Big companies Look to Open Innovation
The Financial Times reports that Unilever, the Anglo-Dutch conglomerate, is trawling the outside world for help in producing an environmentally friendly detergent and sugar-reduced drinks. The move is part of a growing global trend for open innovation – effectively outsourcing research or technology to a worldwide pool of academics, scientists, technology companies and even rivals – heavily championed by consumer goods companies. Tapping external resources alleviates pressure on squeezed R&D budgets and puts products on shelves faster, in theory boosting sales and profitability. It gives access to more expertise than any one company could ever employ in-house.
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