Sixth Sense offers innovative start-ups a range of opportunities and benefits if they join the programme. Central to this is the opportunity to become a part of Hexagon’s Nexus – a platform for some of the world’s most advanced manufacturing technology, accessed by our customers. 

But what is it and why would start-ups want to be part of it? 

What is Nexus?  

Launched in February 2023, Nexus is an open platform and innovation hub that brings together technologies from across the entire Hexagon ecosystem – including partners – to create new digital engineering and manufacturing solutions. 

It’s a place where people can collaborate in real-time. Taking different technologies and getting them to seamlessly work together to create powerful new systems that can accelerate innovation. 

Makes sense. But why did Hexagon create Nexus? 

The world is changing faster than ever before. Hexagon knows its customers are managing a huge degree of market complexity as they develop and produce products. Along with societal shifts, there’s an ever-increasing demand for innovation, customisation, and productivity gains, as well as an emerging need to focus on sustainability.

To meet this demand, customers must optimise materials, production, and processes. While the technology exists, the fragmented market can make it impossible to move at speed and to realise the potential of what is possible.   

Nexus solves that fragmentation by bringing lots of different technology together. A better way of working – breaking down silos, driving collaboration and fully leveraging data and existing technologies to enable customers with the freedom to invent, design, produce in the most sustainable, efficient, and optimised way.  

How does Sixth Sense fit in? 

Hexagon’s team is busy building the Nexus offering, on-boarding new partner technologies all of the time. The more technology available on Nexus, the more powerful it will be at solving manufacturing challenges and enabling customers. 

The innovators that join each Sixth Sense cohort have the potential to join Nexus, adding their technology solutions to the library and reaching new audiences with their tools. It’s a busy shop front that will put our cohorts’ technology alongside that of some of the biggest companies in the world. It also opens up the door for further partnerships and collaborations. 

“No technology truly exists on its own,” says Stephen Graham, general manager, Nexus. “Manufacturing is full of complex product chains. This has its challenges. Being part of Nexus is a great opportunity to work with others to create real-time, collaborative workflows across different disciplines and organisations.”

This makes Nexus one of the key ways that start-ups could access Hexagon’s huge customer base. “We’re seeding Nexus with all of our customers,” says Stephen. “That’s literally tens of thousands of manufacturing organisations around the world. It may well be the longest list of customers of any vendor in the manufacturing space.” 

What is the Nexus team looking for in a start-up? 

For the team at Nexus, Sixth Sense is an opportunity to meet the right kind of innovators for the platform. “If you’ve made it onto the Sixth Sense programme, you’re potentially the right fit for Nexus too in terms of credibility and relevance to Hexagon,” adds Stephen. “We’re looking for partners who can enhance or build workflows, using their technology as a component of more complementing technologies.” 

Since openness is at the heart of Nexus – enabling partners and different technologies to work together to create better outcomes – any Sixth Sense start-up wanting to join has to believe in this spirit of collaboration. “We need to work with people with the same open mindset,” says Stephen. “There’s no exclusivity and start-ups will bump up against competing technologies from time to time – it’s kind of part of the deal. It has been something that Hexagon has had to get its head around too but it is all for the advancement of manufacturing.” 

How Sixth Sense and Nexus works together 

Being chosen as part of the Sixth Sense programme means that you will be considered for Nexus. A certain number of each cohort will end up being presented on the platform – initially simply to gain exposure, with links back to the start-up’s website. The hope is that the start-up’s technology will eventually become part of the ecosystem, connecting with other technologies to create the powerful new systems that can accelerate innovation and enable manufacturers everywhere.