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In detail: The RB & Lions Health Innovation Hack

Roberto Funari, EVP, Category Development Organisation at RB, shares his experience judging the second RB & Lions Health Innovation Hack.

created on Saturday 19 Aug 2017

"We were looking for creative ideas rooted in a key insight addressing a clear consumer need.  After all, RB exists because of our brands and the people who use them in their everyday lives."
Roberto Funari
In June, we hosted our second RB & Lions Health Innovation Hack at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity. As with our inaugural event last year, the hack showcased the fantastic outcomes you can achieve when you give a diverse group a common purpose. In this case, we partnered our global R&D experts from specialties like medical science, design & packaging, innovation and regulatory, with some of the best talent in the creative industry. The quality of the innovations, the carefully considered rationale and above all, the passion of the participants, was awe-inspiring.

As a judging panel, we were looking for creative ideas rooted in a key insight addressing a clear consumer need.  After all, RB exists because of our brands and the people who use them in their every-day lives. We wanted to see innovative product solutions to help parents protect their children from the negative health impact of air pollution in China, but with potential for scalability. Air pollution is a huge global health issue, so the innovations needed to be adaptable across different geographies, cultures and consumer lifestyles. 
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"For me innovation should be purpose-driven, focused on making a difference across the world. It is essential to have the end consumer at front of mind and consider how the product solution will help people across the world live healthier and happier lives."
Roberto Funari
The innovation that stood out for the judges was StrollAir, a small, portable air filtering device that repels polluted air to provide babies in prams with a clean air ‘bubble’. What impressed us most was the fact that the idea was rooted in genuine insight that parents in China are reluctant to take their babies outside when pollution levels are high, as there are limited protective solutions available. The team had gathered this insight by interviewing a mum in China. While all teams provided well-considered solutions, the deciding factor for StrollAir was also their consideration for a philanthropic partnership, which would allow lower income consumers to access the innovation through a stroller donation scheme. 

For me innovation should be purpose-driven, focused on making a difference across the world. It is essential to have the end consumer at front of mind and consider how the product solution will help people across the world live healthier and happier lives. 
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Partnering with like-minded organisations and individuals is also a fundamental part of innovation. Collaborating with diverse external and internal partners provides better outcomes and helps to accelerate progress. The RB & Lions Health Innovation Hack epitomises the way RB approach R&D – taking a matrix approach and partnering with people and companies from a broad spectrum of specialties to create life changing product solutions.

In the case of the Innovation Hack, creatives push ideas as far as possible when coming up with thought-provoking and challenging concepts and R&D experts can take these, and turn the kernels of an idea into a reality. This to me is true partnership: diversity of thought + a passion to change the world = a better different, tomorrow.