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Business & Economy

CPI joins European consortium to enable personalised fast-moving consumer goods

CPI, an independent technology innovation centre and founding member of the UK Government’s High Value Manufacturing Catapult, has become a partner in a collaborative project working to benefit the European fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) industry.

CPI will help to develop and promote the adoption of an open innovation digital platform and small-scale manufacturing facilities. This will enable consumers to collaborate with manufacturers to design and create personalised FMCGs, driving industry growth through new products and consumer solutions.

FMCGs are everyday products that are purchased frequently and consumed rapidly. They are typically bought at a supermarket or pharmacy, and span goods ranging from home and personal care products to foods and beverages.

In recent years, consumer preferences have shifted towards more personalised products, which represents a real challenge to an industry which has been built on manufacturing at very large scales. Despite growing pressures to embrace an agile, consumer-driven model for producing small-scale, personalised FMCGs, the industry’s response has been limited by a lack of relevant infrastructures and business models. 

The DIY4U project has brought together a consortium of 13 partners to address these key barriers. The project is led by SINTEF, one of Europe’s largest research organisations, and will also receive input from Procter & Gamble, a global leader in the FMCG industry, as well as relevant European SMEs active in industrial digital technologies. Supporting industry innovation and research & technology organisations – including CPI and the Digital Catapult – will provide technical leadership.

Funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme, and supported by external industry stakeholders, the project will initially target the detergents and soaps market, including end users, manufacturers, innovators and retailers. Once established, the project aims to broaden its scope to target the entire soft matter FMCG market.

Dr Graeme Cruickshank, chief technology and innovation Officer at CPI, said: “With consumer needs rapidly changing in today’s FMCG landscape, it is more important than ever to improve collaboration at each stage of the industry’s supply chain. With this strong consortium of partners, the DIY4U project offers a new consumer-centric model of FMCG design and manufacture that will catalyse the positive disruption that the sector is seeking.”