Unilever recently opened a new platform to help them grow their business using open innovation. The new Open Innovation portal is designed to find the latest and greatest technologies from around the world. Unilever plans to use submissions to its portal to improve upon existing concepts, as well as discover new ideas and ways of working with innovation partners.
The company has expressed its commitment to the environment through its Sustainable Living Plan, and it hopes its new innovation portal will further these goals. But Sustainable Living isn’t the only area in which Unilever is looking to expand its business. Unilever has provided a list of particular “challenges” or “wants” known as Technical Solutions. They cover a wide range of needs, from additives to detergent to get rid of fat deposits, to virucidal agents for combating viruses, to renewal energy storage solutions on a small enough scale for use in homes and businesses. There is even a request for new methods for swaying consumers into buying and using resources in a more sustainable way.
Unilever offers two ways of submitting an idea for consideration. A submitter can submit to a specific Technical Challenge or submit a more general idea in the fields of hygiene improvement, helping the environment, or aiding people operating small farms. Participants submitting through the online portal will be sent to a third party known as Yet2.com for consideration. Yet2.com, not Unilever, will make determinations as to what ideas will be most appealing to Unilever. A legal waiver is required for each submission, which must be of sufficient detail as to explain the idea well enough to be understood. Submitters must be 18 years or older to participate.
So what is in it for you? There is a possibility that certain ideas might be selected for further study, commercialization, partnership, joint venture or some other arrangement, subject to an agreement with Unilever, of course.
If you have a brilliant idea, and it suits the search criteria, you can submit it through the online portal link above. Who knows, your big idea might just become a lucrative partnership with Unilever.