The Green Chemistry & Commerce Council (GC3) and InnoCentive are pleased to announce seven winners in the global GC3 Challenge: Developing New Preservatives for Personal Care & Household Products. Launched in April 2017, the challenge aimed to identify and support innovators developing preservative technologies with improved environmental, health and safety profiles for use in cosmetics, personal care and household products.
Preservatives are incorporated in products such as shampoos, hand creams, and laundry detergents to slow microbial growth and prevent contamination and spoilage. There is an urgent need for green chemistry innovation in preservative technologies because regulations, market demands and increasing consumer interest have shrunk the palette of acceptable preservative options for formulators. The GC3 Preservatives Challenge sought submissions on new broad spectrum or single action chemical agents on gram-positive bacteria, gram-negative bacteria, yeast and mold, as well as preservative boosters.
Challenge sponsors and participants represented the entire value chain, with 11 consumer packaged goods (CPG) companies, two major retailers and five suppliers: Babyganics, Beautycounter, Beiersdorf, Colgate-Palmolive, Johnson & Johnson Consumer (J&J), Kao USA, Method – People Against Dirty, Procter & Gamble (P&G), Reckitt Benckiser (RB), SC Johnson, Unilever, Target, Walmart, Dow Microbial Control, Lonza, Schülke, Symrise, and Thor, as well as the Environmental Defense Fund and the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency.
The challenge drew 48 innovative technology submissions from around the globe that were judged by a panel of expert microbiologists, product formulators, and safety experts from sponsoring CPG companies and others. After the submissions were formulated into three simple products, the preservative technologies were evaluated for safety and efficacy by contractors Syracuse Research Corporation and Cosmetech, respectively. The innovators received the results from the safety and performance evaluations and feedback from the judges.
Below are the seven finalists that received portions of the prize pool of $175,000:
1st place award recipients:
- Avisco Ltd.
- IMD Natural Solutions GmbH
- Irena Jevtov Research & Innovation
- United States Department of Agriculture/People Against Dirty/Berkeley Center for Green Chemistry/University of Victoria/Safer Made
2nd place award recipients:
- Hydromer, Inc.
- Russian Academy of Sciences
3rd place award recipient:
- Chinova Bioworks
According to Monica Becker, GC3’s Director of Collaborative Innovation, the GC3 Preservatives Challenge not only stimulated innovation, it also fostered significant learning and collaboration among peers across the supply chain as they discussed and evaluated the solutions. “The GC3 created a unique, pre-competitive platform for experts from the entire value chain to work together to address a common challenge – the need for new preservative technologies,” said Becker.
“J&J was delighted to sponsor this unprecedented initiative that enabled companies to pool their knowledge and experience to identify promising new technologies for preservation and accelerate their application in the market,” said Homer Swei, the Director of Product Stewardship at Johnson & Johnson Consumer Inc.
“We are constantly scouting for new, safer ingredients for our products, and preservatives are an important focus. By collaborating with our peers in this competition, we learned about and evaluated the efficacy of new solutions that we had not found on our own, and now we may be able to help innovators bring those solutions to market and scale for the benefit of all,” said Kaj Johnson, Senior Director of Product Development at People Against Dirty (the parent company of Method and Ecover).
Supplier companies benefited from the GC3 Challenge process because it offered them extensive technology scouting opportunities. The innovators benefited from promoting their technologies with larger, strategic companies and organizations across the value chain. The innovators presented their technologies to sponsors at a private event on May 7 in conjunction with the GC3 Annual Innovators Roundtable. According to Becker, the sponsors are now working toward partnerships with the innovators to evaluate their preservatives for use in their products or for co-development, licensing or investment, to commercialize and scale these technologies.
“We are delighted to receive an award in the GC3 Preservatives Challenge,” said Thomas Henkel, Senior Business Development Manager at IMD Natural Solutions GmbH (INS). “This was an incredible opportunity to present our natural preserving agents to potential customers and partners, and we gained valuable insights from our conversations with the CPG companies and suppliers that are seeking new preservatives.”
Becker says the GC3 is continuing its work on collaborative innovation of preservatives in various ways, by supporting the joint work between the innovators and sponsors; identifying new innovators and connecting them to our sponsors and other GC3 members; and sharing the formulations and methods used for the safety assessments and performance testing.
“Propelled by the success of the Preservatives Challenge to accelerate green chemistry innovation and market activity, we look forward to establishing additional collaborative innovation projects that target other priority technology areas,” said Becker. For more information about the GC3 Preservatives Challenge, contact [email protected].
About IMD Natural Solutions GmbH (INS)
IMD Natural Solutions GmbH (INS) develops, produces and delivers innovative naturally-derived additives and bioactive ingredients for the fast-moving consumer goods industries. INS specializes in natural preserving agents with its core antimicrobial product GLYCONEXTM positioned as a sustainable and safe alternative to established solutions.
About the Green Chemistry & Commerce Council
Started in 2005, the Green Chemistry & Commerce Council (GC3) is a multi-stakeholder collaborative that drives the commercial adoption of green chemistry by catalyzing and guiding action across all industries, sectors and supply chains. Over 125 organizations are members of the GC3. For more information, visit www.greenchemistryandcommerce.org.
Established in 2001, InnoCentive helps organizations tackle their critical business, scientific and technical problems by crowdsourcing ideas and solutions, either from InnoCentive’s global network of problem solvers or from their own internal networks. InnoCentive offer their Challenge Driven InnovationTM methodology, purpose-built platform and global network of problem solvers, as well as accompanying consulting, training and program management services.
The Green Chemistry & Commerce Council