Innovation That Matters

Nike, Best Buy & others to openly share green product innovations

Fashion & Beauty

Remember the old proverb ‘none of us is as smart as all of us’? It’s something a small group of companies took to heart earlier this year, setting up GreenXchange for sharing of intellectual property for green product design. The initiative is hosted by Creative Commons, with Nike and Best Buy leading the way. With GreenXchange, companies can not only share research, innovation and design amongst themselves, but can also make patents available to the public. Each contributor to the exchange commits to a non-assertion pledge, which allows the patent to be used in other research for green product design. GreenXchange recognises that green innovations can be shared across a variety of industries, often with a different purpose, and will not necessarily pose a threat in terms of competition. If a company is concerned about sharing product design with competitors, they can opt to designate selected patents to be made available for sustainability uses. GreenXchange also aspires to use technologies that support networking and knowledge sharing to promote open innovation in the ‘digital commons’. If it works, the concept could greatly accelerate the development of green innovation, helping some of the world’s best brands work together toward the same goal, and start to think differently in terms of how they share ideas. (Related: Online library of green building materials.) Spotted by: Jenny Lau



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