Read case studies featuring real world open innovation from NineSigma

Open Innovation Case Studies

With clients in every industry and technology sector, NineSigma has demonstrated our ability to successfully connect companies with the global innovation community. NineSigma has enabled our clients to leverage our open innovation network of external resources to solve immediate challenges, fill product pipelines and integrate new knowledge and capabilities into their organizations. Since its inception NineSigma has worked with nearly 500 companies in virtually every industry from aerospace to consumer products, health care to chemicals and materials, food and beverage to automotive. The following Case Studies illustrate recent successes.

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    • 3-Dimensional Sensor Localization System

      The US Army's Armament Research, Development, and Engineering Center was seeking various technologies for the development of a 3-dimensional sensor localization system in order to track movement of personnel.

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    • Entrapping Gases for Agricultural Formulations

      A leading global agribusiness firm sought technologies that would efficiently entrap a gas in a chemically and physically stable state that could then be further processed into a liquid or solid formulation.

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    • Optimizing Tools for Automotive Body Assembly

      A multinational automotive corporation wanted to establish a new process and methodology to optimize automotive body assembly and sought NineSigma's help in finding new potential solution providers.

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    • Thermal Management and Waste Heat Recovery Technology for Automotive Powertrains

      A multinational automotive corporation wanted to increase powertrain efficiency by improving the utilization of heat generated by the internal combustion engine.

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    • Remote Controlled Vehicle for NDE Inspection of Large, Vertical Concrete Structures

      The Electric Power Research institute sought a technology that would automate the movement of test equipment around a structure in order to expedite the process and significantly reduce the costs.

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    • Green Chemistry Partners
      A global client was seeking to build a network of strategic partners with expertise in “Green Chemistry,” particularly in the area of eco-solvents, with the goal of incorporating green chemistry principles into their products and processes. 
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    • Rapid Identification and Vetting of Research Partners

      A Major Chemical and Coatings Company needed to quickly identify research partners within four weeks for silicone-based polymers.

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    • Preventing the Use of Counterfeit Consumable Products

      Counterfeiters had figured out how to defeat current security devices built into consumable cartridges.  Therefore, a global manufacturer company needed to find a more robust product protection technology that was extremely difficult to defeat but did not inconvenience customers who purchased cartridges manufactured by the client.

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    • Seeking Manufacturers for Cosmetic and Personal Hygiene Products

      A Global 500 Company engaged NineSigma's assistance in order to identify reputable manufacturers of cosmetics and personal hygiene products that would be able to demonstrate the ability to manufacture a high-solids dissolvable film formulation.

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    • Surface Modification Technologies for Household Cleaning

      A major multinational consumer products company sought NineSigma's help to identify materials with anti-soil properties that could be added to a surfactant solution to allow easier removal of dirt and grease from household services.

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    • Tissue Preservation for Transport and/or Long-term Storage

      A global consumer products company sought technologies that would maintain the viability and integrity of living epithelial tissue during transport and long-term storage.

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    • Waterproofing Technologies for Porous Fibers

      A global consumer products company sought new or adaptable technologies that would render hair hydrophobic and non-absorbent, essentially "waterproof".

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    • Electric Grid Power Storage

      To develop the most effective strategy for building a better electric grid in the United States, a global electronics manufacturer needed to accurately identify all the high capacity electric storage devices currently being used in the US.

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    • Icephobic Coatings for Overhead Conductors

      A Fortune 100 Company sought proposals for coatings that could prevent ice accumulation on high-voltage transmission lines.

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    • Enhanced Oil Recovery

      A global energy company was looking for game-changing surfactant technology for enhanced oil recovery that would be inexpensive and work in low concentrations while simultaneously reducing surfactant loss.

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    • Middle Market Clean Energy Company

      A global provider of clean energy solutions was looking to identify possible improvements in their current synthetic fuel production and engaged NineSigma to help them identify major players and potential partners.

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    • Next Generation Steam Generators for the Thermal Recovery of Heavy Oil

      The Oil Sands Leadership Initiative sought proposals for the development of Next Generation Steam Generators for in-situ thermal recovery of heavy oil and focused on identifying potential "game changing" or "breakthrough" boiler technologies.

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    • Local Subsea Power Generation

      An Energy Company wanted to find a remote local power general system that would meet underwater power demand needs while eliminating expensive long distance power cables.

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    • Using Bioplastics to Make Optical Components

      A multinational lighting manufacturer collaborated with NineSigma to find plastics made from sustainable sources of biomass for use as opaque reflectors or clear optical lenses.

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    • Breakthrough Water Treatment Technologies

      To enable a broader impact on improving process water treatment, this multi-company challenge allowed companies to co-invest in precompetitive technologies and share in the benefits.

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    • Connecting Physical and Financial Health

      A Fortune 500 financial services company was seeking new ways to educate consumers in making good decisions about physical and financial health.  The goal was to change consumer behavior that would promote positive lifestyle changes.

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    • High Throughput Coating Process for Small Delicate Parts

      A global consumer products company wanted a method or technology to uniformly apply a thin protective coating to non-round candy pieces, and was open to approaches for new processes, coatings, or a combination of both.

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    • Nanoparticle Halide Salt: Formulation and Delivery

      In order to meet customer needs, PepsiCo was looking for ways to reduce sodium in their Frito-Lay brand of chips without losing their salty flavor.  PepsiCo was seeking new formulation technologies for creating nano and micron-sized particles, suspending for transportation, and application and drying techniques for halide salts.

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    • Doneness Indicator for Sausages

      A global sausage manufacturer sought a method, visual or otherwise, that would indicate to a consumer the doneness of their grilled fresh pork sausage product.  Such an indicator would provide consistent grilled quality of the sausage and prevent under-cooking, over-cooking, or burned sausages.

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    • New Re-sealable Package Closure System

      Kraft Foods Global, Inc. wanted to find a novel reclose system for food packaging that would maintain freshness and reduce product contamination, while still remaining cost effective and easy-to-use.

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    • Development of Pourable Frozen Pasta and Sauce Products

      A Multi-Billion Dollar Company sought proposals for the development of a new, frozen pasta and sauce product that could easily be poured or scooped which would enable consumers to prepare the exact portion desired.

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    • LAUNCH

      LAUNCH, a joint initiative of NASA, the US Agency for International Development (USAID), the Department of State, and NIKE, works to address large, sustainability-related challenges that no single government or commercial entity can solve alone.  LAUNCH chose NineSigma to help with this Energy Challenge, entitled "Innovative Energy Technologies and Deployment for Sustainable Development."  They were focused on finding solutions for transforming the gneration and delivery of electricity.

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    • Handheld High-Intensity LED Lamp

      A Global 500 Corporation sought proposals for the conversion of a prototype LED lighting device into a commercially attractive unit.

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    • Transparent Conducting Graphene Coatings on Polymer Film Substrates

      A multinational conglomerate corporation was seeking new technologies to achieve high speed layering graphene directly on plastic films.

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    • Optical Object Recognition

      A Global Manufacturing Company sought a mobile device application that could measure the surface features of small appliances without having to set calibrations.

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    • Sub-Sea Wireless Communication
      BP sought proposals for the development of a next generation wireless sub-sea communications system that would relay information between sub-sea equipment to a surface production platform.
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    • Information Structuring Technologies

      A global manufacturing company had an existing knowledge management system, but was concerned about the use of expensive human domain experts to provide categorization of contents for multiple approaches to access.

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    • Novel Wireless Communication Systems for Down Hole Applications

      NineSigma's Oil and Gas Client wanted to improve the use of two-way communication and sought NineSigma's help in identifying partners with innovative and robust wireless communication systems. 

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    • Formaldehyde-Free Resin/Binder/Adhesive Technology

      Establishing a formaldehyde-free adhesive/bonding technology was significantly important to the business of a major Manufacturing Corporation.  The technology needed to be capable of binding wood, wood and glass fibers, sand, and/or cellulose while also employing sustainable principles.

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    • Novel Adhesion Technologies

      A global medical device company was searching for novel technologies that would provide rigid internal fixation without the need for screws.  This new method would result in ease of use for the surgeon and less operating room time for the patient.

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    • Polyurethane Medical Devices

      The Client sought coatings to reduce friction when medical sterile devices come in contact with the mucosal tissue and biological fluids, while remaining easily activated in sterile water or saline.

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    • Geospatial Positioning for Underground Environments

      A global mining company wanted to find a reliable, single pervasive technology that would allow for instantaneous and highly accurate 3-dimensional geospatial position and orientation information in an underground mining environment.

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    • Methods to Increase Silver Extraction from Ores

      Newmont Mining Corporation wanted to find new methods, processes, or materials that would increase silver extraction from ores.

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    • International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI)

      The creation of an effective vaccine is the most economical and practical way to eliminate AIDS.  NineSigma collaborated with IAVI to help advance HIV vaccine research by identifying new approaches to the design of a potential vaccine.

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    • Chilled Product Packaging Giving a Cold Touch
      A Major Food Products Manufacturer sought proposals for the technology and design of a "cold touch" package for chilled consumer products.
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    • Hershey Global Packaging Board

      Hershey was seeking consumer insights from outside of the food and confectionery industry to advise them on future packaging trends.

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    • Diisocyanate-free Cushioning Technology

      Sealed Air was looking to identify an alternate technology that would replace existing foam-in-place packaging systems while retaining as many of its features as possible.

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    • Global Pulp and Paper Company

      A Global Pulp and Paper Company wanted to find an "intelligent" or "active" packaging technology to track temperature and ripeness and control the quality of fruits and vegetables during shipment.

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    • Rapid Development of Topical Ibuprofen Formulations

      A Global Pharmaceutical Company had an urgent need to identify topical ibuprofen formulations that effectively relieved pain and swelling in joints.  Their goal was to identify one or more partners in less than four weeks.

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