Open Innovation

We have a vision of a better future for our world and our business – and we want partners to share it. If you have a new design or technology that could help us grow our business and solve the challenges we’ve set ourselves, we’d like to work with you through Open Innovation.

Bringing the best ideas to billions of consumers

Challenges & wants

Positive social impact as our business grows

Read more about the areas where we're looking to find innovation partners.

Information on submitting a technical solution

FAQs: get information on how to submit your technical solution.

We want to create a better future – for consumers, for the environment, and for our business. To achieve that vision, we need to innovate – to improve existing products and create new ones.

Our world-class research and development facilities are making breakthroughs that keep Unilever at the forefront of product development. But we know that the world is full of brilliant people, with brilliant ideas – and we are constantly looking for new ways to work with potential partners through Open Innovation.

Take a look at these FAQs which provide further information on submitting innovations to Unilever.

Our Open Innovation partners can help us achieve our most important ambition. The Unilever Sustainable Living Plan sets out our commitment to halving the environmental impact – and increasing the social benefits – of our products as we grow our business.

Innovation will play a vital part in this – so we want good technological ideas to become reality quickly, whoever thought of them first. If you are working on a project that could match our ambitions, why not consider a partnership with us - so that we can build success together?

Who will we work with?

Open Innovation is just that – open! We will consider partnerships with established suppliers, start-ups, academics, designers, individual inventors – anyone with a practical innovation that can help us meet our challenges.

How you can work with us

If you believe that we could work together on your innovation, please use the ‘Submitter Information Form’ to give us non-confidential information about yourself and your idea. This will help us assess your solution in greater detail. Find out more about submitting a technical solution.

Often we will have specific challenges on which we'd welcome your collaboration: a new formula, a new technique, new packaging or a fresh design solution to a product we already have in mind. We call these our 'wants' - our latest list of 'wants' is here.

We want to work with partners to solve essential challenges to make our world - and our business – better.

Help us meet our challenges

Improving health and hygiene

We are committed to improving the health, hygiene and diet of millions of people. Could your idea help us make a difference?

Health and well-being

From Lifebuoy soap to Pureit water purifiers, our products have always sought ways to improve the lives of our consumers. We’re looking for innovative products or devices that can help us meet our commitment to improving the health and well-being of 1 billion people.

Healthy food choices

We’re committed to doubling the proportion of our portfolio that meets the highest nutritional standards, and we’ve set standards for the amount of salt, saturated fats, trans fats and sugar we will use. Through Open Innovation, we’re looking for partners who could help us develop foods which supply micro-nutrients affordably, ingredients which reduce the risk of heart disease, or foods that satisfy with fewer calories.

Reducing our environmental impact

We want partners to help us reduce the impacts on the environment of the production and use of our products.

Innovation will be crucial to our environmental ambitions, which include halving the water use and greenhouse gas emissions associated with our products, sourcing our agricultural ingredients sustainably, and reducing waste. If you have a new technology or idea that could help us, we’d love to hear from you.

Building better livelihoods

We’re committed to helping thousands of smallholder farmers improve their yields and livelihoods. Could you help?

We estimate that demand for food will grow globally by 50% by 2030 – and keep growing. Smallholders are likely to play an ever-more important role in feeding the world, and we’re already working alongside them to help them make their methods more efficient and sustainable. We’d like partners to help us by developing technologies and solutions.

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