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AECOMs Maria Aiolova discusses the power of innovation

AECOM's Maria Aiolova discusses the power of innovation

 April 25, 2023

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Marking World Creativity and Innovation Day AECOM iLAB Global Principal Maria Aiolova shared her insights on the true nature of innovation.

Highlighted as an innovator in sustainability, environmental design and climate change adaptation, Maria looks at current trends and innovations. She is an architect, curator, educator, administrator, and entrepreneur based in AECOM's New York City office.

"What we’re seeing today, right around the world, across nearly all sectors and industries is a focus on the net-zero challenge," she shares. 

"Guided by our Sustainable Legacies ESG strategy, we’re creating an action plan for reducing carbon through design. It’s about identifying and developing new techniques and approaches. We start by quantifying the total carbon impact of a project."

Innovation doesn't happen in isolation 

When looking at developing innovative thinking, Maria says: "I am a firm believer in collaboration. Innovation, after all, doesn't happen in isolation. It needs a charged zone that connects exceptional cross-disciplinary activities, as well as a network of people with a critical understanding of innovation and access to knowledge through sharing.

"By using a collaborative approach between disciplines and the available cutting-edge technologies, we can offer high-quality solutions to several of the problems that our industry and our clients are facing."

Improving confidence in lifecycle performance

Focusing on how ‘radical collaboration’ can help to drive innovation across the whole design process, Maria shares: "Our vision is to move the needle and ensure we have a broad-reaching impact on our industry by developing a digitally empowered platform for delivering high-performance net-zero carbon solutions. These solutions will address the necessary increase in speed to market delivery, enhance cost certainty, improve occupant wellbeing, and improve confidence in lifecycle performance."

Delivering the best solutions to overcome client challenges

Maria runs AECOM's iLab, which she describes as: "our research, development, and innovation hub, where we leverage our subject-matter experts across different disciplines and regions to focus on how we can differentiate our processes to deliver the best solutions to overcome our clients’ challenges. What we deliver is innovation as a service."

"Ultimately, innovation is about the impact, and we must measure innovation through the value and the effect it creates, as well as the new ways of thinking that arise through the process. It’s not just limited to novelty – you can sometimes use a 2000-year-old technology, but the way that technology is applied is the key to unlocking innovation," Maria suggests. 

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