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HOPE Innovation Partners Assist Haier Freezer, Cross-disciplinary Experts Pointed out the Innovation Direction

09-08-2018

As we all know, breast milk is the most natural, safe and complete natural food in the process of baby’s growth, and it is also the best and most precious gift from mothers. But for many female employees, breastfeeding has become a luxury, and the busy work and inconvenient traffic after the maternity leave have forced them to give up the idea of ​​breastfeeding their baby.

Haier Freezer challenged the breast milk storage technology and raised a need for in-depth interaction 

In fact, breastfeeding is best for more than 6 months. Many career women who end maternity leave usually take the method of pumping the breast milk and then feeding baby by other family members. Therefore, how to ensure the safety of breast milk storage has become their biggest concern. Generally speaking, there are two kinds of breast milk preservation. One is preservation at room temperature and the other is frozen preservation. In some motherhood BBSes, many new mothers will share their experience in breast milk preservation. Some even said that they put their breast milk into a special "breast milk storage bag" and put it in the freezer of the refrigerator, by which it would be stored for more than one month and even longer. But can such a storage method really ensure the breast milk's safety?

In the face of such confusion, Haier Freezer found in the process of market research that due to the complexity and particularity of the nutrients in breast milk, it had high requirements for storage such as utensils, environment, temperature, etc. A slightly carelessness would end up with the contamination of breast milk, and the nutritional value would be lost or even lead to baby's serious diarrhea. At present, there is no product specifically designed for breast milk storage. How to determine which parameters of breast milk are related to the nutrition and safety of breast milk, and how it relates to the storage environment are the urgent problems to be solved by Haier. In order to better understand breast milk and solve the pain points of the user's breast milk storage, Haier Freezer has proposed a project of breast milk storage to the HOPE Innovation Partner Community.

After an in-depth interpretation of the problem, the HOPE platform confirmed that this required a dairy research expert to solve this problem. Subsequently, through the expert recommendation method of the Innovation Partner Community, Dr. D, a specialist of a famous breast milk research institution in China, was invited to participate in the “expert consultation”. After learning about the topic, Dr. D made a systematic and detailed introduction to the nutritional components, storage temperature, storage scene, social trend of breast milk and its comparison with milk powder. Dr. D said that breast milk is rich in immune factors, lactose protein, calcium and phosphorus. Many kinds of protein are not available in other feeding products such as milk powder. With the improvement of people's cognition, breastfeeding would become a trend.

At the same time, Dr. D said that the design of frozen products need to take into account two important usage scenes, namely, en-route usage scene and home usage scene. The product design for en-route usage is unavoidable to have higher requirements. Dr. D proposed to control the total number of colonies in the environment of -20 °C and ensure that the temperature does not fluctuate drastically, thus the storage time of breast milk can be effectively extended.

In this 45-minute cross-disciplinary "expert consultation", HOPE platform and Haier Freezer quickly captured the key to the development of this product. Dr. D also mentioned how to achieve the evenly thawing of refrigerated breast milk is the key to ensuring the stability of breast milk nutrients, which can effectively prevent the destruction or loss of components and antibacterial activities in breast milk. Regarding the relationship between breast milk and key parameters such as storage environment (temperature, humidity), Dr. D said that it could directly refer to milk related research. They are similar on this point. With the help of Dr. D, the HOPE platform and Haier Freezer have identified the key to the R&D of the product and have identified the direction for the future of breast milk storage design.

Clarify the Innovation Partner Mechanism, and realize open innovation

Through the research process of breast milk storage, it is not difficult to see that HOPE's Innovative Partner Community has played a vital role. Through the participation of cross-disciplinary experts, the key and research direction of breast milk storage has been clarified, and efficiency has been greatly improved.

It is understood that the HOPE platform has attracted a variety of cross-disciplinary experts and innovators to form the Innovative Partner Community. After the experts participate in the Innovation Partner Community, there are two ways to participate: one is as a technical expert, who can define the technical direction for technical needs, or participate in product development in the whole workflow; the second is as a channel expert who recommends relevant technical experts to participate in Haier's technical consulting projects and R&D projects. Regardless of the types of participation, the participants can enjoy the corresponding rewards.

In this regard, industry experts said that the HOPE Innovation Partner Community had built a community-based innovation ecosystem for global innovators. By integrating high-quality resources at home and abroad, it had realized open innovations that required zero-distance docking between needs and expert resources, and it continued to produce incubation achievements, which forms a model of open innovation in the Internet era.

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