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The Spark Awards are annual awards that acknowledge companies and organizations that think outside the box. The awards are part of the global Spark the Change movement which aims to create better and more satisfying workplaces and essentially empower the workers.
This year's Spark Award was won by Microgaming, the Isle of Man based casino software company, celebrating the group's innovative Idea Factory project.
The Microgaming Idea Factory, which was founded by Lydia Barbara, collects, filters, refines and presents ideas that represent Microgaming's culture and technology.
Throughout last year, a competition took place at Microgaming's headquarters on the island, with employees presenting their ideas to a decision panel. The senior Microgaming executives decided whether a particular idea should be implemented and, towards the end of the year, five ideas won the contest and are in the process of being adopted.
The award-winning Microgaming Idea Factory adopted the following five ideas:
The head of innovation strategy at Microgaming, Lydia Barbara said that when the Microgaming Idea Factory was first launched, it was feared that there would not be enough ideas getting through to make the project work.
"But the problem wasn’t in the quality or quantity of ideas; it was that we did not have a process in place to refine and approve them," she said. "It has been such an amazing experience, largely due to the enthusiasm of every person who has taken part. I expect to see great returns from the fantastic ideas coming through."