Avery Dennison Corporation says AD Stretch is a first in the labels industry programme and is aimed at partnering with start-up innovators to solve key challenges and create new opportunities within sustainability, customer experience and value chains.

The company intends to engage with startups to further enable disruption and evolution in labels and packaging while strengthening innovation capabilities across the industry. The aim is to address some of the industry’s most urgent business challenges by matching Avery Dennison’s experience and scale with promising startups and inventors to collaborate and grow together.

“Complementing our industry-leading internal capabilities and our corporate venture program, AD Stretch will play a critical role in our overall innovation approach and extend our circle of innovators,” says Pascale Wautelet, global vice president, research and development, label and graphic materials, Avery Dennison.

“We’re stretching beyond borders and boundaries, and increasing the pool of industry talent we work with to create a collective global problem-solving culture that inspires everyone it touches and generates real value for our stakeholders and society.”

The programme will be launched by regional cohorts 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 specific problem, each cohort 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.

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“When faced with a complex ecosystem, there are challenges and opportunities in equal measure,” adds Shruti George, senior director, Strategic Innovation Platforms at Avery Dennison. “In some cases, the solutions lie in scale and existing infrastructure; in other cases, in agility and a blank page. By combining our financial firepower with the agility of start-up innovators, we’re supercharging our efforts to increase efficiency in the supply chain, create the next generation of packaging and solve environmental challenges.”

The programme, 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 ten finalists that will go on to execute a pilot project.