SOURCE: NineSigma

December 20, 2007 08:30 ET

NineSigma Says 'Eco-Friendly' Solutions to Drive Innovation in 2008

Open Innovation Leader Sees 'Green' Projects Moving to More Diverse Industries

CLEVELAND, OH--(Marketwire - December 20, 2007) - NineSigma, the leading provider of open innovation solutions, today said 'eco-friendly' solutions will be a major driving force behind companies' innovation initiatives in 2008. Based on an influx of projects from global companies requiring 'green' solutions, NineSigma executives predict the trend will dramatically increase in the next year and move beyond the early adopter industries to meet the needs of more diverse companies and projects.

This conclusion is based on the 'greening' trend of needs being identified by NineSigma clients, including:

-- Better fuel cell technology for generating power

-- Lowering sulfur levels in diesel fuel

-- Lessening waste generated from fabric dyes

-- Improved foreign material detection in food processing to decrease waste

-- Materials and processes for greener electronics

-- Environmental footprint reduction

This greening movement is prompted by consumer demand as well as more stringent regulations requiring industries to improve environmental standards. In 2008, NineSigma anticipates industries looking to tap external sources to solve green challenges will expand throughout packaging, food and beverage, consumer goods, chemical and manufacturing.

"In the past, companies have utilized NineSigma's Request for Proposal (RFP) process to seek out solutions for their products that would drive faster speed to market and address a cost effectiveness problem," said Paul Stupay, Vice President of Business Development. "Today, customers are coming to NineSigma and saying 'Make my product greener.' In the coming year, we expect to see an even bigger surge in eco-friendly RFPs."

In addition to the request for green innovation solutions, executives also foresee an increase from businesses looking to measure their impact on the environment.

"NineSigma's open innovation process has enabled Kraft the ability to find solution providers that will develop tools to help us measure the environmental impact of food packaging and processing. It is essential for us to identify and address environmental impact when evaluating alternative materials and packaging options for new product development," said Nanako Mura, Associate Program Director External Development and Technology Sourcing at Kraft.

"In a recent NineSigma survey, 87% of respondents indicated they could be doing more to leverage technology and knowledge resources outside their companies," said Paul Stiros, President and CEO of NineSigma. "With increased pressure to deliver green solutions, it is imperative that companies look outside their four walls for new technologies and processes being developed in other parts of the world and in other industries. As we enter 2008, more and more companies are realizing there is no time to lose."

Are companies leveraging external technology and knowledge resources?

50% said no
37% said they were not certain
13% said yes

NineSigma Survey of $1B+ manufacturing companies, November 2007

About NineSigma

NineSigma partners with Global 1000 companies to transform their innovation capabilities by connecting them with the very best innovators from around the world. NineSigma's proprietary process for Open Innovation enables companies to dramatically improve speed to market while lowering product development costs. NineSigma's open network of innovators is the largest of its kind and spans industries, geographies, and technical disciplines. Companies such as P&G, GlaxoSmithKline, DuPont, Kraft, General Mills and Unilever engage NineSigma to build new innovation capabilities that leverage research and innovation globally to deliver greater value to their customers. For more information visit: www.ninesigma.com.

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