The New Jersey-based company uses molecular design technology to discover and develop new products, and Unilever says it will be working with the company on the core biology of ageing.
According to Unilever, this reflects the increasing consumer demand for healthy living and ageing products, and the partnership with BioLeap will help it meet this need.
Although no details could be given regarding the type of products that may result from the partnership, a Unilever spokesperson did say it expected the technology to have applications across different categories in the portfolio.
Innovation with outside partners
According to Unilever’s chief R&D officer Genevieve Berger the partnership represents the company’s interest in open innovation.
“This collaboration with BioLeap is another example of the commitment at Unilever to partner with innovators from outside the business with specific biotech assets and knowledge with our own in-house science and development experts based in our six core laboratories across the world,” she said.
In addition, Berger highlighted the importance of such exclusive partnerships to the competitiveness of the business.
“I see the key benefits of this collaboration with BioLeap being the development of superior products across a number of categories and exclusivity that will potentially give us competitive advantage in the marketplace,” she said.
Fellow consumer goods company P&G has also recently announced its focus on external innovation partners.
The Cincinnati-headquartered company held an analysts meeting late last year in which it highlighted the importance of innovation to its business calling it the ‘lifeblood’ of P&G.
In addition, the company has said it wants the contribution outside innovation makes to annual sales growth to increase.