The Paint the Future story has started a new chapter: uncovering new possibilities in the paints and coatings industry with suppliers. A recent event held in Amsterdam brought together suppliers and others in the collaborative innovation ecosystem around the topic of accelerating innovation.
Defining the challenges in the industry together was our end goal, but before we could do that, we kicked off the event by introducing Paint the Future and sharing more about the big picture of innovation and partnership at AkzoNobel.
“There is a difference between a good future and a great future for the paints and coatings industry. Through innovation and collaboration, we can keep creating more value for that future. And that’s exactly what Paint the Future is all about,” says Thierry Vanlancker, AkzoNobel CEO. “We’re building on the energy from our startup challenge earlier in the year to find and accelerate disrupting, creative ideas that are going to help us take our products – and our future – to the next level.”
During several lively breakout sessions, suppliers helped us define specific industry challenges to correspond with our four innovation drivers: Productivity, Asset protection, Surface enhancement and Environmental protection.
Maarten Schuwer, representing IGM resins, one of the suppliers participating in the event says: “We’re here because we see a true partnership and close collaboration ahead of us. As experts in energy curing, it’s really valuable for us to meet others in the value chain. There’s so much knowledge between AkzoNobel and suppliers. Paint the Future gives us the opportunity to make change together.”
While the event focused on suppliers, attendees also explored a variety of perspectives through panel discussions and speakers – with time to network and get to know each other better. Several participants from the 2019 global startup challenge were also on hand to share their experiences on the journey to bring solutions to market.
“Paint the Future was quite revolutionary in the sense that it was super open platform where we could submit our ideas, and the AkzoNobel experts helped us make progress,” said Dirk Huibers from Octo, the winner of the 2019 KPMG Scale-up Track Award. “It’s interesting to see how bringing people innovating on a product level together with those innovating on a demand level actually gives us the potential to revolutionize the entire industry.”
No matter who was speaking, meeting customer expectations was always top of mind. As keynote speaker Danny Lucas, Executive Chairman and Managing Director of the Lucas UK Group pointed out, collaboration is the key to being able to deliver.
“It’s not good enough to be at the top of your game right now,” says Lucas. “We want to be raising the bar all the time so we can always be at the forefront, creating our future. We can do this together with like-minded companies. When customers, suppliers, startups and big companies like AkzoNobel bring their best to the table, we all become part of this amazing journey.”
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