CHINA – Nestle China has partnered with China’s innovative and entrepreneurship platform, Tsinghua x-lab to foster innovation and development of sustainable packaging solutions.

The innovation challenge is expected to drive impact by leveraging China’s extensive capacity for innovation, while providing a platform for the development of potential solutions to address packaging sustainability locally.

Based in Beijing, China, Tsinghua x-lab brings in a pool of China’s academic community with an aim to foster student creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship.

The challenge looks to identify and promote new solutions for product packaging and business models across four areas: recyclable or reusable, e-commerce, gifting, as well as consumer education and engagement.

Participating teams will have access to Nestlé’s R&D expertise and infrastructure at the R&D center in Beijing, including labs and prototyping facilities.

“We are focused on strengthening collaborations with local universities to enable the innovation of products that meet local consumer demands,” said Chris Pipe, Head of Nestlé R&D China.

“We are excited to bring together the experience and expertise of both Nestlé R&D and Tsinghua x-lab, to accelerate the discovery of packaging solutions in line with Nestlé’s commitment to make our packaging 100% recyclable or reusable by 2025.”

The challenge will involve 30 students and faculty members who will enter a 5-month acceleration program, providing them an opportunity to pitch their ideas to a panel of judges that will include executives from Nestlé, Tsinghua University professionals and industry experts.

The top three compelling ideas will be awarded prizes and the opportunity to further develop their concept in partnership with Nestlé.

The open innovation challenge is part of Nestlé Needs YOUth initiative, which has an ambition to help 10 million young people around the world have access to economic opportunities by 2030.

It is in line with UN’s Sustainable Development Goals on promoting inclusive and sustainable economic growth, employment and decent work for all.

In May, Nestle launched Research and Development (R&D) innovation challenge in Africa in a bid to contribute to the local innovation ecosystem.