GSK professionals meeting and greeting innovation partners for healthcare product development.

Six Tips for Our Prospective Innovation Partners

Michael J. Keane, Search & Evaluation for Skin Health & New Categories/Category Adjacencies

Great ideas always create buzz at GSK Consumer Healthcare. This year, our Innovation Team has received hundreds of ideas and proposals for new products, packaging designs, novel digital tools and other innovations. One thing we’ve learned is that the highest quality submissions always have a few basics in common. What follows are some tips based on these insights, designed to increase your chances for success in proposing an innovation for GSK Consumer Healthcare.


1.   Make sure your proposal is well-matched to our specific health and wellness categories.

Be sure to do your homework on the current GSK Consumer Healthcare products and categories before submitting. Explore our specific Current Needs  as well, to see if your innovation is likely to be a good match for us. (For instance, we don’t cover anything related to vaccines or prescription drugs.) It’s also best to avoid mass-mailing a proposal to several different companies. You can help our Search & Evaluation team get buy-in for your innovation idea from our extended teams by making an essential tie-in to our company’s specific focus.


2.   Tell us what problem your innovation would address or solve. In other words, give us a little sell. Is there a lack of products like yours for certain types of consumers? What would your innovation enable them to do that they can’t do now? Helping us to understand a little more about that current 'problem' or unmet consumer need that your innovation would address can help us better appreciate its potential value.


3.         If yours isn’t the only solution, tell us why it’s new or different than what’s out there. Sometimes all it takes is a simple Google search to determine what you’re up against in the market. We’re always looking for different and better ways to fill our customers’ health and wellness needs than what other companies are offering. We don’t expect you to come to us with a fully formed business case, but it always helps to understand your viewpoint on the size of your opportunity.


4.         Include some 'proof-of-concept' evidence. In other words, tell us how you’ve tested your idea. For example, do you have any preliminary data to support its efficacy? Can you show that your innovation is technically coherent? Have you done any safety testing, if applicable? This kind of concrete support—even if it’s not extremely deep and robust—helps us to determine whether your proposal may be worth pursuing further.


5.      Don’t submit confidential details about your proposed innovation. This is one of the top reasons submissions are rejected. In fact, a third-party screening group initially reviews all submissions to our Innovation Portal, so our Innovation Team never sees any with confidential details. They are promptly turned down. Before sharing details about your idea, file for a patent or check with a patent attorney.


6.      Send us your patent details. If you have a patent, you can speed up the review process by sharing the application type and number. Even better, include any published patent applications, design patents or granted patents that are in the public domain and not confidential. These often have visual representations that can help to differentiate your idea and help our team to quickly understand what you have in mind.


While we can’t promise that this is the magic formula for pitching a winning idea, following these 6 basic steps will help to ensure that your submission gets our Innovation Team’s full attention.