Accelerating product innovation for O-I

A journey from sticky notes to rapid prototyping, to real-world innovation.

Challenge

Becoming a world-class innovator.

Owens-Illinois (O-I) is a Fortune500 company specializing in container glass products. It’s one of the world’s leading manufacturers of packaging products, with clients like Heineken, ABInBev and P&G. O-I recently embarked on a journey to become a world-class innovator delivering value to both their clients and final users. 

O-I reached out to Board of Innovation to translate sustainability trends and needs into concrete opportunities for innovation investments for the European market. 

O-I wanted to create something significantly new, better and of value to customers that would generate profitable growth. 

The O-I Accelerator changed my way to see things, and it gave me a new refreshed mindset. I now see business opportunities instead of problems.  

Oscar Salvador, Senior Commercial Strategy Analyst, O-I

Solution

From idea to dragons' den in 6 months.

Board of Innovation designed and facilitated a 6-month corporate innovation accelerator for Owens-Illinois, with the goal of developing several proof of concepts, translating them into qualitative investment pitches, and identifying concrete innovation investment opportunities. 

The program consisted of an ideation track and a development track. 

During the ideation track, we turned prioritized market insights into creative ideas. We gathered more than 20+ business ideas and funnelled them to 4 selected concepts that have been further elaborated. 

These 4 promising business concepts were admitted to the development track, where Board of Innovation coaches supported the teams in the creation and validation of their business ideas following a hands-on, startup way of testing assumptions in the market. This in order to be able to convince the direction committee to invest in them – just like internal startups.

Impact

O-I:Expressions. At the crossroad of trend-based innovation and user-centric design.

Out of four teams that participated in the O-I Accelerator, one was awarded by Owens-Illinois, which invested, allowed for further development, and included into the company’s global innovation pipeline. The team’s business concept, O-I:Expressionshas now being launched to the market.

With O-I:Expressions, Owens-Illinois creates new marketing opportunities for brands through customization and personalization by sculpting glass bottles into multi-dimensional works of art, enabled by digital printing. These large-scale customization opportunities are offered to their clients, featuring Heineken, AB InBev, Coca-Cola and P&G. 

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