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An increasing number of personal care manufacturers are calling on innovators to submit their product development ideas, patents and technologies for potential commercializtion.
Reckitt Benckiser, for example, recently solicited innovations through its Idealink Web site.The site presents case studies of projects currently under way. Procter & Gamble also hosts an idea-seeking Web site, “Connect + Develop,” that encourages innovators to present adjacencies and trademark licensing opportunities, and where the company’s technology needs are outlined. Visitors can subscribe to RSS feeds to follow as new needs are posted.
In addition, Colgate-Palmolive has created a section of its Web site where innovators can submit technologies. The company specifically seeks patent-holders but welcomes other submissions. Finally, the Boots Centre for Innovation, a partnership with Longbow Capital and the Institute of Life Science at Swansea University, identifies and facilitates the development of Boots health and beauty products via its Web site. According to the site, the company has received nearly 400 ideas since its launch in 2007. In relation, on Nov. 10–11, 2008, the center held a Product Search and Innovation Seminar in Boston, USA, to search for technology and product proposals in 10 product categories.
As travel costs are rising and the economy continues to slump, perhaps seeking innovation by simply asking for help is not such a bad idea.