At the close of this year’s AIPIA (Active & Intelligent Packaging Industry Association) Congress, held November 14 and 15 in Amsterdam, the more than 300 attendees were left in no doubt that a new age of packaging has dawned, reports AIPIA.
Speaker after speaker demonstrated ideas which have already found traction in the marketplace. 2016, it seems, has been something of a breakthrough year for active and intelligent packaging (A&IP) technologies, with companies such as Stora Enso, NXP, Thinfilm , Digimarc and Zappar all showing products already providing security and supply chain solutions, as well as major marketing opportunities, to brand owners.
The centerpiece of the two-day event, which took place in Amsterdam, was an ‘elevator pitch’ by nine companies, to the Heineken Design & Packaging Team, bidding to work with them on the next version of a smart beer bottle for the iconic brand. Each company had just three minutes to pitch its idea, which made for a very dynamic session to end the first day. The Heineken team will invite one of the companies to continue the discussion about their idea in the coming weeks.
Elsewhere several keynote speakers covered topics of sector –wide significance. Andy Hobsbawm of Internet of Things software platform developers EVRYTHING asked the question: Who owns your packaging, your data and your customers? His view is that digitisation of assets and harnessing of data creates a direct route to the consumer for companies using smart packaging. Larry Logan of Digimarc demonstrated that the connected package is the most salient touch point between a brand and its customers.
More than 30 speakers covered topics ranging from food safe antimicrobial agents to pharmaceutical compliance and traceability. “The Congress is the only event which covers the entire A&IP spectrum to give a broad view of the sector, as well as in-depth presentations about some of the latest developments,“ commented AIPIA President Dick de Koning.
“There is a real energy about this event, which is showing no signs of going away after 5 years,”according to AIPIA’s executive director Eef de Ferrante. “If anything it is growing stronger,” he added. “The number of delegates and the participation of brand owners is getting bigger every year. And we were pleased to see a record number of demonstrator booths, double the number we had last time,” he said.
“The industry is developing very rapidly,” continued de Koning. “AIPIA is uniquely placed to be a hub for information and networking and we only see that getting stronger in the future,” he added.
“Of course the challenge is always to follow a highly successful event with something even better next time,” explained de Ferrante. “But there were several clear themes coming out of this Congress, including the continuing demand from Brand Owners for complete solutions which we heard in 2015 too. So we are already making plans for 2017,” concluded De Ferrante.