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P&G Seeks Startups for 4 Innovation Briefs

Deadline: May 14, 2021

P&G is looking for new approaches and technologies that can help them to address key business challenges/opportunities. The following innovation briefs will provide a high-level overview of specific business goals and needs, as well as a high-level overview of what they are looking for in a solution.

Process Overview:

  • All responses will be reviewed, and you will be notified as to whether the response has been accepted for further consideration.
  • If accepted, you will be contacted by a Pilot44 Research Analyst to schedule a meeting to present additional detail on your company and solution as well as, where applicable, to provide a demonstration of your product.
  • If contacted for next steps, additional detail on the client needs will be provided during at that time, as well as additional information on the review, selection and reward process.
  • You can send any specific questions to submissions@pilot44.com

If you would like to submit a solution to one of the following four briefs, please submit responses at the associated link AND submit here and we'll try to to help you get status on your application.


Brief #1: Fast Forward: The Future of Innovation and Data

Submission Link: bit.ly/3e5lFDd

Business Background:

For several years, P&G has talked about the possibility of a world without ads as we know them today. The last year has massively accelerated systemic changes in the way customers access and consume content. Those changes have heightened the need to rethink how we advertise and engage consumers to build our brands and use data to deliver targeted and relevant messages that truly matter.

COVID-19 sped up changes in media and content consumption and altered consumer habits in an unexpectedly rapid way. E-commerce and online shopping became the norm. More than 40% of millennials use ad blockers and an increasing number of consumers are subscribing to OTT streaming services that have no advertising. At the same time, consumer privacy demands are at an all-time high and the demise of third-party cookies, along with Google’s recent decision not to enable new, individual level targeting ID capabilities, creates challenges for robust audience creation, forcing brands to rethink their communication and data strategies.

Business Challenge / Needs Definition:

P&G’s top brands in North America would like to explore the future of advertising and rethink how our company engages consumers so our brands are more useful and more interesting to consumers, and overall remain top of mind in consumers’ hearts. We are seeking to create novel brand experiences, test new communication and delivery methods, work without cookies, etc. We want to partner with new solutions that can help us navigate and be successful in the future of a world without ads.

There are 4 key areas where we would like to focus on finding innovative solutions:

  • Gaming & eSports – How might we create interesting, useful experiences within games? Specifically advanced brand integrations (like owned & integrated experiences within games, AR/VR, and eSports), use of character IP to virtually influence game mods, and enhanced direct response capabilities for e-comm, etc.
  • Data-driven personalization – We seek new ways to enrich our 1st party data and build new/better audiences in a post-cookie world. In addition, we want to use AI to create better content for target audiences. We have interest in orchestrating personalized consumer journeys and delivering personal content in more places and more consistently across omni-channel (e.g., personalized content on OTT, Digital OOH, etc.).
  • Social Commerce & Livestream Commerce– We want to learn about new seamless shopping experiences for our brands, including one click selling on social and other media channels as well as retailer-agnostic options. We also want to partner on Shoppertainment and the confluences of Entertainment + Commerce + Content.
  • Immersive Experiences & New Ad Models– How might we reach consumers with more useful and interesting ads using gamification mechanics, interaction, new influencers models (e.g., virtual) or value exchange. We also want to explore immersive, seamless offline-to-online journeys that drive deeper engagement (e.g., QR codes, AR/XR) to educate consumers on our products and change behavior/habits

Relevant technology domains may include, but are not limited to:

  • Gaming & eSports
  • Social Commerce
  • Digital Advisors
  • Data-driven Personalization
  • Gamification & Rewards
  • Interactive Retail Tech
  • Livestreaming Commerce & Live Video
  • Augmented & Mixed Reality
  • Immersive Storytelling
  • New Ad Models such as rewarded ads, interactive ads, etc.
  • Behavioral/Contextual Targeting
  • Dynamic / Automated Creative
  • Next Gen Influencer Marketing such as micro/nano influencers, virtual influencers, AI influencer management, etc.
  • Content Production & Automation
  • Zero-Party & First Party Data Capture
 

The Ask:

If you have ideas and supporting technologies that you believe can deliver disruptive solutions to this challenge, we want to hear and partner with you. Where there is a good fit, we are looking to drive agile in-market pilots in North America with the goal of scaling successful solutions. All ideas and submissions will be fully reviewed by our team.

Note: Startups applying must have a presence/ability to immediately activate in North America.


Brief #2: Reducing Touches Surrounding the Splicing Process

Submission Link: bit.ly/3tczvdh

Business Background:

Recently, P&G has focused many initiatives on bringing more automation into their supply chain. This particular business challenge focuses on reducing touches in the diaper manufacturing line. By doing so, P&G can increase productivity and reduce the manpower effort required to run each line. Currently, the process is as follows:

  1. When low, roll diameter sensors report a roll must be replaced.
  2. Disconnect and remove the used / partially used roll. Place core in bin/bucket for disposal
  3. New roll is delivered to the side of the splicer
  4. Quality control via warehouse inventory system checks if material is the correct material
  5. Lift roll to spindle, taking care to check roll unwrap direction, as it varies by spindle
  6. Tape removed from end of roll
  7. Thread end of material around idles per the predetermined path
  8. Clamp material tight and checks feed to confirm edge of material is in correct position
  9. Operator initializes machine to resume

Business Challenge / Needs Definition:

P&G is looking for technology that will reduce the number of touches required to receive, load, thread and unload rolls onto a splicer. It is important to note that each line has multiple splicers, and each material has a set threading procedure that must be followed. Each line has a set rate of material consumption, but the set rate varies based on the size of the lines.

An ideal solution will meet the following requirements:

  • Meet tight space constraints of manufacturing line with minimal permanent footprint
  • Strength to handle and lift 40+ lb. rolls
  • Ability to load a new roll onto spindle at varying heights
  • Ability to unload an unused or partially used roll
  • Compatible with different spindle diameters
  • Ability to thread roll through idlers and into splicer
  • Communicate to onboard PLC
  • Communicate to warehouse management system for material verification and consumption
  • Meet OSHA and P&G HSE Standards

The regional focus of this brief is North America and pilot activations will initially be focused the United States.

Startups applying must have a presence or the ability to immediately activate in the United States, but ideally have the ability to activate at scale in Europe as well.

Relevant technology domains may include, but are not limited to:

  • Warehouse Robotics
  • AGVs, AMRs and AIVs
  • Custom Robotic Solutions
  • Automated splicing equipment
  • Automated material storage & handling
  • Digital integration scope

The Ask:

If you have ideas and supporting technologies that you believe can deliver disruptive services & solutions to this challenge, we want to hear/partner with you. Where there is a good fit, we are looking to drive agile in- market pilots in the United States with the goal of scaling successful services & solutions. All ideas and submissions will be fully reviewed by our team.


Brief #3: Reblend and Continuous Manufacturing Optimization

Submission Link: bit.ly/3d7VV9Q

Business Background:

When liquids production (making) and bottle filling (packing) processes start up after being shut down, it takes some time before the product being made meets specifications for packing and sale to consumers. Also, when the product to be packed is changed, all equipment containing the old product needs to be flushed with the new product to remove the old product. These processes generate out-of-spec product which is sent to storage tanks and gets classified as “reblend”. This reblend is fed back to the production process at a very low rate, to avoid scrapping it while also having no impact on finished product quality.

Business Challenge / Needs Definition:

We are very interested in both reducing the amount of reblend production due to the processes mentioned above, and increasing the amount of reblend that can be recycled back to the process without affecting finished product quality. We would like to identify, test and eventually scale up technologies which can drive a step change in this area.

There are 4 key areas where we would like to focus on finding innovative solutions:

  • Directly measure the composition of the reblend to allow better assessment of maximum recycle level.
  • Reduce the amount of reblend generated by reducing adherence of material to internal equipment surfaces, identifying hot spots in the system, or improving cleaning efficiency
  • Optimize sequencing and end-to-end system operation to reduce startup time and the associated generation of out-of-spec material
  • Leveraging neutralizing agents for some important ingredients in the reblend that will allow it to be recycled at higher rates but not hurt quality or safety.

The regional focus of this brief is Europe and pilot activations will initially be focused on Europe. Startups applying must have a presence or the ability to immediately activate in Europe.

Relevant technology domains may include, but are not limited to:

  • IoT Sensors for Manufacturing & Sanitization
  • Smart Cameras & Computer Vision
  • Spectroscopy
  • Priming & Pigging
  • Advanced Manufacturing Cleaning Systems
  • Continuous Manufacturing Process Optimization
  • Manufacturing Control Systems
  • Odor and Color Neutralizers
  • Non-Additive Chemical Component Neutralizers
  • Neutralizing Additives

The Ask:

If you have ideas and supporting technologies that you believe can deliver disruptive services & solutions to this challenge, we want to hear/partner with you. Where there is a good fit, we are looking to drive agile in- market pilots in Europe with the goal of scaling successful services & solutions. All ideas and submissions will be fully reviewed by our team.


Brief #4: Measuring Stress and Strain in Fabrics

Submission Link: bit.ly/3s6xcXG

Business Background:

P&G has an initiative to improve reliability in their supply chain. This initiative focuses on understanding the location of undue stress and strain in papermachine fabrics at different points. Understanding the location of undue stress and strain would extend belt life and drive life, which would ultimately help avoid unnecessary downtime.

The papermachines have forming wires and drying belts that incredibly long and very wide. They can be very expensive due to proprietary woven patterns and material construction. When in use, the fabrics are subjected to varying levels of moisture, temperature, pressure and high-speed conditions on each revolution. Multiple rolls and nips drive and create drag throughout the process, which leads to strain on the fabrics.

Business Challenge / Needs Definition:

P&G is looking for technology that will visually measure strain and stress in the fabrics at different points of the process. In doing so, the technology would enable better drive tuning and prevent undue strain cycles on each revolution. A mark of known static length can be added to the belt and then measured to understand the stretched length in the machine. The business challenge is focused on understanding the measurement of stress / strain in the physical system; digital twins or representational models would not meet the business challenge needs. The team has the ability to modify the belts if needed but have a strong preference for ready-to-use solutions.

An ideal solution will meet the following requirements:

  • Technology must be portable
  • Solution must be highly accurate
  • Solution must work in real time
  • Ability to capture data in high-speed driven rolls
  • Compatible with a range of operating temperatures and moisture

The regional focus of this brief is North America and pilot activations will initially be focused on the United States.

Startups applying must have a presence or the ability to immediately activate in the United States.

Relevant technology domains may include, but are not limited to:

  • Vision Distance Sensing
  • Laser Distance Sensing
  • High-speed Optics
  • High-speed Camera Technology
  • Predictive Maintenance
  • Technology
  • Conveyor Belt Laser Scanners
  • Conveyor Monitoring Systems

The Ask:

If you have ideas and supporting technologies that you believe can deliver disruptive services & solutions to this challenge, we want to hear/partner with you. Where there is a good fit, we are looking to drive agile in- market pilots in the United States with the goal of scaling successful services & solutions. All ideas and submissions will be fully reviewed by our team.

Deadline: May 14, 2021
Posted on: April 22, 2021

P&G is looking for new approaches and technologies that can help them to address key business challenges/opportunities. The following innovation briefs will provide a high-level overview of specific business goals and needs, as well as a high-level overview of what they are looking for in a solution.

Process Overview:

  • All responses will be reviewed, and you will be notified as to whether the response has been accepted for further consideration.
  • If accepted, you will be contacted by a Pilot44 Research Analyst to schedule a meeting to present additional detail on your company and solution as well as, where applicable, to provide a demonstration of your product.
  • If contacted for next steps, additional detail on the client needs will be provided during at that time, as well as additional information on the review, selection and reward process.
  • You can send any specific questions to submissions@pilot44.com

If you would like to submit a solution to one of the following four briefs, please submit responses at the associated link AND submit here and we'll try to to help you get status on your application.


Brief #1: Fast Forward: The Future of Innovation and Data

Submission Link: bit.ly/3e5lFDd

Business Background:

For several years, P&G has talked about the possibility of a world without ads as we know them today. The last year has massively accelerated systemic changes in the way customers access and consume content. Those changes have heightened the need to rethink how we advertise and engage consumers to build our brands and use data to deliver targeted and relevant messages that truly matter.

COVID-19 sped up changes in media and content consumption and altered consumer habits in an unexpectedly rapid way. E-commerce and online shopping became the norm. More than 40% of millennials use ad blockers and an increasing number of consumers are subscribing to OTT streaming services that have no advertising. At the same time, consumer privacy demands are at an all-time high and the demise of third-party cookies, along with Google’s recent decision not to enable new, individual level targeting ID capabilities, creates challenges for robust audience creation, forcing brands to rethink their communication and data strategies.

Business Challenge / Needs Definition:

P&G’s top brands in North America would like to explore the future of advertising and rethink how our company engages consumers so our brands are more useful and more interesting to consumers, and overall remain top of mind in consumers’ hearts. We are seeking to create novel brand experiences, test new communication and delivery methods, work without cookies, etc. We want to partner with new solutions that can help us navigate and be successful in the future of a world without ads.

There are 4 key areas where we would like to focus on finding innovative solutions:

  • Gaming & eSports – How might we create interesting, useful experiences within games? Specifically advanced brand integrations (like owned & integrated experiences within games, AR/VR, and eSports), use of character IP to virtually influence game mods, and enhanced direct response capabilities for e-comm, etc.
  • Data-driven personalization – We seek new ways to enrich our 1st party data and build new/better audiences in a post-cookie world. In addition, we want to use AI to create better content for target audiences. We have interest in orchestrating personalized consumer journeys and delivering personal content in more places and more consistently across omni-channel (e.g., personalized content on OTT, Digital OOH, etc.).
  • Social Commerce & Livestream Commerce– We want to learn about new seamless shopping experiences for our brands, including one click selling on social and other media channels as well as retailer-agnostic options. We also want to partner on Shoppertainment and the confluences of Entertainment + Commerce + Content.
  • Immersive Experiences & New Ad Models– How might we reach consumers with more useful and interesting ads using gamification mechanics, interaction, new influencers models (e.g., virtual) or value exchange. We also want to explore immersive, seamless offline-to-online journeys that drive deeper engagement (e.g., QR codes, AR/XR) to educate consumers on our products and change behavior/habits

Relevant technology domains may include, but are not limited to:

  • Gaming & eSports
  • Social Commerce
  • Digital Advisors
  • Data-driven Personalization
  • Gamification & Rewards
  • Interactive Retail Tech
  • Livestreaming Commerce & Live Video
  • Augmented & Mixed Reality
  • Immersive Storytelling
  • New Ad Models such as rewarded ads, interactive ads, etc.
  • Behavioral/Contextual Targeting
  • Dynamic / Automated Creative
  • Next Gen Influencer Marketing such as micro/nano influencers, virtual influencers, AI influencer management, etc.
  • Content Production & Automation
  • Zero-Party & First Party Data Capture
 

The Ask:

If you have ideas and supporting technologies that you believe can deliver disruptive solutions to this challenge, we want to hear and partner with you. Where there is a good fit, we are looking to drive agile in-market pilots in North America with the goal of scaling successful solutions. All ideas and submissions will be fully reviewed by our team.

Note: Startups applying must have a presence/ability to immediately activate in North America.


Brief #2: Reducing Touches Surrounding the Splicing Process

Submission Link: bit.ly/3tczvdh

Business Background:

Recently, P&G has focused many initiatives on bringing more automation into their supply chain. This particular business challenge focuses on reducing touches in the diaper manufacturing line. By doing so, P&G can increase productivity and reduce the manpower effort required to run each line. Currently, the process is as follows:

  1. When low, roll diameter sensors report a roll must be replaced.
  2. Disconnect and remove the used / partially used roll. Place core in bin/bucket for disposal
  3. New roll is delivered to the side of the splicer
  4. Quality control via warehouse inventory system checks if material is the correct material
  5. Lift roll to spindle, taking care to check roll unwrap direction, as it varies by spindle
  6. Tape removed from end of roll
  7. Thread end of material around idles per the predetermined path
  8. Clamp material tight and checks feed to confirm edge of material is in correct position
  9. Operator initializes machine to resume

Business Challenge / Needs Definition:

P&G is looking for technology that will reduce the number of touches required to receive, load, thread and unload rolls onto a splicer. It is important to note that each line has multiple splicers, and each material has a set threading procedure that must be followed. Each line has a set rate of material consumption, but the set rate varies based on the size of the lines.

An ideal solution will meet the following requirements:

  • Meet tight space constraints of manufacturing line with minimal permanent footprint
  • Strength to handle and lift 40+ lb. rolls
  • Ability to load a new roll onto spindle at varying heights
  • Ability to unload an unused or partially used roll
  • Compatible with different spindle diameters
  • Ability to thread roll through idlers and into splicer
  • Communicate to onboard PLC
  • Communicate to warehouse management system for material verification and consumption
  • Meet OSHA and P&G HSE Standards

The regional focus of this brief is North America and pilot activations will initially be focused the United States.

Startups applying must have a presence or the ability to immediately activate in the United States, but ideally have the ability to activate at scale in Europe as well.

Relevant technology domains may include, but are not limited to:

  • Warehouse Robotics
  • AGVs, AMRs and AIVs
  • Custom Robotic Solutions
  • Automated splicing equipment
  • Automated material storage & handling
  • Digital integration scope

The Ask:

If you have ideas and supporting technologies that you believe can deliver disruptive services & solutions to this challenge, we want to hear/partner with you. Where there is a good fit, we are looking to drive agile in- market pilots in the United States with the goal of scaling successful services & solutions. All ideas and submissions will be fully reviewed by our team.


Brief #3: Reblend and Continuous Manufacturing Optimization

Submission Link: bit.ly/3d7VV9Q

Business Background:

When liquids production (making) and bottle filling (packing) processes start up after being shut down, it takes some time before the product being made meets specifications for packing and sale to consumers. Also, when the product to be packed is changed, all equipment containing the old product needs to be flushed with the new product to remove the old product. These processes generate out-of-spec product which is sent to storage tanks and gets classified as “reblend”. This reblend is fed back to the production process at a very low rate, to avoid scrapping it while also having no impact on finished product quality.

Business Challenge / Needs Definition:

We are very interested in both reducing the amount of reblend production due to the processes mentioned above, and increasing the amount of reblend that can be recycled back to the process without affecting finished product quality. We would like to identify, test and eventually scale up technologies which can drive a step change in this area.

There are 4 key areas where we would like to focus on finding innovative solutions:

  • Directly measure the composition of the reblend to allow better assessment of maximum recycle level.
  • Reduce the amount of reblend generated by reducing adherence of material to internal equipment surfaces, identifying hot spots in the system, or improving cleaning efficiency
  • Optimize sequencing and end-to-end system operation to reduce startup time and the associated generation of out-of-spec material
  • Leveraging neutralizing agents for some important ingredients in the reblend that will allow it to be recycled at higher rates but not hurt quality or safety.

The regional focus of this brief is Europe and pilot activations will initially be focused on Europe. Startups applying must have a presence or the ability to immediately activate in Europe.

Relevant technology domains may include, but are not limited to:

  • IoT Sensors for Manufacturing & Sanitization
  • Smart Cameras & Computer Vision
  • Spectroscopy
  • Priming & Pigging
  • Advanced Manufacturing Cleaning Systems
  • Continuous Manufacturing Process Optimization
  • Manufacturing Control Systems
  • Odor and Color Neutralizers
  • Non-Additive Chemical Component Neutralizers
  • Neutralizing Additives

The Ask:

If you have ideas and supporting technologies that you believe can deliver disruptive services & solutions to this challenge, we want to hear/partner with you. Where there is a good fit, we are looking to drive agile in- market pilots in Europe with the goal of scaling successful services & solutions. All ideas and submissions will be fully reviewed by our team.


Brief #4: Measuring Stress and Strain in Fabrics

Submission Link: bit.ly/3s6xcXG

Business Background:

P&G has an initiative to improve reliability in their supply chain. This initiative focuses on understanding the location of undue stress and strain in papermachine fabrics at different points. Understanding the location of undue stress and strain would extend belt life and drive life, which would ultimately help avoid unnecessary downtime.

The papermachines have forming wires and drying belts that incredibly long and very wide. They can be very expensive due to proprietary woven patterns and material construction. When in use, the fabrics are subjected to varying levels of moisture, temperature, pressure and high-speed conditions on each revolution. Multiple rolls and nips drive and create drag throughout the process, which leads to strain on the fabrics.

Business Challenge / Needs Definition:

P&G is looking for technology that will visually measure strain and stress in the fabrics at different points of the process. In doing so, the technology would enable better drive tuning and prevent undue strain cycles on each revolution. A mark of known static length can be added to the belt and then measured to understand the stretched length in the machine. The business challenge is focused on understanding the measurement of stress / strain in the physical system; digital twins or representational models would not meet the business challenge needs. The team has the ability to modify the belts if needed but have a strong preference for ready-to-use solutions.

An ideal solution will meet the following requirements:

  • Technology must be portable
  • Solution must be highly accurate
  • Solution must work in real time
  • Ability to capture data in high-speed driven rolls
  • Compatible with a range of operating temperatures and moisture

The regional focus of this brief is North America and pilot activations will initially be focused on the United States.

Startups applying must have a presence or the ability to immediately activate in the United States.

Relevant technology domains may include, but are not limited to:

  • Vision Distance Sensing
  • Laser Distance Sensing
  • High-speed Optics
  • High-speed Camera Technology
  • Predictive Maintenance
  • Technology
  • Conveyor Belt Laser Scanners
  • Conveyor Monitoring Systems

The Ask:

If you have ideas and supporting technologies that you believe can deliver disruptive services & solutions to this challenge, we want to hear/partner with you. Where there is a good fit, we are looking to drive agile in- market pilots in the United States with the goal of scaling successful services & solutions. All ideas and submissions will be fully reviewed by our team.


Disclaimer:  MIT Startup Exchange provides introductions that ideally provides open ended discussions in order to share mutual interests and potentially create common ground that incite the parties to collaborate. MIT Startup Exchange introductions may eventually lead to mutual partnerships, but that is not in any way guaranteed by MIT, MIT Corporate Relations, MIT Industrial Liaison Program (ILP) or MIT Startup Exchange, which take no responsibility for the outcome of such discussions and takes no formal part in such discussions following our introduction. MIT Startup Exchange and its activities and events are not for purposes of soliciting investment or offering securities.