Avery Dennison has launched the AD Stretch accelerator program as a way to partner with start-ups and inventors to deliver industry innovations.
The company described the program as “a first in the labels industry program aimed at partnering with start-up innovators to solve key challenges and create new opportunities within sustainability, customer experience and value chains.”
Pascale Wautelet, global vice president of research and development, label and graphic materials at Avery Dennison, said AD Stretch “will play a critical role in our overall innovation approach and extend our circle of innovators.”
“We’re stretching beyond borders and boundaries, and increasing the pool of industry talent we work with to create a collective global problem-solving culture that inspires everyone it touches and generates real value for our stakeholders and society,” Wautelet said.
The program is done in partnership with venture studio Highline Beta. The idea is to attract “the best and brightest start-ups and innovators,” the company said, adding that after a review and consultation period, applicants will be narrowed down to a list of 10 finalists who will go on with a pilot program.
Avery Dennison said it intends to engage with start-ups “to further enable disruption and evolution in labels and packaging while strengthening innovation capabilities across the industry,” noting that the aim is to address “some of the industry’s most urgent business challenges by matching Avery Dennison’s experience and scale with promising start-ups and inventors to collaborate and grow together.”
The AD Stretch accelerator program is being launched by regional cohorts; first in the Asia Pacific and Latin America regions and then expanding to Europe and the U.S. later this year. “With the end goal of solving a specific problem, each cohort will have a region-specific brief that draws on regional challenges,” the company said, noting that the core themes will focus “on connecting consumers to brands through new experiences, creating sustainable, responsible and efficient value chains (SRE) and the development of materials and packaging 2.0.”
Shruti George, senior director of strategic innovation platforms at Avery Dennison, said when faced with a complex ecosystem, “there are challenges and opportunities in equal measure. In some cases, the solutions lie in scale and existing infrastructure; in other cases, in agility and a blank page.”
“By combining our financial firepower with the agility of start-up innovators, we’re supercharging our efforts to increase efficiency in the supply chain, create the next generation of packaging and solve environmental challenges,” George said.