Kroger has signed an agreement with the University of Cincinnati (UC) to operate an innovation lab within the school’s 1819 Innovation Hub.
“Kroger’s new partnership with the University of Cincinnati is one more way we are investing to create the now and future of retail,” said Chris Hjelm, Kroger’s evp/chief information officer. “This innovative collaboration is driven by Restock Kroger and provides the Kroger technology team another creative space to partner and develop solutions to redefine the grocery customer experience.”
The 1819 Innovation Hub is located within the Uptown Innovation Corridor and is said to serve as a community innovation center partnership with higher education. Kroger will staff the hub with resources, including research and development engineers and software developers, alongside UC faculty. The partnership will also feature a student co-op and internship program.
The facility boasts a 12,000-square-feet maker space and micro-factory, and state-of-the art classrooms and multi-purpose rooms. The space officially opened for the fall semester. Kroger’s 2,500-square-feet innovation lab will be located on the third floor of the four-story building. Construction is underway, and the company’s space is expected to be complete in October.
“The 1819 Innovation Hub is a coworking community where we will build and discover the next generation of technology and talent,” added Hjelm. “Our vision is to create a talent pipeline that supports our business and positions the region as a place for digital and technology students and professionals.”
Earlier this summer, Kroger said it is planning a digital headquarters in downtown Cincinnati with plans to increase its current digital team of 500 associates to 1,000 by 2020.