Since its debut a little more than a year ago, General Mills’ Worldwide Innovation Network (G-WIN) has generated a significant gain in the number of new product and technology ideas for the company.

“We are tremendously encouraged by the success and industry interest …” said Peter Erickson, senior vice president of Innovation, Technology and Quality. “Not only have we seen a 300 percent increase in the number of innovation concepts presented to us since we initiated G-WIN, but we are also seeing a higher percentage of high-quality, potentially game-changing technologies with broad application across our businesses.”Through G-WIN, General Mills seeks outside partnerships with entrepreneurs, inventors, universities and other food companies with patented technologies for potential products complementary to Big G’s existing brands and businesses.

Of more than 200 concept submissions during the first year, several have gone to hit store shelves, officials said. General Mills said G-WIN projects already have contributed to such popular new offerings as Progresso Light, a soup compatible with the Weight Watchers’ diet program; Fiber One Chewy Bars; Progresso Reduced Sodium soups; and Yoplait Go-Gurt Fizzix, a carbonated yogurt product.