ColorADD | Color Identification System

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ColorADD | Color Identification System: Co-Creating a more Colorful World for Colorblinds

Porto, PortugalPorto, Portugal
Year Founded:
Organization type: 
for profit
Project Stage:
$50,000 - $100,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

ColorADD is raising society's awareness for colorblindness and also providing a holistic solution that helps colorblind to identify colors whenever color is a factor of identification, orientation or choice.

WHAT IF - Inspiration: Write one sentence that describes a way that your project dares to ask, "WHAT IF?"

What if, with an universal and inclusive color code, all colors could be correctly interpreted by ALL colorblinds, without discrimination, and also creating a social and economic impact for entities or companies that use this code?
About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

Colorblindess, or colorvision deficiency, affects approximately 10% of men and 0,5% of women - around 350 million people all over the world. There are different forms of colorblindness, including the inability to perceive any color. Especially during childhood, people can be discriminated due to colorblindness in ways that may lead to lower school performance and low self-esteem. Despite this number, there were no socially effective responses aiming to the inclusion of this "large minority" of the population, because there is a lack of general knowledge regarding the issue of color blindness and the constraints of those who live this limitation every day.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

ColorADD is an universal code for colorblind, which transforms color into Symbols, easy to memorize and apply in daily situations, where the colorblind could be discriminated. For instance the colorblind children could have difficulties in choosing the correct pencil or to interpret a color chart in textbooks or in an exam! Currently, ColorADD is implemented in different areas such as Transports (Subway maps), Clothing and Textiles (labeling), Pencils, Didactic Games, Health (Hospital Accessibility and pharmaceutical labeling), City Maps, among others, promoting hybrid value chains with Entities or Companies. The code is also used in the Portuguese National Exams to facilitate the correct interpretation of color contents on exams.


Please check our About Us document (Recognition and Awards):
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

Juliano is a child who lives in Cordoba, Argentina. Miguel Neiva was contacted by Juliano's Mother who told him the difficulties and constraints of Juliano in school, and thanked Miguel for having been able to find a solution that does not force the colorblind to assume their condition – a little bit hard for a child. Miguel asked him to send his address and, without saying, he sent them a pencil box with ColorADD code. Since that time, Miguel has been presented by Juliano with the most friendly and affectionate phrases like Guardian Angel. “We need something more to feel good and happy? I Think Not” said Miguel Neiva.

Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Also describe the projected future impact for the coming years.

ColorADD is a for-profit company (double-bottom line), and, in 2012, ColorADD.Social, a non-profit association dedicated to promoting social integration of the colorblind, has been created. Its main concern is to raise awareness in the general community to the colorblindness issue, especially near the school community, training, contributing to an Inclusive School and promoting the early screening of colorblindness in childhood. Some data of ColorADD: 64 Companies, 19 City Hall, 9 Hospitals and 11 Entities use the ColorADD Code in their Products/Services: >600.000 ColorPencils >50 millions textile labels >150.000 textbook >42.000 Eco-points Signs >2 Millions City Maps Some ColorADD.SOCIAL data: > 6.600 ColorBlind screening tests. > 152 Schools already embrassed our cause. > 30.000 people aware of School community.

Spread Strategies: Moving forward, what are the main strategies for scaling impact?

Our long term objective is to achieve for the Code a Standard Industry Practice within the widest spread of industries/activities across the globe, since only its effective widespread use will deploy full integration of the colorblind. We want to scale our current success implementation model developed in a local level through two strategic initiatives that help to expand interest and Knowledge about ColorADD: Top-Down: "Me too" effect involving Big Companies in different sectors (e.g : Textiles: Inditex, Color Pencils: Crayola) Bottom-up: Expanding the knowledge of the Colorblindness.

Financial Sustainability Plan: What is this solution’s plan to ensure financial sustainability?

ColorADD code can be used through a license acquisition, being the license fees adapted to the dimension of the company. The smaller the companies are the smaller the fee is, assuring an affordable cost for everyone. We also have a pro-bono model for the education.

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

ColorADD doesn't have any competitors doing the same work. ColorADD is an unique and patented tool with several supported and recognized "good practices" by ColorBlind Associations and other entities from different countries.

Founding Story

While working on my thesis for my Master in Design and Marketing, I wanted to create something that through design, my passion, could benefit society. So, I challenged myself to create a system which could allow colorblind people to identify colors, preventing all the embarrassing situations I could imagine a colorblind person to experience everyday, in their daily activities. However, I must confess that at first I did not fully grasp the actual impact that it could have in the world. The next challenge after creating the ColorADD system was to reach as many colorblind people as possible and give them equality of access to the ColorADD system.


Our passion team comprises to 3 full-time workers, 2 part-time workers and 3 board members, besides a full-time worker in ColorADD.Social. Miguel Neiva: Miguel Neiva (Porto, Portugal, 1969) is a Designer in Visual Communication, with a Master Degree in Design and Marketing, and also a social entrepreneur – Ashoka Fellow. He is the creator of ColorADD. Color identification system for colorblind people, a pioneer, universal and inclusive code which allows the inclusion of about 350 million people around the world. He is committed since 2008 with the worldwide implementation of this communication system – considered by the GALILEU magazine, of GLOBO editors, Brazil, as one of the “40 ideas to improve the World”. In fact, this code is already being implemented by several entities from different economic sectors of society. Miguel has also created an NGO, ColorADD.Social, so that ColorADD may be used in education, free of costs, thus allowing the inclusion of colorblind children without discriminating, always having in mind his mission of taking this tool all around the world, as far as one can reach… trying to promote a better World for All!!! Invited to several national and international events/seminars/conferences, where he acts as speaker and takes the opportunity to share his experience and passion with everyone. His passion and work has been recognized and he has been awarded with several distinctions: . Order of Commercial Merit – Officer level, by the President of the Portuguese Republic during the celebration of the Day of Portugal, of Camões and of the Portuguese Communities, 2015; . Gold medal concerning the “50th anniversary of the Human Rights Universal Declaration”, by the Presidency of the Portuguese Republic Parliament, 2012; . Municipal Merit Silver Medal, and by the Mayor of the Porto City Hall, 2013.
CO-CREATION IDEA: Please offer a brief description of how you imagine a win-win partnership with Boehringer Ingelheim to better serve unmet needs in health. (Hint: Please mention the underlying business model envisioned that would make such a partnership sustainable.)

Our idea is to go ahead with a co-creation project between ColorADD/BI, involving 50.000 children spread by the different countries in which BI is present. The idea is, with the involvement of a multinational optical company, to carry out early colorblindness screenings to this children, what would correspond to the biggest colorblindness screening ever carried out in the whole world! This project will certainly bring recognition, visibility, affectiveness towards BI brand, notoriety to all the partners involved and, most important, will allow the inclusion into society, without discrimination, of about 5000 children (the estimated percentage of colorblind children considering the 50.000 proposed) teaching how to overcome daily constraints.

NEEDS: Based on you response above, please specify which of the following resources, operations or expertise by Boehringer Ingelheim you imagine leveraging to actualize the proposed co-creation opportunity. Please check all that apply. (Hint: while financing is often critical to scale, we are also interested in understanding what other assets or expertise could be leveraged).

Relationships/New Contacts, Marketing/Communications Support, Legal Support, Technology Expertise, Public Policy Knowledge, Access to Capital.

EXPLANATION OF NEEDS: Please explain your choices in more detail.

Relationships/New Contacts: Help to develop new Relationships/New Contacts, her BI is present to levarage de ColorADD code and Colorblindness awareness.
Public Policy Knowlege: Help us to raise colorblind awareness.
Legal Support: We need to enter in global markets and to have legal support.
Acess to Capital: We have recently developed a Executive Resume in Globalizer X, and we need to invest in Human Resoures, Technology, Distribution and Comunication.
MRK/Communication: We need to create a "Viral" efect in Social Network to raise awareness of the colorblindness.
TI Expertise: Web site

OFFER: What are the main assets you may contribute in a co-creation partnership with Boehringer Ingelheim that would better serve unmet needs in health?

Deep understanding of an unmet need in a specific market/context.

FOCUS AREAS: Which of the following best describes the main focus of your project? (select all that apply)

Holistic solutions that work across the entire care continuum (including education, prevention, detection, treatment, management, follow-up).

Please share what your organisation and Boehringer Ingelheim will Co-Create together

Our idea is to go ahead with a co-creation project between ColorADD/BI, involving 50.000 children spread by the in which BI is present, an estimate average of 1.000 Children spread by 50 Countries. The idea is, in a co-creation project with the involvement of BI, ColorADD and a multinational optical company, to carry out early colorblindness and vison screenings to these children, what would correspond to the biggest colorblindness screening ever carried out in the whole world! This co-creation will bring recognition and visibility towards BI and all partners involved, making world healthier and even more inclusive.

Please specify what your Co-Creation will result in:

other (please explain below).

If you selected "other" above, please explain:

A healthier and more inclusive world for people who are discriminated due to colorblindness

Please provide a 1-2 sentence summary of your Co-Creation idea

We want to use the model in co-creation with BI and carry out 50.000 children colorblind screening tests in a global scale and in the different countries where BI is present. This will be the biggest colorblind screening test ever made.
We what to offer all children a “KIT BAG” with ColorPencils and a Book to paint. The “KIT BAG” as two main objectives:
• Turn the screening test into a “FUN Activity” for Children.
• Guaranty the sustainability of the screenings. The bags are sponsored by local company and/or municipalities.
• The screening tests will be made “pro-bono” by a Multinational Optical Company.

How does this project link to the core mission of your organisation?

We have a double mission: the awareness to the colorblindness issue and the democratization of the color identification, whenever color is a critical factor of identification, orientation or choice in the products/services of companies/entities. ColorADD code is an unique, cross-sector and a universal language that enables the colorblind to identify colors, supporting social integration. The use of the code is licensed to companies which implement it in ALL products/services. We aim to integrate all colorblinds without discriminate and without cost for colorblind: Color is for ALL: this is our vision.

Beyond social impact, how does this project link to Boehringer Ingelheim’s core business?

BI seeks to foster economic and social wellbeing in the countries and communities in which they do business. With this project BI will be involved in the biggest and innovative vision and colorblind screening ever made, involving community and BI companies around the world and therefore co-creating value.

What are the specific inputs and actions that each side will contribute to this Co-Creation idea based on each of your unique competencies and experiences?

○ My organization will contribute:

We have already done more than 7.200 (?) screening tests in 270 (?) schools across Portugal and deliver to all children the “KIT BAG”. We want to replicate this model and our knowledge across the globe with BI. We will prepare the Kits to deliver across the world and with all the sponsoring of BI, ColorADD, Optical and local municipally.
The Multinational Optical will be chosen in accordance with the following criteria: RSE engagement and with a strong presence in some of the countries where BI is also present.
All this project will be carried out by ColorADD.Social, a non-profit organisation.

○ Boehringer Ingelheim will contribute:

We need the engagement of all the 50´s BI Companies around the world to receive the KITs, estimated in 1.000 per country and to support the transport fee (FOB). The costs estimated for the Kits are 6.500€, and will be supported ideally by each Municipality, with the objective of engaging the local entities and to approximate even more each BI to the local community.
We will need a representative of each BI to make the link with the local municipality and to select the primary schools.

Please describe the potential revenue model for this Co-Creation idea.

The potential revenue model that we can use is the AVE (Advertising Value Equivalency). Since we are talking about an unique and never made “diagnosis” of colorblind.

What possible risks or challenges do you foresee?

The big challenge for BI companies across the world will be to engage the municipality. Our experience shows that municipalities have a huge interest to participate in this kind of projects - and the estimated cost is not significant. But if they are aware that they are taking part in “something” innovative, which will allow to detect colorblind kids in early ages, they will for sure want to make part of it.

Is there anything else you would like to share about your Co-Creation idea?

Besides a win-win partnership with BI, our intention is that the Optical involved may also carry out vison screenings and therefore may detect early vision problems in kids at school age. We want to do with BI and the Multinational Optical Company a “Good Practices Manual” for colorblind and vision screenings to be used around all countries. It will include procedures to register all the screenings and the actions to be taken when the optometrists detect colorblind or vision problems.
All the KIT Bags will be printed with BI, ColorADD, Multinational Optical and Municipality Logos. In the end of this great project, and after we collect all data, we want to find the best way to communicate the results.

How much input do you hope to receive from Boehringer Ingelheim?

I’d like to implement together, other (Please explain below).

If you selected "other" above, please explain:

I'd like to design together

Besides Boehringer Ingelheim, what other types of partners might be valuable to carrying out your Co-Creation idea, and why?

The Multinational Optical can do the vison screening test and therefore can detect early vision problems in kids of schools.
Partners that might be valuable to carrying out your Co-Creation idea:
Eyecheck(?) to study
Jordi Mart(?) to study