Online casino games developer Microgaming has announced that it has won The Spark Award 2017 for implementing its Idea Factory initiative throughout its MGS House headquarters on the Isle Of Man.

Microgaming described the Idea Factory, which was spearheaded by its Innovation Strategy Head, Lydia Barbara, as a “staff-powered innovation initiative” that collected, filtered, refined and presented ideas on anything to do with the firm’s culture, processes and technology. Employees were asked to come up with ideas that should be implemented company-wide and the inaugural 2016 contest saw the adoption of an in-house charity lottery alongside an overhaul of the due diligence processes for the on-boarding of new operators.

The firm stated that its first-ever Idea Factory, which consisted of four rounds that ultimately finished with proposals being put to a decision before a panel made up of senior Microgaming staff, additionally saw the implementation of a workshop for target-oriented brainstorming as well as the launch of an in-house classifieds while the proposition to develop an emoji-themed online video slot should be a reality by the summer.

“When launching the Microgaming Idea Factory, at first there was nervousness that we would not get enough ideas through to make it work,” read a statement from Barbara. “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. 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.”

Microgaming explained that its Idea Factory initiative has since been rolled-out at two of its other offices and is expected to be a feature company-wide by the second half of 2017.

The Douglas-based company revealed that The Spark Award is part of Spark The Change, which is a global movement dedicated to empowering people and building happier workplaces, and was designed to celebrate organizations that experiment with ways of working differently.

“As always, we had some wonderful entries for The Spark Award this year but the judges, chaired by InfoQ editor Shane Hastie, unanimously voted for Microgaming’s Idea Factory,” read a statement from Helen Walton from Spark The Change. “We really admired how clear-sighted and practical it was in facing a problem that most organizations have; how to broaden participation in innovation and make space, time and resources available to nurture ideas.”