Avery Dennison has announced the expansion of AD Stretch, its accelerator program designed to invest in solution-led innovation from industry start-ups, into Europe, the Middle East & North Africa (EMENA), and North America.
The company kicked off the program with its first cohort in Latin America and Asia Pacific earlier in the year and following what it describes as “a positive response and high engagement from the start-up community”, the material science corporation will be engaging with the next cohort of innovators in a bid to enable disruption and evolution in labels and packaging.
While the regional focus is expanding, the aim remains to address some of the industry’s most urgent business challenges by matching Avery Dennison’s experience and scale with promising startups and inventors to collaborate and grow together.
“Innovation doesn’t occur in a vacuum, so it’s imperative that we invest in a process that facilitates collaboration, pool our resources and use our scale to support our industry’s entrepreneurial capabilities,” says Hassan Rmaile, Senior Vice President & General Manager, Label & Graphic Materials EMENA and Global Innovation.
“AD Stretch is still in its infancy, but already we’re seeing tangible results from our first cohort and hope to see the same as we partner with innovators in EMENA and North America.”
The second cohort will be invited to respond to six challenge statements that sit under three themes: Making Consumer Packaged Goods Smarter, Materials 2.0 and Thinking Green. By approaching innovation across a spectrum of needs, the goal is to address the consumer experience, digital and physical functionality and increase the sustainability credentials of packaging and labels.
“We’ve made considerable strides across sustainability and usability over the past five years, but we want to see more results in a shorter time frame,” says Jeroen Diderich, Senior Vice President & General Manager, Label and Graphic Materials North America.
“The agility of a start-up, powered by our financial resources, technical capabilities and supply chain infrastructure will enable us to innovate at a far greater pace and accelerate the commercialization of solutions to market - and crucially make an impact - far quicker. Time is of the essence now.”
The program, in partnership with venture studio Highline Beta, aims to attract the best and brightest startups and innovators. Following a period of review and consultation, the applicants will be narrowed down to 10 finalists that will go on to execute a pilot project.
More about AD Stretch, along with detailed information about participating, can be found at ADStretch.com.