Cambridge Network helps start-ups to meet L’Oreal

A select group of start-ups from the region met with L’Oréal’s Open Innovation and global Research & Innovation teams as part of a recent scouting expedition organised by Cambridge Network, resulting in several possible collaborations.

L'Oreal logo

Companies working in smart or advanced materials and biotechnology joined L’Oreal’s teams in a two-day series of virtual 1-2-1 meetings at the end of September.

Cambridge Network worked with L’Oreal’s Open Innovation team for several months beforehand to host the virtual event – a Learning Expedition – during which L’Oréal met with several pre-selected companies. The event comprised prearranged Microsoft Teams meetings between the start-ups and the Open Innovation team. The meetings were preceded by an afternoon of presentations from some of the third party organisations and Eastern region networks who had helped Cambridge Network to identify the start-ups.

The L’Oréal team hoped to find start-ups who could help them to overcome technical challenges and to anticipate the future of beauty through sustainable innovation, deep tech and digital innovation. L’Oréal has 80,000 employees across 150 countries and is renowned for cosmetics and beauty products. But they are always scouting for technologies that may be unexpected.

L’Oreal’s Open Innovation team continues to discover a broad range of technologies and is particularly keen to explore technologies outside the cosmetic field. These exchanges are extremely rewarding, and previous similar events have led to deeper discussions and collaborations with partners.

“Do not be put off if you think you have nothing to offer cosmetics, as this is very often not the case!” urged Steven Perkins from the Open Innovation team prior to the event. “Innovation can come from anywhere and we are open to a variety of technologies that can be the source of breakthrough innovation.”

For the start-ups who are successful, partnership with L’Oréal could mean close interaction with its research capabilities and expertise, support to develop their technology, tailor-made business models and access to its Scientific Master Classes.

Now L'Oréal Research & Innovation is organising its first edition of the L'Oréal Challenges for Deeptech startups.

Challenges currently open are detailed here.


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