Path to innovation
After a year’s scoping research, including our technology landscaping, literature review and initial market research, we were ready to start our first round of innovation work, to find sanitation solutions that are technologically feasible and meet users’ needs.
To ensure that all potential routes to a solution were uncovered, we took a creative approach, involving three stages.
Firstly, through in-depth conversations with core team members and trawling existing consumer research, we identified a series of technical platforms and areas of importance for consumers – nine areas in total. We illustrated these to stimulate our thinking (see left) and held a creative workshop to explore them further.
Creating a Long-List
Our team was joined by invited experts in the two-day workshop in London, where we used the areas from the foundation stage to generate a broad raft of ideas about where a solution might lie. We explored the viability of the available routes as creatively as possible, using professional illustrations to help us express numerous approaches.
Our core team then held a further session to explore each idea in more detail, evaluating its technical viability and potential consumer benefits. This process extended beyond the session in conversations with experts who sometimes reinstated ideas we’d dismissed and challenged ones we felt were strong. This openness proved an important part of the process, helping us identify a long-list of 10 possible technologies to take forward.
Evaluating and Prioritising Ideas
Our core team evaluated the 10 ideas against detailed assessment criteria to identify the approaches our innovation team would develop. The criteria included market potential, performance measures, possible business models and critical issues to test technically and with consumers. They gave us the information needed to identify which ideas to develop, and in what way.
On this basis, we selected one lead idea: a biofilter system based on natural filtration by organisms such as tiger worms. Project Tiger was launched to develop this.
We also decided to explore two strong runners-up, which need more research before we’ll know whether to take them to the application development stage: Black Soldier Fly larvae and next-generation bioadditives.