L’Oréal launches ‘Big Bang Program’ in North Asia to support beauty start-ups

By Amanda Pauley | Published: 16-Jun-2023

The Big Bang Beauty Tech & Innovation Challenge will help beauty technology companies in Korea and Japan scale up regionally and globally

L’Oréal has launched its first-ever Big Bang Beauty Tech & Innovation Challenge – known as the Big Bang Program – in North Asia. 

The initiative will drive the “co-creation and co-development of innovative beauty products and experiences across China, Korea and Japan”, said a statement from the company. 

The programme aims to support start-ups and companies with beauty technology and “innovative sciences” which can be scaled regionally and globally.

The Big Bang Korea Program will focus on beauty devices, skin diagnosis and delivery systems enabled by digital and artificial intelligence (AI) technologies.

L’Oréal signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Korea Ministry of SMEs and Startups on partnership for open innovation in Korea at the Viva Technology show 2023. 

The Big Bang Japan Program will focus on sustainable beauty, “leveraging Japan’s unique strengths in biotechnology, material science and environmentally-friendly technologies,” read L’Oréal’s statement.

L’Oréal is partnering with organisations J-Startup and Hello Tomorrow on the scheme to support Japanese start-ups and cross-industry collaborators.

The expansion to Korea and Japan follows the company’s successful pilot scheme in China, in partnership with Oriental Beauty Valley and Business France. 

Over the past three years the Big Bang China Program has attracted more than 1,500 Chinese start-ups and incubated more than 50 projects.

“At L’Oréal, we embrace and nurture innovation, and believe in open innovation through partnerships,” said Barbara Lavernos, Deputy CEO of L'Oréal Groupe, in charge of research, innovation and technology.

“Therefore, we work with innovative start-ups, small and medium businesses, institutions and governments to inspire and be inspired. 

“The signing of [the] MOU… is a significant milestone for L'Oréal’s journey in leading open innovation in North Asia. 

“We are excited to collaborate with start-ups… and to scale up creativity and innovation from North Asia globally.”

Young Lee, Korea Minister of SMEs and Startups, said the partnership with L’Oréal is “very meaningful”.

She added: “Supporting promising Korean SMEs and start-ups to play an active role in the global market is a big mission for us at the Ministry of SMEs and Startups.

“The ministry will continue to support Korean companies with innovative technologies to collaborate with global companies to strengthen their market competitiveness and expand into the global market."

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