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Fonterra launches innovation partnership opportunities

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By Jim Cornall+

Last updated on 13-Mar-2017 at 12:25 GMT2017-03-13T12:25:44Z

Fonterra has launched a new project, Fonterra Ventures Co-Lab, to collaborate with potential innovators around the world. Pic:©iStock/NicoElNino
Fonterra has launched a new project, Fonterra Ventures Co-Lab, to collaborate with potential innovators around the world. Pic:©iStock/NicoElNino

New Zealand cooperative Fonterra has launched a new concept to drive collaborative innovation, Fonterra Ventures Co-Lab.

The open platform provides the opportunity for anyone, anywhere to collaborate with Fonterra on ideas ‘for mutual benefit.’

Individuals, small businesses or large corporates around the world can submit novel concepts that the Fonterra Ventures team will review and then potentially partner on to scale and succeed together.

Submissions could relate to any kind of innovation such as new business models, services, technologies or processes.

More value for farmers

Judith Swales, chief operating officer velocity & innovation, said Fonterra partners with businesses in New Zealand and across the globe, and is looking to join forces with them and others to accelerate growth and ultimately return more value to Fonterra’s farmers.  

“We’re also actively looking outside our organization and are open minded as to where that could lead us,” Swales said.

“Through Ventures Co-Lab, we want to collaborate with innovators to think big and win big, together.”

There is no set formula for the type of relationship to come out of Ventures Co-Lab, but the ultimate goal is to build long-term partnerships with companies that will work in synergy with Fonterra.

Using Fonterra’s existing reach

Successful applicants can tap into the cooperative’s global reach and know-how, while also receiving support from a dedicated team whose sole focus is to drive innovation.

“We know that innovation and disruption can come from anywhere,” Swales said.

The new project  states that those submitting ideas retain ownership of all protected intellectual property included in the application.

In the event that a proposal is accepted, individuals or companies will be required to enter into a mutually-agreed contract with Fonterra that will set out the how the parties will conduct themselves and collaborate, and each parties rights and obligations, including those in relation to the parties’ respective intellectual property.

Any improvements or amendments to the intellectual property that result from a collaboration with Fonterra is the property of Fonterra, unless otherwise agreed in writing.

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