Invention Partners

We are looking for creative ideas for new products or solutions for existing challenges. Join our program and put your technological know-how into practice.

Henkel is known for its innovative Laundry and Home Care products. We want to guarantee our consumers the best product quality. For this reason we develop our products in cooperation with our partners, worldwide. In our initiative, the Henkel Innovation Partnerships Program (HIPP), we tell you what we are looking for, which technical problems we have and would like to solve, with your help. Do you have a technical solution to our formulation, packaging or process challenges? We are looking for the best partners having a solution to our challenges.

Which partnerships are we searching for?

We are searching for solutions to our technical challenges for the business area Laundry and Home Care in product formulation, packaging and process development issues.

We are constantly working in order to improve our Laundry and Home Care products because we always want to guarantee our consumers the best product quality and offer them the most innovative solutions. We therefore welcome partners helping us to achieve our targets and solve the technological and scientific challenges.

Our Challenges

  • Product Performance

  • Fragrances

  • Process Technologie

Low-temperature (skin) fat removal

Skin fat is deposited on all skin-near textiles. As it is quasi-solid at low temperatures, it is hard to remove in cold water. With the growing urge to reduce washing temperatures due to new fibres and in order to save energy, time and money, we want to identify new approaches towards better and more effective removal of solid fats at low temperatures without the need for a pretreatment.

New sustainable routes to LAS-like surfactants

LAS (linear alkylbenzene sulphonate) is the most important surfactant used in today's laundry detergents. Due to depletion of oil reservoirs, high volatility of oil prices and increasing sustainability awareness surfactants alternatives to LAS, e. g. based on renewable feedstocks are of high interest.

H2O2 stabilization in liquid detergent formulations

Bleach is one of the major contributors for stain removal in solid laundry detergents. It is desired to incorporate bleach (active oxygen) in liquid detergent formulations. The challenge is the combination with enzymes in such formulations to avoid bleach decomposition and destruction of enzymes at the same time. Sought after is a method to stabilize H2O2 or active oxygen precursors in a liquid detergent environment containing surfactants and ensure compatibility with enzymes.

Removal of burnt-in soil in automatic dishwashing

Burnt-in soil is very hard to remove in automatic dishwashing applications. We are interested in identifying new approaches towards improved cleaning performance on burnt-in soils. Typically, burnt-in soils contain proteins, carbohydrates, Maillard reaction products thereof and fats. They occur for example in/during meals "au gratin", scrambled eggs, baking of cakes or roasting of meat. Usually, cookware (pans, casseroles) made from glass, metal or ceramics is affected.

Visual proof of performance of cleaners

Visual support as a performance indicator of cleaners is important evidence for consumers, visualizing the initiation or the completion of the cleaning process. We are looking for substances which lead to color change or clouding when applying the cleaner formulation, e. g. several minutes after spraying onto a surface (preferred under acidic conditions) or when added to the water in the bucket.

Boron-free protease stabilizers

The most common enzyme in detergent formulations is protease. In order to maintain the activity level of the protease also during long-term storage of the detergent, protease stabilizers such as boric acid are used.
We are looking for alternative substances capable of stabilizing protease on the same level or even better.

Long-lasting fragrances

Once the consumer has chosen a product with a pleasant smell for laundry or home care he wants to enjoy this scent as long as possible or even when he puts on his clothes next time. So we are interested in technologies to extend the time period of scent perception, i. e. to achieve long lastingness. One approach could be fragrance precursors, i. e. molecules which are not volatile but release the volatile fragrance upon use or through interaction with an external trigger.

Air-free introduction of solids in conti processes

A cost-effective way to manufacture liquid products might be a continuous process. Such Conti Processes (similar to a tube reactor / all raw materials are dosed continuously and exactly according to the recipe into the reactor) are state-of-the-art and have reached a high technological standard – as far as all ingredients are liquid (pure liquids, dissolutions, dispersions).

We are searching for a technical solution to dose powder raw materials to such conti processes, respecting high dosing accuracy and an air-free introduction.

Cost-effective thickener for Esterquat-Dispersions

Aqueous Dispersions of Esterquats (cationic surfactants) are well known as basis for fabric softeners.
In order to improve flow behavior as well as stability of such kind of formulations we are searching for cost-effective thickening agents which can be used in a pH range from 2 to 4.

Production of viscous and air-free products

Viscous products can only be produced with a lot of air inside and their degassing runs very slowly. This is a big disadvantage for the filling line with regard to storage capacity and throughput.

We are interested in technologies which can reduce or avoid the air input and in new and efficient degassing systems.

If you think you can contribute and help us with any of our open challenges, please register here and you will receive access to all detailed information regarding these items.

Step by step: Submit your solution

Register with Henkel as a partner

For both the protection of Henkel and our partners only those companies or institutes will have access to the full details of our open challenges having signed a confidentiality agreement and thus accepting the legal terms and conditions.

What does this mean for you?
One of Henkel’s goals is to further strengthen its position in the years to come as the “Innovation Leader” in its global markets. One of your goals may be to put your technological know-how into practice. If you can help us solve our product formulations-, packaging or processing technologies-challenges, Henkel will be interested in talking to you further. Depending on the challenge and the solution offered, collaboration with Henkel could proceed in one of the two ways:

  • Solution ideas for which extensive evaluation is still necessary: Frequently, the long term value of a solution proposal can only be judged in concrete terms after an extension evaluation. Henkel will conduct this evaluation and bear the associated costs. Henkel will respect your published intellectual property rights and take care not to follow patent activities which could damage your own rights. This increases the chances that your solution might be used even if Henkel decides not to use the proposed solutions after all.
  • Solution ideas ready to be used as they are or in a slightly modified form: In this case we would offer you, as the holder of the intellectual property right, either to purchase the patent, utility model or design from you, or to enter a licensing agreement with you. If any evaluation is required prior to this, Henkel would conduct the evaluation and bear the associated costs.

Please fill out our contact form to register.

Submit your solution

After sending back the signed non-disclosure agreement (NDA) to us we will provide you with the login data and more details in the protected area for registered partners.

If you already got your username and password you can login on this page.

Internal review and evaluation

The submitted solutions will be reviewed and evaluated according to the following criteria:

  • Does the proposal fit Henkel’s briefing?
  • Does the idea fit Henkel’s strategy?
  • To what extent does the proposal meet customer/consumer needs?
  • Can the proposal be put into practice?
  • Does the proposal have market potential?
  • Or will the proposal bring improvements in terms of environmental protection, substitution of raw materials, cost savings, or similar?

The deciding factor is whether Henkel considers that the utilization or further elaboration of the proposed solution has the potential for success.

The examination and evaluation process may take several months, so please be patient.

Once the examination and evaluation process has been completed, we will notify you of the results. In some cases we may have to request more information from you in order to complete the evaluation.