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Product, Service & Design Innovation
Henkel Challenging Students Around the World to Propose Next Big Sustainability Solutions

Under the theme of “Create. Learn. Grow.,” the eighth Henkel Innovation Challenge is inviting university students from all over the world to submit their visionary ideas for sustainable products and technologies.

Through December 10, students of any discipline from 28 participating countries are invited to form a two-person team and create a sustainable solution for any of Henkel’s three business units: Adhesive Technologies, Beauty Care or Laundry & Home Care. The task is to identify market trends and challenges for 2050 and develop ideas that are aligned to Henkel’s sustainability strategy.

Selected teams must then present their innovation to a jury of Henkel managers — the semi-finalists will take part in the international final to be held in Vienna in spring 2015. The winning team will receive an around-the-world ticket worth 10,000 Euro. The second- and third-placed teams will also receive travel vouchers. All three teams will have the opportunity to meet and present their innovation concepts to Henkel CEO Kasper Rorsted.

Mentor program and career opportunities

All entrants will receive comprehensive support during the entire competition.

“All semi-finalists are assigned an experienced Henkel manager as mentor to provide assistance and advice. This gives the students the chance to gain valuable practical experience, forge personal contacts with the company early on and find out about career opportunities,ˮ says Jens Plinke, Head of Corporate Employer Branding at Henkel.

In addition to individual mentorship, each team receives access to a wide range of e-learning opportunities and webinars on registration.

For the first time, two-day recruitment events will be held during this year’s competition. Here Henkel managers support the participants in the development of their concepts. In addition, there will be interviews for internships and concrete offers will be made.

“We expect the students to respond very positively to the combination of insights into the company and direct offers of internships,ˮ says Plinke. “The Henkel Innovation Challenge is an important component of our worldwide Employer Branding strategy and a great opportunity to get to know innovative, conscientious students with an entrepreneurial spirit early on in their careers and motivate them for Henkel.ˮ

Henkel isn’t the only organization tapping young minds for game-changing solutions — companies including Heineken, Dell and Unilever, along with academic institutions such as ASU and MIT, are among those actively crowdsourcing the next big sustainability innovation.

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