InnoCentive and Environmental Defense Fund Announce Eco-Challenge Series

Organizations seek corporate environmental challenges to be solved through open innovation

February 24, 2011
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Boston and Waltham, Mass. (February 24, 2011) – InnoCentive, Inc., the global leader in Challenge Driven Innovation, and Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) today announced a partnership aimed at accelerating environmental innovation in business. The two organizations are seeking companies who will submit "Eco-Challenges" that can be solved through open innovation and crowdsourcing, generating solutions that create business and environmental value.

"For over 20 years, EDF has helped to catalyze environmental innovation through our partnerships with Fortune 500 companies," said Gwen Ruta, vice president of corporate partnerships for EDF. "Working with InnoCentive, we hope to take it to the next level, building a new model for companies, entrepreneurs and inventors across the globe to come together to quickly solve our most challenging environmental problems."

The partners will use the unique Challenge Driven Innovation methodology developed by InnoCentive to accelerate open innovation in commercial, nonprofit, and public sector organizations. InnoCentive's platform brings together cloud-based technology, expert services, and a global network of over 200,000 problem solvers to develop innovative solutions to Challenges submitted by a broad range of organizations. Companies will work with EDF and InnoCentive to identify environmental problems, formulate them as Challenges, and offer financial rewards for the best solutions to the Eco-Challenges.

"EDF is a pioneer in environmental sustainability," said Dwayne Spradlin, President and CEO of InnoCentive, Inc. "This partnership applies our proven, results-oriented Challenge Driven Innovation approach to the key environmental and sustainability issues facing our world. Organizations today must use every means at their disposal to innovate, especially where human health, prosperity, and our limited natural resources are concerned."

The partnership between EDF and InnoCentive comes at a crucial time when businesses are endeavoring to tackle environmental problems – in their operations, supply chains, and product usage — while managing resource and budget constraints. The EDF-InnoCentive Eco-Challenge Series will look to identify and solve specific business challenges in the areas of such as energy efficiency, waste production, sustainable foods and products, use of toxic chemicals, and efficient freight transport.

EDF and InnoCentive are seeking companies from a range of industries to work with on developing and hosting Challenges. Companies interested in developing innovative solutions to environmental issues through open R&D and crowdsourcing are invited to participate in the Eco-Challenge Series. Working with EDF and InnoCentive, Challenges submitted by companies can focus on various environmental opportunities throughout the value chain, including:

  • Reducing water, energy, chemical or other resource inputs to operations, a supply chain or a distribution network
  • Creating innovations in materials or product design
  • Reducing impacts associated with the use phase and end of life for products
  • Uncovering new technologies, process innovations or business models

Companies interested in presenting a Challenge for this project should contact Justin Olsson at jolsson@edf.org or visit the EDF Business website.