Advancing Sustainable Consumer Products: Insights from the OXIPRO Innovation Boot Camp in Berlin

As the world grapples with environmental challenges, the need for innovative, eco-friendly consumer products has never been more pressing, but how can we build bridges from science to industry and the consumer market?  In response to this question, the OXIPRO Innovation Boot Camp convened in Berlin from April 18th to 19th, 2024. This event marked a significant milestone in the journey towards transitioning to sustainable consumer goods through the co-creation of an oxidoreductase foundry.


The boot camp attracted a diverse group of participants, including master students, PhD students, and postdocs, all eager to contribute to the development of environmentally conscious products. Twelve participants from OXIPRO and our sister project FuturEnzyme engaged in a series of exercises and activities aimed at fostering innovation in two key areas: detergents and sunscreens.


Under the expert guidance of Susanne Hollmann from SBSM, the lead beneficiary organization, and a team of contributing experts, including Babette Regierer, Christiane Hollmann (SBSM), Christina Rørvik (NORCE), and Lesley Tobin (REDINN), participants delved into the principles of design thinking. Through exercises such as Persona Modelling, Customer Journey Mapping, Mini Market Analysis, Consumer Concepts, Ideation, and Prototyping, they gained valuable insights into the needs, preferences, and challenges faced by consumers in relation to these products.


One of the highlights of the boot camp was the hands-on approach to market research, with participants conducting surveys in a shopping mall, engaging with over 40 individuals from diverse backgrounds. This direct interaction provided invaluable feedback and allowed participants to refine their product concepts accordingly. For instance, discovering that customers prefer liquid laundry detergent informed subsequent ideation and prototyping efforts. Meanwhile, many of those interviewed expressed their admiration for the Early Career Researchers’ willingness to engage with consumers.


The boot camp also equipped participants with essential business skills, introducing them to the principles of the Value Proposition Canvas and the Business Model Canvas. Through these frameworks, participants developed their own business models, gaining a deeper understanding of potential markets, niches, and constraints for future OXIPRO products.


The collaborative nature of the boot camp fostered innovation and knowledge sharing, with participants working in teams dedicated to either detergents or sunscreens throughout the workshop. By leveraging collective expertise and creativity, they generated impactful ideas and in a ‘hands-on’ approach they developed prototypes that hold promise for addressing environmental concerns while meeting consumer needs.


Commenting on the event, Susanne stated:

“Sometimes when you have innovative business ideas, you make mistakes. It is important to recognise these immediately and continue to improve these or other innovations.
The objective of the IBC was to convey exactly that to the participants, because only those who keep an open eye on their surroundings are self-critical and reflective enough to bring their innovation to market successfully and sustainably.
It was brilliant how the two groups identified weaknesses in their business ideas and developed creative solutions.”


In conclusion, the OXIPRO Innovation Boot Camp in Berlin served as a catalyst for advancing sustainable consumer products through collaborative co-creation and innovation. The insights gained and prototypes developed during this event represent significant strides towards a future where environmentally friendly products are not only desirable but also accessible to all.


For more detailed insights, the participants of the boot camp will present their findings at the annual meeting in Athens, providing further opportunities for dissemination and collaboration within the research community.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *