Döhler has launched an open innovation platform, including funding and equity options for those with truly innovative ideas who may be lacking the cash to bring them to life.
Via its open innovation portal, www.we-bring-ideas-to-life.com , the company currently is looking for help with three specific challenges: Finding a natural blue colour other than through spirulina, reducing sugar and calories naturally, and extending the shelf life of food and beverages with natural ingredients.
However, spokesperson for the innovation platform Anton Koehler told FoodNavigator that these specific challenges are just a small part of the initiative.
“Many companies have venture capital funds and platforms, but we have the experts and can deliver solutions,” he said. “…It can be any innovative idea that brings something new to the whole industry. It may be someone who is missing the money and a strong partner. Stand-out products are not so interesting; it has to be something really innovative.”
Those innovations might be new raw materials, new process technologies, or a totally new consumer concept, “any one element in the whole food and beverage chain that has a real USP”, said Koehler.
The company also has a programme designed to speed innovative ideas to market, with funding available from €50,000 to €250,000 – and it has also opened its platform to allow people and institutions with experience in the food and beverage industry to become part of a global Döhler Innovation Network, which includes universities, suppliers and independent experts from industry.
“For Doehler, it has been a major step for us to foster innovation in the industry,” Koehler said. “We think it is really unique because it is not just the innovation platform but also the equity and venture capital, so it’s a real model for the industry.”
Access the platform by clicking here .