biggest barrier we have today is bridging the gap between that potential and the business outcomes,” Duffy explained.

“One of the great opportunities we have in Wavespace is to bring together those business people who really understand the business problems with the technologists who understand what’s possible.”

The opening of Wavespace in Dublin aligns with EY’s broader technology strategy, which is focused on growing its service offering in SAP implementation, cloud services integration, emerging technologies (including AI and robotic process automation), data science, advanced analytics and blockchain.

The centre has a variety of spaces to facilitate sessions with clients, which can range from one-day immersion workshops to long-term project bases. The firm also plans to host pop-up centres in its regional offices Belfast, Cork, Galway, Limerick and Waterford to broaden access to the Wavespace model.

Elaine Burke is the host of For Tech’s Sake, a co-production from Silicon Republic and The HeadStuff Podcast Network. She was previously the editor of Silicon Republic.