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NineSigma Partners with Scientists Without Borders to Find New Sustainable Packaging for Micronutrient Powders that Combat Malnutrition
Date:7/17/2012

CLEVELAND, July 17, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- NineSigma, Inc., the leading innovation partner to organizations worldwide, today announced it is helping Scientists Without Borders(SM), in partnership with The Sackler Institute for Nutrition Science at the New York Academy of Sciences, and DSM's nutrition think tank, Sight and Life, to find more sustainable packaging for micronutrient powders (MNPs).

Scientists Without Borders and its partners have issued a challenge on NineSights™, NineSigma's new open innovation social media platform. The organization will provide a reward of up to $25,000 for novel, feasible, and cost-effective sustainable packaging ideas, or new methods of MNP delivery. MNPs are small sachets of essential vitamins and minerals and one of the most widely-distributed and cost-effective nutrition interventions in resource-poor settings.

They target the problem of "hidden hunger," the deficiency of essential micronutrients, like Vitamin A, zinc, and iron, which leads to developmental problems in children and chronic disease. The current packaging is composed of aluminum, PET, and polyethylene, surrounding one gram of powdered vitamins and minerals. Although the packaging protects the powder from degradation, it is difficult to recycle, destroy, or repurpose.

Through NineSights, Scientists Without Borders and its partners are challenging small businesses, researchers, inventors, and others worldwide to provide solutions, technologies and ideas. The challenge is currently featured in a gallery on NineSights moderated by Dr. Al Malouf, NineSigma Senior Program Manager.

"Micronutrient supplementation is one of the best ways to improve human health and well-being, and finding effective solutions to this challenge will require many new ideas from diverse perspectives. Through NineSigma's proven technology search process and vast technical network, we are confident that we will find promising new approaches to advance our ability to combat malnutrition," said Shaifali Puri, executive director of Scientists Without Borders.

"The number of people around the world who suffer from hidden hunger is staggering. We are excited to work with Scientists Without Borders and their partners to apply our open innovation experience and accelerate development of more sustainable packaging for MNPs. Our goal is to enable MNPs to have a broader reach, while reducing environmental impact," said Dr. Malouf.

The deadline for submitting ideas and solutions is September 30, 2012. To view the challenge and learn more, visit http://www.ninesights.com/docs/DOC-1394.

About NineSigma


NineSigma connects organizations with external innovation resources to accelerate innovation in private, public and social sectors. The company provides open innovation services to organizations worldwide, including Kraft, Philips, Siemens, and Unilever, to solve immediate challenges, integrate new knowledge, close development gaps, fill product pipelines, and stay ahead of the competition. Their proprietary, collaborative process has produced billions of dollars in value. NineSigma has the largest open global network of solution providers and an extensive database of existing solutions spanning industries and technical disciplines. Launched in 2012, NineSigma's online innovation community, NineSights™, is the world's first open innovation social media destination, connecting innovators of all sizes with resources and relationships to drive growth. Learn more at www.ninesigma.com and www.ninesights.com.

About Scientists Without Borders

Scientists Without Borders, a public/private partnership led by the New York Academy of Sciences, is a web-based collaborative community that generates and advances innovative and effective science and technology-based solutions to the world's most pressing global development challenges. Scientists Without Borders's unique model leverages a free online platform to connect a worldwide group of cross-disciplinary, multi-sector users to develop and openly share concrete and effective solutions to these challenges. To learn more about Scientists Without Borders, visit www.scientistswithoutborders.org.

About The Sackler Institute for Nutrition Science at the New York Academy of Sciences

The New York Academy of Sciences, in partnership with The Mortimer D. Sackler Foundation, Inc., established The Sackler Institute for Nutrition Science to create a coordinated effort to support and disseminate nutrition science research. The Sackler Institute for Nutrition Science is dedicated to advancing nutrition science research and knowledge, mobilizing communities, and translating this work into the field. The Institute is generating a coordinated network across sectors, disciplines, and geographies that promotes open communication; encourages exchange of information and resources; nurtures the next generation of scientists; and affects community intervention design and public policy changes. Visit us online at www.nyas.org/nutrition.

Media Contact:
Dawn Ringel, Warner Communications, dawn@warnerpr.com, (781) 449-8456


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