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118INNOVATION UKINNOVATION ' We are looking for win- win partnerships' Sumit Bhasin, Site Director at the London Innovation Centre, explains how collaboration is at the heart of the LINC's innovative ethos. 1 When and why was the LINC established? The LINC was established in the mid 1980s. We actually came here through the acquisition of Richardson Vicks in 1986 and with that came some big brands - such as Vicks, Olay, Pantene and Vidal Sassoon - which are billion- dollar- brands today. This site used to be Richard-son Vicks' major health and beauty innovation centre for the European and Middle East region. Its acquisition gave P& G the opportunity to show that it was serious about both beauty care and over- the- counter health care. 2 What is the purpose of the LINC? LINC is one of P& G's major global innovation centres, providing an innovation hub for some of P& G's global core categories, as well as being the major centre of inno-vation for products to be sold in the Europe, the Middle East and Africa. One of the unique things about the centre is that it is multi- category and multi- disciplinary - it is one of the few centres within P& G that has over five different categories contained on one site. And with our different functions - obviously largely R& D, but also Engineering, Product Supply and Marketing - we have a unique opportunity to connect and develop both exter-nally and internally, where we strive for connections to create new seeds of innovation. 3. What are the major product categories covered at LINC? The major categories here are Personal Beauty, Oral Care, Hair Colour, Personal Health Care and Prestige. 4. Are there any particular technologies that the Centre specialises in? We specialise in a multitude of technologies. For exam-ple, we went into the prestige business about 15 years ago, when we had less than $ 80m in sales. Today we have grown that to just under $ 3bn making us one of the world's leading fragrance companies, largely by establish-ing breakthrough holistic innovation capabilities, which included a core competency of how to develop innovative fragrances and packaging - and this is the centre that leads it for the world. We also have a real expertise in skin care; a lot of our skin care developments, from meas-urement to formulation technologies, form the basis of P& G's global platforms. Some of the well- known beauty brands, such as Clairol Perfect 10, had a lot of their core technology developed at the LINC. In addition, products such as Vick's First Defence and Crest Pro- Health were developed here. 5. What is the future vision for LINC within P& G's Open Innovation philosophy? The LINC lends itself to being P& G's premier Connect and Develop innovation centre. If you look at its vicinity to London, for example, there is a huge science and tal-ent pool available within the area in start- ups alone. In addition, London is at the centre of trends that a lot of our beauty care products cater for. The future vision for LINC is to become a major source of innovation growth, or what we call disproportionate innovation growth, for the company and we see that happening in several ways: » We have one of the most diverse populations on site here, with over 41 different nationalities. We consider ourselves as unconventional, resourceful and visionary, and we use our innovative and enthusiastic approach to create new solutions. We are very much externally focused. In categories such as prestige products well over 80- 85 % of our innovations come from connecting with the outside world. This is similar in other categories at LINC. We see ourselves as a major player in P& G's innovation strategy. INNOVATION UK118Open Innovation The London Innovation Centre Above: ValentinoAbove: Vicks vitality booster

UKINNOVATION UK119 » One of the other important aspects - and one of the reasons we call ourselves the London Innovation Centre - is that we are able to leverage the resources that are available from enterprises ranging from big universities to small companies. For example, we rely on detecting the earliest trends with information that comes from sources like the London College of Fashion and the Trend Institute. These aspects of LINC's work play a major role within P& G in driving innovation growth. Another important thing to add is that the diversity of the group helps us define innovation very broadly so that it goes beyond just technical innovation . Anything that's new is very much embraced to drive the business forward. 6. What types of people and business would you like to be approached by? The whole idea behind the way we approach innovation is the belief that a lot of breakthrough innovations come from non- obvious connections. Clearly, we are interested in everything from skin applications to packaging and we are open to a diversity of innovation resources. For example, a lot of the inspiration on the aluminium use that you see on our fragrance packaging came from the motor industry. Meanwhile, a lot of our work on skin imaging came from the medical industry. So we are really open for business to a multitude of applications. And we don't care where ideas come from - if they can be applied to our business, we are very happy to work with them and develop them. 7. Can you give an example of a successful innovation that has come out of the LINC? We have had many major successes. For example, we have redefined how we look at hair colour. Some of the work that has happened on Perfect 10 is a result of the work that has been generated at the LINC. And in the prestige products category, everything from the way we create fragrances and develop our packaging and our depth of consumer understanding came from the innova-tive approach we have at LINC. 8. How do you think the LINC can develop its role within UK innovation? We want to partner with major UK innovators, from start- ups and universities through to major indus-tries, and I think the LINC plays a major role in actually encouraging the seeding of new ideas, which encourages people to come in and work with us. We can also give a lot back to industry because when we collaborate, we also give back the solution that we find during our collaboration, which makes it a win win situation all round. For example, we are currently collaborating with the Royal Institute of Great Britain and have done a series of ' The Science Behind Smell' lectures. Our interest was in partnering with people who are experts in the field of olefaction and sensory sciences, while we also gave something back in giving the Royal Institute some scientific background on what the sense of smell is all about. 9. Why should an external partner be interested in working with P& G and the LINC, and what are the benefits? We want to see a major part of our collaboration efforts achieved through effective partnering. It's very much part of our mission and very much part of our corporate vision. And we genuinely want to make these collabora-tions a win- win situation - we want that first deal to be attractive to the other party so they come back for the second and third deal. Our ethos is to put ourselves in the other party's shoes and make sure it works for both parties - it has to work for both parties to be sustain-able. And ideas don't have to come from one of our particular fields either - we have already mentioned that our skincare department uses innovations developed in the automotive industry. There is a whole variety of fields and connections that we are open to. The scale of our company often means that if someone comes to us with a good idea and if it is successful within our product range, the other party has a big market of opportunity because of our global reach. So, we are on the lookout for win- win collaborations with anyone who is looking to work with the LINC and are aiming for strong, sustained partnerships. If you are interested in working with the LINC or P& G on innovation opportunities, you can go to www. pgconnectdevelop. com and click on " submit my innovation." Outline your suggestion, and tell us why and how you are interested in working with us. Open Innovation the London Innovation Centre Above: Hugo Boss Below: Olay regenerist