With delegate numbers exceeding 200 and a record number of Brand Owners attending and presenting, the AIPIA Congress proved beyond doubt that Active and Intelligent Packaging (A&IP) is about to make a big impact and has enormous potential for every stakeholder. The event took place in Utrecht Holland on 18/19 November.
“The buzz was almost palpable from the first moment,” said AIPIA President Dick de Koning. “Everyone was totally focused on the topic from the moment Robert Witik of Nestle Research stood up to talk about his company’s perspectives on the opportunities and challenges for A&IP, until NXP gave the last presentation to a full room at 16.30 the next evening.”
“One of the real achievements of this Congress was the engagement that was possible with a large number of Brand Owners. They were very forthcoming with what they are expecting from A&IP. We were particularly grateful to Robert and our other two Brand Owner presenters, Doug Hutt of SABMiller and Matthew Daniels of Unilever who all gave delegates a very clear picture of the future for A&IP in their companies. It was very exciting to hear their views,” added de Koning.
A highlight of the Congress was a completely interactive session called Moving Forward with A&IP from Matthew Daniels of Unilever. This was led by a moderator and involved the entire audience in a lively discussion which brainstormed the views, expectations and challenges for active and intelligent packaging technologies. This will be an on-going project through a Task Force set up during this event.
AIPIA’s managing director Eef de Ferrante added his comments on the success of the congress, “Every session was well attended and in some there was standing room only. The theme of A&IP in Action was at the forefront of almost every presentation. Several companies showed products and services which have now reached the market, as well as many new ideas which have been developed in cooperation with other A&IP suppliers and customers.”
“The message from the Brand Owners was very clear. They told us they want a usable product, not just a technology. It also has to add real value to their Brand, and not be just a short term gimmick. Importantly they want to see different A&IP developers working together, and also with design houses and packaging manufacturers, to provide a finished solution – not one with bugs to iron out,” explained de Ferrante.
The Congress featured over 35 speakers covering every aspect of A&IP as well as a demonstration area where companies showed working examples of their products. It is the only event to cover the entire spectrum of Active & Intellligent Packaging. The next Congress is scheduled for autumn 2016 with venue and dates to be released shortly.