Archive for February, 2017

Explore the latest developments in open innovation, collaboration & industry partnerships

February 23, 2017 Cheryl Perkins No Comments » Conferences

I want to share with you an open invitation to join me at the Texas Open Innovation Conference in March! Check out this video welcome message by Christina Robinson, Chief Strategy Officer – Research & Innovation, LSC-University Park:

The event is March 28 and 29 in Houston. You can expect:

  • 200+ attendees
  • 20+ sessions and 30+ speakers
  • Networking opportunities with companies across multiple industries
  • Case studies, panel discussions and roundtable sessions on open innovation best practices

I hope you can join me at the event! You can save 20% on registration by using my promo code: speaker  

You’ll have an opportunity to participate in:

  • Presentations on successful cross-industry collaborations and partnerships
  • Frameworks for establishing an internal culture that values Open Innovation
  • Tactics to inform the business case for Open Innovation and get stakeholder buy-in
  • Interactive panel discussions on moving from incremental innovation to disruptive innovation

Egyptian invention cuts rice irrigation water by half

February 19, 2017 Cheryl Perkins No Comments » Cool Inventions and gadgets, Emerging markets

Water shortages around the world impacts billions of people. For those who depend on rainfall for their daily nourishment, a lack of water means famine and thirst.  Rice production – a staple in many developing nations – takes a lot of water: 1000-3000 liters just to produce one kilo of rice.  But in Egypt, innovators are making news for developing a new machine that could help significantly reduce the water needed for cultivation and irrigation of rice crops.

The water-conserving machine won first place in international contest. It has show to cut in half the amount of water needed in rice cultivation.

The scientists are hopeful that with this machine, farmers will continue to irrigate rice without worrying about water consumption.

Read more about this innovation here.

Free Webinar: Clorox’s Faster Growth Launchpad Program

February 17, 2017 Cheryl Perkins No Comments » Webinars and Podcasts

Complimentary Live Webinar
Wednesday, March 1, 2017
11am -12 noon EST

I am pleased to join once again with Management Roundtable to present this excellent free webinar.  Companies everywhere are seeking ways to increase the speed of innovation, grow their businesses faster, and do so without too much risk, money, or company resources. One approach The Clorox Company has found quite effective is its Entrepreneur-focused Launchpad program, designed to let entrepreneurs do what they do best while enabling a ‘light-touch’ but meaningful engagement with its network of much smaller firms.

This complimentary live webinar, to be held Wednesday, March 1 from 11am -12 noon EST, will be moderated by me, and features Ken McLellan who heads Clorox’s Entrepreneur program as part of its Technical Partnership strategy and helped start the first Launchpad program for the Burt’s Bees business unit.

He will share how this platform can work for multiple brands, categories, and business models. It is a safe way to engage with early stage, in-market entrepreneurs outside the bounds of typical M&A and licensing channels, but keeps an eye on ROI through partnering or acquisition.

Specifically he will cover:

  1. How the idea was created and pitched to corporate executives. How it got approved when other inventor- and entrepreneur programs have not met expectations.
  2. How Clorox promoted the program to the Naturals Community, including running a campaign, and what the ten finalists received.
  3. How they tailored the program for this Business Unit, and how it might be tailored differently for other, larger business units and brands.
  4. Key lessons learned, and how these lessons are being integrated into future Launchpad programs.

This is an excellent opportunity for innovation leaders and teams to attend together, ask questions, and gain insight to help create a similar program in your own organization. Sign up now – even if you can’t make the live session, you will receive the recording to listen at your convenience.

Register Here

Biomimicry: Spiders may help build stronger synthetics

February 13, 2017 Cheryl Perkins No Comments » Biotechnology

I’m always amazed by the ideas innovators can glean from nature. It’s called biomimicry, and some of our brightest new technologies are being enhanced by animals and plants. (See my blog post on this here)

Case in point, spiders. Scientists studying the threads spun by brown recluse spiders: have learned that these web threads are flat, and have the strength of industrial-grade fabric like Kevlar.

Spiders create their webs via organs called spinnerets to produce and sew silk strands together. But what many don’t realize is that these threads are further divided into parts which enable the spider to form loops with the thread similar to how sewing machines do it.

Scientists have yet to apply this technology specifically to reinforce synthetic materials. Past attempts failed because the loops have not been strong enough. However, new studies are offering new insights into how we might develop fibers stronger than synthetics. Here’s a video on how these brown spiders do their job:

Tracking? Put it on your finger

February 8, 2017 Cheryl Perkins No Comments » Disruptive Innovation

Courtesy of Motiv

Here is an activity tracking product that is trying to disrupt its way into the wearable wristband market: a ring for your finger! The Motiv Ring Activity + Sleep Tracker monitors your sleep and fitness, including steps, calories and distance. It also has an optical heart rate sensor. The developers say the battery life lasts three to five days on a charge.   I especially find the back story of the innovation process fascinating:

It all started with a hand-sketched drawing in the backseat of a car on a road trip. Our CTO Curt had an idea for a small and lightweight fitness tracker that could make your life better.

The rings go for $199 and are only available for pre-order right at the moment at Here’s one of several videos you’ll find at the site:

25 top blockchain use cases

February 7, 2017 Cheryl Perkins No Comments » Disruptive Innovation

A blockchain is a data structure that makes it possible to create a digital ledger of transactions and share it among a distributed network of computers. It uses cryptography to allow each participant on the network to manipulate the ledger in a secure way without the need for a central authority. I’ve written more about this here and here.

While widespread adoption is still not here, you can imagine how this technology will be used in capital markets to eliminate the need for reconciling separate ledgers, synchronizing all transactions into one blockchain.

Moody’s Investors Service (MIS) recently released a detailed report that names 120 blockchain projects being explored by various companies, along with 25 top use cases for blockchain technology.

You can explore these technologies in Moody’s report, “Credit Strategy — Blockchain Technology: Robust, Cost-effective Applications Key to Unlocking Blockchain’s Potential Credit Benefits.


How is the air quality in your personal space?

February 4, 2017 Cheryl Perkins No Comments » Green Innovation

Do you frequently travel to places like India or China, in cities where smog van be a problem?

Plume Labs has designed a wearable device focused on tracking pollution in your environment.

The Flow tracker works both indoors and out, and tracks nitrogen dioxide, ozone, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), temperature, and humidity. Wearers can clip it anywhere to track air quality.

The touch screen alerts you to the pollution status of the last 12 hours using Bluetooth Low Energy. You can even share your results in a Plume community.

Here are some applications: