We believe in straightforward partnerships in Open Innovation – and we’ve tried to make the submissions process as transparent as possible. Below, you’ll find answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about working with us. If you can’t see what you’re looking for, please feel free to contact us.
Submitting a proposal
What information should I include in my proposal?
First and most important, include your contact details! Then, when describing your project, please give us an overview of your innovation, telling us what it does and what commercial applications you see for it. What benefits does it bring? If it is an ingredient, how is it different from similar ingredients? If it is a new technology, what does it enable?
Can I suggest the type of commercial partnership I would prefer?
Yes. Our Open Innovation partnerships can take many forms: licence agreements; equity investments; collaborations to develop products; the purchase of technologies; and many more. If you have a particular arrangement in mind, please feel free to tell us.
Do I have to accept the terms and conditions?
Yes. These are designed to protect your rights as well as ours. We ask everyone to agree to the terms and conditions before submitting their proposal.
Why can’t I submit confidential information?
Our terms and conditions protect your invention and your ability to seek protection from patents if you have not done so already. Since we may already be working on something similar, they also protect Tate & Lyle’s ability to patent our own inventions. We advise you to speak to an intellectual property advisor before submitting information about innovations not protected by patent or by a patent application.
The process from proposal to partnership
Who decides if we can work together?
We both do. Our Open Innovation team will review your submission and decide if it could be a fit for our innovation strategy at this stage. Depending on the nature of your proposal, we may ask you to provide some more information, contact you to set up a meeting, enter into further discussions on the project, or begin discussing the best type of partnership. But you are fully in control of your proposal throughout. And if for whatever reason your idea doesn’t match our requirements at this stage, we won’t keep you hanging on – we follow up on all submissions within six weeks.
How long does the process take and what are the stages?
We will acknowledge your submission within 48 hours. If your proposal is not a fit for us at this time, we will get back to you as quickly as we can, and certainly within six weeks. If your proposal could lead to a partnership, our Open Innovation team will be in touch as soon as possible to start further discussions. Depending on the nature of your proposal and of any commercial arrangement we agree, the next stages vary in length – but we will communicate openly and early about these timings with you. Speed of innovation and speed to market are essential parts of our business strategy, so we will make every effort to keep the development of a successful new product or technology as straightforward and transparent – and as fast – as possible.
What we’re looking for
How do I know if my submission will be relevant to T&L?
We’re interested in a very wide range of food and beverage ingredients and technologies. The ‘what we look for’ pages give details of specific areas in which we would like to find partners.
Are you looking for new ideas?
We are always open to great new ideas! The strongest proposals, however, are likely to have been developed beyond the idea stage, with some proof of concept and evidence for the benefits of the ingredient or technology you are working on.
Where can I find out more about Tate & Lyle?
You can find out more on our corporate site, www.tateandlyle.com.