Novel Adhesive Systems

Published Feb-08-10

New adhesive systems for use in automotive, building and construction, electronics and medical industries.

Fasson Roll North America, a division of Avery Dennison, United States

The Story:

Novel Adhesive Systems Open innovation has become the hot topic in business since the publication in 2003 of Henry Chesborough’s book ‘Open Innovation: The new imperative for creating and profiting from technology’. In it the Director of the Center for Open Innovation at the University of California, Berkeley declares:

“Not long ago, internal R&D was viewed as a strategic asset and even a barrier to competitive entry in many industries. Only large companies with significant resources and long-term research programs could compete ... These days, the former leading industrial enterprises are finding remarkably strong competition from newer companies. These newcomers – Intel, Microsoft, Sun, Oracle, Cisco, Genentech, Amgen, Genzyme – conduct little or no basic research on their own. Although they have been very innovative, these companies have innovated with the research discoveries of others.”

The World is Your Ideas Engine

Since he committed these words to paper an increasing number of companies - large and small – have realized that hiring more R&D staff does not necessarily equate to more innovation. So they have looked for high quality ideas elsewhere in the world.

Fasson Roll North America is a division of Avery Dennison a global leader in pressure-sensitive technology and self-adhesive solutions for consumer products and label materials. Despite its status as an innovative company with an impressive record it decided to venture outside its own headquarters to look for new adhesive systems for use in automotive, construction, electronics, and medical devices.

Open Innovation Knowledge Brokers Help

It approached an open innovation knowledge broker for help and the challenge was sent out to a global network of companies, universities and private research laboratories. Out of the large number of possible innovators two solution providers were identified and the knowledge broker worked with the seeker to draw up joint development agreements with these providers.

James Macuga, New Business Development Leader for Fasson Roll North America said that the “process was very successful in uncovering companies and technologies that we would not have identified otherwise.” This was the third time that Fasson Roll North America had used this knowledge broker to acquire a technical innovation that was developed outside its organization.

Breaking Down Boundaries

Fasson Roll discovered that by breaking down the boundaries between itself and the outside world it was able to bring in new and fresh ideas at lower cost and at a speed that was much quicker than if they had tried to come up with the ideas themselves. By adopting an open innovation strategy companies like Fasson Roll are finding that it reduces R&D risk and liberates budgets which can then be devoted to the most promising ideas.

Open innovation doesn’t have to sound the death knell for R&D departments in large corporations. They are finding that this new way of importing ideas opens them up to a broader range of activities as they work with the problem solvers to develop and adapt their new technologies.

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