open innovation

NTN, global leader in automotive parts, uses its 100 years of know-how to focus on innovation in order to offer products and services that always perform better and are more competitive and respectful of current and future preoccupations. 




With these ambitions in mind, the Créa’Lab launched by NTN aims to accelerate innovation by supporting employees and partners in developing their creativity and realising their ideas.


Créa’Lab was created in 2018 as a system for leading and stimulating collaborative innovation processes and thereby accelerating ideas towards maturity. The lab acts as a one-stop shop for all the resources needed to deliver a project, from the initial intention through to implementation.

How are projects led within Créa’Lab?

  • Creative workshops are organised. Participants from various backgrounds are invited to share their views and use technology, applications or marketing to provide relevant and original solutions to the issue at hand.
  • Inventors are then required to give shape to their ideas by producing mock-ups or prototypes using 3D printing to validate the PoC (proof of concept). 
  • A demo session is organised after three months. People from inside and outside the company are invited to put the product through its paces and give their feedback.

Several products for the various markets of the group have already been pioneered within Créa’Lab. 

  • Créa’Lab lent its support and guidance to the inventors of a new family of wheel bearings that are designed to improve seal performance while minimising torque loss  o reduce CO2 emissions: low-torque, large-diameter sealing. 
  • Other more strategic topics are also addressed, such as short-term post-Covid 19 opportunities.
  • A workshops featuring employees from the Process, Product, Applications, Range and Innovation departments, as well as other divisions within the Group, have also focused their efforts on how to improve the precision and performance of the latest-generation wheel bearings.

Want to find out more about NTN's innovation?     Read the PRESS RELEASE


Created in 2018, Créa’Lab has proven to be a tremendous success with one workshop organised every month. In addition to opening a physical space specifically for fostering creativity within NTN's offices, the number of creativity workshops doubled between 2019 and 2020.

Key figures in 2020: 

  • 4 NTN-SNR creativity facilitators
  • Over 100 people involved in projects since the lab was launched
  • 1 to 2 creativity workshops a month
  • 3 months to to showcase a working project 

NTN is now opening the lab's doors to its customers and suppliers with the aim of collaboratively masterminding the solutions of tomorrow.

Do you need creative and technical support?     GET IN TOUCH


Setting up an in-house facilitation lab sends out a strong message about the company's determination to transform, its ambition to reach out and listen to its employees, and its desire to do things differently. Créa’Lab is based on a cross-functional approach that spans the entire company and incorporates new collaborative work practices. All employees entering the lab receive guidance and learn how to take fast steps towards breathing life into their ideas and overcoming their problems. Whether taking part in creativity workshops, user testing or iterative prototyping with 3D printing, , inventors are looking to breathe new life into their creations in a place where all original ideas are promoted and welcomed.
Running a lab is a constant soul-searching process where you need to reinvent yourself and come up with methods that are ever more differentiating and relevant. It is exciting to see everyone honing and incorporating their creative skills into their daily life and work practices.

Solène MARTINEZ - Research, Innovation and Development