Accenture increases Industry X.0 capabilities with acquisition of Designaffairs to create smart products and services

Accenture has entered on Friday into an agreement to acquire designaffairs, a strategic design consultancy headquartered in Germany. The acquisition will bolster the capabilities of Accenture Industry X.0 to design smart products and services that are ready for manufacturing – complementing its offerings around smart products, smart services, platforms, and new business models for the digital reinvention of industrial companies.

The acquisition is subject to customary closing conditions. The terms of the deal were not disclosed.

By joining Accenture’s Industry X.0 practice, designaffairs will become part of Accenture’s growing network of studios. Accenture studios, which are part of the Accenture Innovation Architecture, specialize in the ideation, design, and prototyping of digitally-enabled smart products, smart services, and customer experiences, which are at the heart of Accenture’s Industry X.0 value proposition.

Founded in 1997, designaffairs today employs more than 100 professionals in studios in Munich and Erlangen (Germany), Shanghai (China) and Portland, Oregon. (United States). The firm offers services comprising industrial, user interface, and material design; interaction innovation; mechanical and usability engineering; prototyping; design research, and brand strategy.

Examples of designaffairs’ client work include the Hyundai Driver Information System with its three-dimensional touch interface, Siemens’ Somatom Force CT scanner, and Nescafé’s Milano cloud coffee machine.

“Designaffairs excels at helping clients reinvent products and the product experience, which is the prerequisite for building new business models and creating growth from digital,” said Frank Riemensperger, senior country managing director, Accenture Austria, Switzerland, Germany, and Russia. “Their expertise, track record and market presence will strengthen our capabilities around industry digitization – especially in Germany and in China, two key markets for Industry X.0.”

“The acquisition of designaffairs will complement the other investments we have made to build our innovation, design, and product development capabilities,” said Andrew Smith, managing director and Accenture Industry X.0 Austria, Switzerland, Germany, and Russia lead. “We continue to make significant progress with building a world-class service organization that can deliver large industry digitization projects end-to-end.”

Following completion of the acquisition, designaffairs CEO Nico Michler will continue to lead the business along with Prof. Michael Lanz, managing director and Munich studio lead, Gerd Helmreich, managing director and Erlangen studio lead, as well as Lidan Liu and Moritz Ludwig, who lead the Shanghai studio.

“At designaffairs, we take pride in designing and delivering award-winning connected products and intelligent services that improve the way humans work and live,” said Nico Michler. “Our people define themselves as explorers that strive to make a real impact for our clients. Becoming a part of Accenture and its Industry X.0 business will allow us to take our creative work to the next level and together deliver ready-made smart products and services for a range of industries.”


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