David Kramer, director of the Freescale Discovery Lab, photo courtesy of Freescale

David Kramer, director of the Freescale Discovery Lab, photo courtesy of Freescale

Big companies are looking at ways to make themselves more innovative.

Freescale, in Austin, has done just that.

The company launched the Freescale Discovery Lab, a hub for innovation at its headquarters in Oak Hill, a year ago. The goal was to incubate big ideas and come up with next big thing. The lab brings together Freescale’s best and brightest from around the globe to test their ideas. Projects explore alternative materials, packaging technology and architecting new systems and software.

“Every employee is encouraged to submit ideas and when accepted, that employee is assigned to the lab in Austin to work full-time on its realization,” according to a news release. “Since its opening, over 200 ideas have been submitted, and more than 20 employees are currently working on nine projects.”

Freescale plans to open a second lab soon in Toulouse, France.

Freescale’s history of innovation includes making the first automotive microcontroller to reduce emissions and get more miles to the gallon and “it also helped transmit the first words from the Moon with its radio frequency (RF) technology.”

“We couldn’t be more proud of what the Freescale Discovery Lab has accomplished in such a short period of time,” Gregg Lowe, Freescale president and chief executive officer, said in a news release. “These labs will continue to be a haven for disruptive innovation that nurtures new ideas, bringing about dramatic improvements in technology that change the face of our industry.”

Freescale hosted an event on its Austin campus at the Freescale Discover Lab last week to celebrate the lab’s successes. David Kramer is the director of the lab.