L’Oréal Groupe Launches North Asia’s First Beauty Tech & Innovation Challenge at Viva Technology

L’Oréal Groupe signed an MOU with Korea Ministry of SMEs and Startups at Viva Technology 2023 on partnership for open innovation in Korea L’Oréal’s “Big Bang Beauty Tech & Innovation Challenge” in North Asia aims to drive open innovation and co-creation for future beauty together with start-ups across China, Korea and Japan

PARIS, June 16, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — L’Oréal announceat Viva Technology 2023, Europe’s biggest startup and tech event, its launch of the “Big Bang Beauty Tech & Innovation Challenge” (“Big Bang Program”) in North Asia, the first regional open innovation initiative focused on driving co-creation and co-development of innovative beauty products and experiences across China, Korea and Japan.  The initiative will discover, support and nurture promising start-ups and companies with beauty tech and innovative sciences that can be scaled regionally and globally. L’Oréal Groupe signed an MOU with Korea Ministry of SMEs and Startups (“MSS”) on partnership for the Big Bang Program in Korea.  In Japan, J-Startup, government project supporting entrepreneurs operated by Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (“METI”) and JETRO, will support the initiative.  

L’Oréal Groupe signed an MOU with Korea Ministry of SMEs and Startups

After a successful 3-year pilot in China, the latest expansion to Korea and Japan marks a significant milestone to leverage and activate the unique innovation ecosystem of the “C- J-K Beauty Triangle” in North Asia via cross-market and cross-sector collaboration for beauty innovation.

Barbara LAVERNOS, Deputy CEO of L’Oréal Groupe in charge of Research, Innovation and Technology, said: “At L’Oréal, we embrace and nurture innovation, and believe in open innovation through partnerships. Therefore, we work with innovative start-ups, small and medium businesses, institutions and governments to inspire and be inspired. The signing of MOU with Korean MSS is a significant milestone for L’Oréal’s journey in leading open innovation in North Asia. We are excited to collaborate with startups from China, Korea, and Japan through the Big Bang Program, and to scale up creativity and innovation from North Asia globally.”

Commenting on the partnership with L’Oréal, Ms. Young Lee, Korea Minister of SMEs and Startups, said, “Supporting promising Korean SMEs and startups to play an active role in the global market is a big mission for us at the Ministry of SMEs and Startups. In this sense, collaboration with the global beauty leader L’Oréal Groupe is very meaningful. 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.”

Dr. Yoshiaki Ishii, Director of Startup and New Business Promotion Office at METI, comments as follows: “Japanese government is enhancing startup ecosystem to realize social benefit and economic growth and J-Startup is the flagship program. We believe that collaboration with the L’Oréal Big Bang Program will make the J-Startup more global and contribute to the better world.”

Launch of the Big Bang Program in North Asia leverages the valuable experience from its successful pilot in China as the market’s first startup challenge tailored for China’s beauty tech ecosystem.  Through the partnership with Oriental Beauty Valley and Business France, the Big Bang China Program has attracted over 1,500 Chinese startups and incubated over 50 projects in the past three years. In 2023, Big Bang China Program is in full swing with upgraded designs and resources.

Ribbon cutting at L’Oréal’s North Asia “Big Bang Program” launch ceremony

In Korea, L’Oréal will partner with MSS to further expand and support promising Korean SMEs and startups with innovative digital and beauty tech technologies that can be scaled globally. Specifically, the Big Bang Korea Program will focus on beauty devices, beauty tech, skin diagnosis and delivery systems enabled by digital and AI technologies, leveraging the unique strengths of Korea’s beauty eco-system.

In Japan, L’Oréal will partner with J-Startup and Hello Tomorrow to support Japanese startups and cross industry collaborators through the Big Bang Japan Program for open innovation and co-development opportunities.  Leveraging Japan’s unique strengths in biotechnology, material science and environmental-friendly technologies, the Japan Program will focus on sustainable beauty and green sciences.

Fabrice Megarbane, President of North Asia Zone & CEO of L’Oréal China, said: “North Asia is the most dynamic beauty market in the world with one third of the global beauty market and five geographically and culturally connected markets. Leveraging the unique ‘Beauty Triangle’ innovation eco-system and our strong Research & Innovation expertise in China, Korea and Japan, we believe the Big Bang Program in North Asia will unleash the power of co-creation through open innovation on disruptive beauty solutions with start-ups and partners across China, Korea and Japan. Let’s inspire the world with innovations from North Asia, to create the beauty that moves the world.”

Mr. Fabrice Megarbane, President L’Oréal North Asia & CEO L’Oréal China, delivering speech

About L’Oréal Group

For over 110 years, L’Oréal, the world’s leading beauty player, has devoted itself to one thing only: fulfilling the beauty aspirations of consumers around the world. Our purpose, to create the beauty that moves the world, defines our approach to beauty as inclusive, ethical, generous and committed to social and environmental sustainability. With our broad portfolio of 35 international brands and ambitious sustainability commitments in our ‘L’Oréal for the Future’ programme, we offer each and every person around the world the best in terms of quality, efficacy, safety, sincerity and responsibility, while celebrating beauty in its infinite plurality.

With 85,400 committed employees, a balanced geographical footprint and sales across all distribution networks (e-commerce, mass market, department stores, pharmacies, hair salons, branded and travel retail), in 2021 the Group generated sales amounting to 32.28 billion euros. With 20 research centres across 11 countries around the world and a dedicated Research and Innovation team of over 4,000 scientists and 3,000 tech professionals, L’Oréal is focused on inventing the future of beauty and becoming a Beauty Tech powerhouse. More information on https://www.loreal.com/en/mediaroom

About L’Oréal North Asia Zone

L’Oréal North Asia Zone was established in 2021 as L’Oréal Groupe regrouped the geographical scope of its zones to give greater coherence to consumer behaviour and to create synergy within the region. The North Asia Zone comprises of five geographically and culturally connected markets of Mainland China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Korea and Japan.

L’Oréal North Asia Zone is the second largest region within the Group, accounting for 29.6% of the Group’s global sales in 2022. Situated in the most beauty intense region with more than one-third of the world’s total beauty consumers, L’Oréal North Asia shapes the future of beauty with its innovation centres in Shanghai, Tokyo and Seoul, while investing in beauty tech transformation as one of the three beauty tech hubs globally. Here, our mission is to strategize, create and activate a powerful ecosystem around the North Asia Beauty Triangle as a competitive edge to unleash sustainable growth for all and inspire the world.

Media contact:
Linda YAN / [email protected]