Vlerick: a key partner
While Procter & Gamble have considerable experience with these types of relationships, they are inevitably challenging and that’s where Vlerick’s role has been vital. From the outset, the involvement of the school in the negotiations sends a strong signal of intent to all the parties concerned, and demonstrates that P&G too, see these external relationships as important, and want to make them work. The reputation of the school, as well as its expertise in creating collaboration models mean that they can advise each party in a neutral manner at each of the different stages in the innovation and development process, for example on matters such as exchange of confidential information, the IP-split or licensing in the event of success or discontinuation.
Very often people think that change is difficult, but for us change offers an opportunity. At P&G, this is the new reality.”
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Suykens confirms just how much of a difference Vlerick makes in these discussions. “Meeting everyone’s expectations and the company’s financial imperatives as well, means that more than ever we need good partners. And that’s where Vlerick has really helped us deliver. The school advises us how to set up open innovation projects in which everyone feels they win. Of course, there are issues and that’s normal with so many people involved: legal, scientists, engineers and consumer insights – but it’s the only way we can go forward and leverage our network of contacts, and so be more productive.