Avery Dennison has globally launched AD Stretch, its first labels and packaging industry program, which partners with start-up innovators to solve key challenges around sustainability, customer experience, and value chains.
The company said it intends to engage with start-ups in the region and across the world to disrupt and evolve the labels and packaging industry and strengthen its innovation capabilities.
Avery Dennison Asia-Pacific labels and graphic materials vice president and general manager Anil Sharma said the aim is to address some of the industry’s most urgent business challenges by collaborating with promising start-ups in Asia Pacific allying them to Avery Dennison’s experience and size so both can grow.
“From our first day in business nearly ninety years ago, Avery Dennison has a long and proud heritage as an innovator,” he said.
“AD Stretch will help us stay on the cutting edge of innovation by reaching out to the brightest talent and start-ups, working together to realise shared goals and value and solve the key challenges of the next decade.”
The program will be launched globally, starting in Asia Pacific and Latin America, then rolling out in Europe and the US later this year. With the end goal of solving a particular problem, each group of start-ups will have a region-specific brief that draws on regional challenges.
The core themes will focus on connecting consumers to brands through new experiences; creating sustainable, responsible and efficient value chains (SRE); and the development of materials and packaging 2.0.
Specifically, within Asia Pacific, areas the AD Stretch teams will focus on include solutions that help brands connect with end users more effectively, new biodegradable labelling and packaging products and materials, and solutions that help perishables survive the last leg of the supply chain in emerging economies.
The program, in partnership with venture studio Highline Beta, aims to attract the best and brightest startups and innovators. Following a period of review and consultation, the applicants will be narrowed down to 10 finalists that will go on to execute a pilot project.
Should COVID restrict startups from being able to physically be on location, Avery Dennison will explore the opportunity to run remote pilots with the selected startups.
Avery Dennison A/NZ commercial director Cath Cornaggia said the company is looking to work with startups (pre-seed to series C mainly), that are already in market or have sales traction in market.
Earlier stage companies may also apply but will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
“We are looking for ambitious businesses, particularly in the F&B manufacturing sector that are focused on solving industrial challenges, namely – maximising consumer experiences, developing innovative materials and packaging solutions, and creating sustainable, responsible and efficient value chains,” Cornaggia said.
“We have partnered up with Highline Beta who have fantastic experience in co-developing corporate accelerator programs and are helping us reach out to exciting startups. Tactically, startups can apply via our website. An overview of our challenge themes and the link to the application form are available here: https://adstretch.com/p/2.
“As an industry leader, we’re looking to partner with the brightest and best innovators and startups in this space. AD Stretch is a non-dilutive startup accelerator that aims to pilot new technologies with a focus on value chain efficiency, sustainability, and materials innovation.”
Cornaggia added that being an 80-year old company that knows the process of developing something new and bringing it to the market, Avery Dennison is taking this approach as it wants to help other startups succeed.
“Innovation is at the heart of what Avery Dennison does. We look to startups to help us solve tomorrow’s problems today, thereby absolutely contributing to our business growth,” she said.
“Post-program, we would like to have transitioned successful A/NZ startups to full-fledged commercial partnerships or incorporate them into our venture portfolio. The AD Stretch program does not take equity or require startups to relinquish their proprietary intellectual property.
“The pilots will be funded as per agreement between the startup and their program lead, and the program will provide a network, support and guidance to help with startups’ funding and scaling goals.”
She added that the company’s mission is to advance innovation in packaging that generates positive impact and help fuel regional progress as whole, through the opportunities, funding and support it provides.
“As this is an industry-first program, we are excited about the benefits this can bring to all our stakeholders in the region, as we believe strongly that collaboration is a key factor for achieving progress in our common goals of reducing environmental impact and creating a more regenerative world,” she added.