Stories: EIC Planet.tech interview with Procter & Gamble
On 3 and 4 June 2020 the European Innovation Council celebrated the launched of a brand-new initiative, specifically focused on the EU Green Deal. The EIC Planet.tech brings together EIC-backed start-ups/scale-ups with four large corporates, namely AB inBev, DEME, Nestle and P&G, with the objective to develop a number of impactful Proof of Concepts (PoC).
Andre Convents, Connect+Develop and Innovation Director at P&G, and Lucresse Vanwonterghem, Open Innovation Director at Connect+Develop, are both actively involved in P&G’s start-up accelerator and ecosystem. Having been involved in multiple EIC Corporate Days before, P&G decided to join the new Planet.tech initiative to enhance their cooperation with the EIC and its beneficiaries. Today they will go deeper into P&G’s motivations for joining and what they are hoping to get out of Planet.tech the upcoming months.
What was P&G’s motivation for joining Planet.tech?
We’ve organised EIC Corporate Days before, both stand-alone as well as in collaborations with several other large European corporates. Those events are more loose, it’s about casting a net and exploring opportunities. The intent with Planet.tech is to innovative in and around large societal challenges in a more focused way. We now have the opportunity to work around an incredibly important topic, in this case the EU Green Deal, while at the same time making speed and working towards pilots with highly innovative SMEs.
Having organized several Corporate Days before, did your selection criteria differ for Planet.tech?
In the Corporate Days its more general, both for the corporates as well as for the SMEs: we cast a net, just as much as they are casting one. With Planet.tech we ‘rail the fish’. Together with multiple partners we have the chance to focus on a few areas that are important for P&G: the EU Green Deal and sustainability. We had less responses than in a typical Corporate Day, but a lot more targeted solutions. We were also more stringent in the pre-selection. We want to works towards a pilot, rather sooner than later.
What’s interesting about Planet.tech is the synergies between the different corporates (AB InBev, Deme and Nestle) and SMEs. An event like Planet.tech, where everyone comes together with the same goal in mind, offers the opportunity for collaborations you perhaps didn’t expect. We had SMEs, that were selected for other parts of the Planet.tech-program, contacting us with possible solutions to our challenges. Now we are also in touch with them, to see what we can mean for each other.
When would Planet.tech be a success for P&G?
As P&G we have to be a force for growth and good. We’re aiming for an equal partnership with the SMEs, creating solutions that are beneficial to both. After having casted our nets during the Corporate Days, railed in the fish the past week, we are now in the process of actually catching the fish, or in other words, moving towards a pilot. If we have one or two pilots that we can demonstrate the upcoming months, that would be a great success. One of the pilots we are working on right now is with a company we have matched with in an EIC Corporate Day over a year ago. We didn’t have a project straight away, but now we got together again and found ways to work together. Corporate Days open the door for us, Planet.tech then moves it to the next level. It’s great initiative and I’m sure we will have success with our pilots!