Unilever inviting technological ideas for new projects

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 11th October 2012

Unilever has called for ‘external know-how’ for particular new research project ideas. This follows the success of its Open Innovation Portal released in March 2012. The portal has now received over 1000 external ideas regarding ‘sustainable expansion’ in the six months it has been active. Unilever is hoping to receive a similar response on the new set of ‘wants.’

The three new ‘wants’ for which Unilever is seeking collaboration, include:

–          New technologies that break down fatty deposits left on clothes and hard surfaces in an efficient odourless and environmentally friendly way. The solution could be incorporated as an ingredient in the detergent formulation or work as a pre-treatment application.

–          New technologies that would facilitate reduction of sugar in Unilever’s ready-to-drink teas by 30 per cent, without impacting on their taste or mouthfeel.

–          New technologies that would stabilise natural red colour cost-effectively, for use in Unilever’s fruit and dairy products. The solution must maintain the stability of the colour throughout its shelf life and be water soluble.

Unilever Open Innovator, Jon Hague, said that Unilever is in ‘advanced discussions with several technology companies’ based on its March 2012 list of wants, and hopes that the new list will produce similar results.

“We have a long track-record of working with external partners to develop new technologies, so we were already very aware of the strength and depth of the innovation talent which exists outside of Unilever,” Mr Hague said.