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Kellogg Might Pay You a Paltry Sum for Your Ideas. Or Not.

Kellogg has never scrimped on research and development. Its W.K. Kellogg Institute for Food and Nutrition Research is considered to be among the best research facilities in the corporate world. The company spent $179 million on R&D last year.

tonyBut Kellogg can always use some new ideas. So it is asking you for yours. "Do you have a new product that's partially or fully developed and could be ready to launch quickly?" the company asks on a new Web page, "GR-R-Reat Ideas!" If you have a "business collaboration to propose," or a "patented food, packaging or processing technology or other intellectual property that may have application for Kellogg," you are encouraged to submit it at the company's site.

Kellogg could potentially pay for these "Great Innovations" -- up to $5,000, though it's hard to imagine a "fully developed" product or a packaging innovation for which the developer or innovator would accept just $5,000 were it to be accepted by Kellogg. But even if it were, it would be a gamble. Kellogg says it "is not obligated in any way to pay for a submitted innovation."

Under the separate banner of "Big Ideas," the company is also looking for recipes, suggestions for product improvements, or ideas for improving packaging. Kellogg says it "will not pay you for the use of any Big Idea submitted by you."

"When it comes to innovation, one of our guiding principles is that 'ideas come from anywhere, always,'" Jim Melluish, director of marketing for Kellogg open innovation team, told Food Business News.

Sure, but the best ideas usually come from people who are looking to make money from them.

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