Please note that the details of this Challenge are no longer open. This challenge is awarded and is no longer accepting new submissions. You can:
Challenge Seeking for a New Material to Increase Stiffness of Multilayered Cartonboard

Seeking for a New Material to Increase Stiffness of Multilayered Cartonboard

STATUS: Awarded
Active Solvers: 139
Posted: Jun 22 2017
Challenge ID: 9933975
Team Project Rooms are available on this Challenge. Team Share Challenge Share

Mechanical pulp is the material of choice – as a base material or additive – in order to increase the stiffness of cartonboard products (e.g. for cereals or cigarette packs). Although successful, this material is costly, hence the Seeker is looking for an alternative material that can lead to a cost reduction whilst achieving the same stiffness. 

This is a Reduction-to-Practice Challenge that requires submission of written documentation. The Seeker will perform experimental validation of proposed solutions in order to determine the award.


White lined chipboard (WLC) and folding box board (FBB) are two multilayered cartonboard products used in many packaging applications. Mechanical pulp is the material of choice for the composition of such products in order to provide the much needed bending stiffness. This is a key mechanical property of the cartonboard that has a two-fold implication:

  1. it determines the grade and performance of the cartonboard as packaging, being one of the most important parameters to select the right product for a specific application. Without stiffness, cartonboard could not be used for the primary function of packages, i.e. to provide physical protection to goods; and
  2. it has a strong impact in the process of converting the cartonboard into a printed, folded, filled package. The cartonboard’s runability – the ability to process the board smoothly, with no problems, across the entirety of the packaging manufacturing process and its conversion into an end product – is highly affected by its bending stiffness.

Hence it is very important for a papermaking company, such as the Seeker, to carefully monitor this parameter and ensure that the optimum stiffness can be achieved at the lowest possible cost. 

Often, recycled fibers are also used in the composition of cartonboard products but, as a result of the recycling process, these have reduced bulk and strength and, consequently, diminished bending stiffness. This is compensated through the addition of mechanical pulp. Although successful in increasing the bending stiffness of the board, this solution comes at a high cost. Therefore, the Seeker is interested in finding a novel material or additive that can be used in the composition or structure of WLC and FBB and cost-effectively replace mechanical pulp. 

Important notices:

  • This is a Reduction-to-Practice Challenge that requires submission of written documentation by the Solver. The Challenge award is contingent upon theoretical evaluation and experimental validation by the Seeker on a test production line. Due to this requirement, experimental validation of results could take up to 9 months.
  • To receive an award, Solvers will not be required to transfer their exclusive IP rights to the Seeker. Instead, as further described in the Challenge-Specific Agreement, Solvers will grant to the Seeker a two hundred and seventy (270)-day Exclusivity Period from the deadline [11:59 PM (US Eastern Time) on May 4, 2018] for a non-exclusive license to practice their solutions for review, analysis and testing of the Proposed Solutions, an option for the grant of a further non-exclusive license, and an exclusive option to negotiate in good faith the terms of an exclusive license. 

Submissions to this Challenge must be received by 11:59 PM (US Eastern Time) on August 6, 2017.  Late submissions will not be considered.

What is InnoCentive?
InnoCentive is the global innovation marketplace where creative minds solve some of the world's most important problems for cash awards up to $1 million. Commercial, governmental and humanitarian organizations engage with InnoCentive to solve problems that can impact humankind in areas ranging from the environment to medical advancements.

What is an RTP Challenge?

An InnoCentive RTP (Reduction to Practice) Challenge is a prototype that proves an idea, and is similar to an InnoCentive Theoretical Challenge in its high level of detail. However, an RTP requires the Solver to submit a validated solution, either in the form of original data or a physical sample. Also the Seeker is allowed to test the proposed solution. For details about treatment of IP rights, please see the Challenge-Specific Agreement.

Share This Challenge