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Compadre Labs – R&D

Capturing Big Ideas - Concept Creation and Validation

Under One Roof

Concept creation is far more than just coming up with a good idea. Creating a concept, really bringing it to life, involves a multitude of activities, physical resources, people and processes. Only at Compadre can all of these vital capabilities by found “under one roof” and we call that place Compadre Labs™.

Compadre Labs is our way of encompassing all of the research and development, the design, engineering and testing, and the concept mock-up and prototyping that are required in the iterative, trial and error process that is necessary to bring an idea into physical reality in a form that can actually be proven to work for its intended purpose.

Compadre’s efforts have been recognized by our having received the most prestigious packaging award – in the world. Through our Smart Packaging Systems division, The Cube™ won the DuPont Award for packaging innovation based on excellence in innovation, sustainability, and waste/cost reduction.

Here is a closer look at how we organize each of these distinct disciplines and capabilities necessary for concept creation and validation:


Application Development

Compadre partners with developers of innovative materials to identify general applications of those materials for their industry. Then, Compadre brings these materials to market by connecting with our broad network of manufacturers, packaging companies and retailers. This process can open entirely new revenue channels for materials developers while providing real value for the companies that use these new materials.

Historically, companies came to Compadre for help in configuring a specific material in a way that would be practical for packaging. Over the years, our expertise has broadened so that companies that have developed a library of materials that they hope will be successful in industries as diverse as construction, environment, apparel, personal care, food, pharmaceuticals and transportation come to us, too. In short, Compadre allows materials innovators to do what they do best.

Bringing New Solutions to Market

Companies that develop new solutions and techniques often struggle to bring their products to market. Some are complex, requiring custom design, engineering and testing for each application. Others, especially new sustainable materials, are perceived in the market as too expensive relative to conventional alternatives.

Compadre works with these companies to bring their cutting-edge solutions to market. We quickly identify industry segments that, by implementing a given solution, will experience improved quality and efficiency while lowering total cost. So, while the new material itself may be more expensive than some older established alternatives, certain types of businesses may be excellent candidates for new applications due to unique logistical issues or supply chain complexities.


While many disciplines are engaged in the process of product creation, every project revolves around our Design and Engineering Team. Design and engineering are at the center of Compadre Labs and they are integral to the development of every concept.


Which came first: The chicken or the egg? We’re not sure about that question, but what we do know is that prototyping is critical to the creative process. Which material to use, what design to advance, how to engineer a product, to which test should it be subjected, what will it cost? These are highly important questions that are answered in the iterative process of concept creation through the prototyping and testing alternative solutions.


Concept validation comes in the form of testing and the more rigorous the testing, the more confidence that can be placed in the outcome of the creative process. Our testing lab is ISTA and ASTM certified and used by some of the country’s best know companies to validate their

packaging designs and products. In a tip of the hat to our hometown and in recognition of the broader role testing plays in validating all sorts of ideas, our testing lab operates under the moniker Austin Testing™ and can be easily explored at

We may not know which came first, the chicken or the egg, but we do know that testing follows everything we do and only when a concept prototype has passed every test will it be released to our Commercialization process for piloting and ultimately product launch.