General Mills Generates Over 1,000 Innovators
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General Mills reports significant progress in its ability to swiftly identify and connect with potential partners around the globe through the General Mills Worldwide Innovation Network (G-WIN) innovation portal. In the company’s first year of using the portal, General Mills has attracted more than 1,000 registered innovators from around the world and has received more than 500 proposals.
“A year ago, we accelerated our connected innovation efforts by launching the G-WIN portal,” says Jeff Bellairs, senior director, General Mills Worldwide Innovation Network. “We openly articulated what we were looking for and invited the inventor community to collaborate and participate. The response has been tremendous and has helped us tap into the external expertise and capabilities of innovators around the globe as we continually evolve our connected innovation program.”
The G-WIN portal, developed in collaboration with software firm inno360, Inc., is a Web-based platform that offers inventors and potential business partners a first step in connecting with General Mills. The site allows visitors to review full details of posted technical challenges and create and submit non-confidential proposals. Registered visitors can also create and manage their profiles and receive ongoing information about future technical challenges that match their unique capabilities and expertise. In addition, the software platform allows General Mills product developers to manage and review submissions, collaborate with innovation partners and follow projects.
The framework behind the G-WIN portal software has been under development for more than two years through a cooperative development partnership between inno360, General Mills, Procter & Gamble and the US Air Force Research Laboratory. Through this partnership, General Mills has been instrumental in bringing new enhancements to the tool, including access to a searchable inventor database and cutting-edge mapping and visualization tools, which help General Mills product developers connect with the most relevant contacts around the world.
“Over the past year, General Mills has made tremendous progress in their Connected Innovation program,” says Chris Thoen, director of global open innovation at Procter & Gamble. “Jeff Bellairs and his team have consistently demonstrated the core attributes that an exemplary collaborator is expected to bring to the open innovation relationship.”