New IAPRI members for 2019Austria’s Vienna-based FH Campus Wien is the country’s largest university of applied sciences. The Department of Packaging and Resource Management takes an interdisciplinary approach, with a focus on sustainability and holistic evaluation. Last year saw the creation of the Competence Centre for Sustainable and Future-Oriented Packaging Solutions.
Course options include the Industrial Packaging Technology degree programme, with its practical approach, and Sustainable Resource Management. The Packaging Technology and Sustainability part-time master’s degree programme is conducted in English.
Joining IAPRI from Belgium is the University of Hasselt Packaging Technology Center (PTC) in Limburg. Founded in 1997, the PTC has expertise in broad areas such as transport simulation and eco-design, but also in some quite specific technologies, such as measuring the gas permeability of materials and the physical and mechanical characterisation of plastics and fibre-based packaging.
For the past six years, the PTC has been part of the university’s Institute of Materials Research. It lists its four main areas of activity as: provision of direct services to companies; industry collaboration in subsidised research projects, around topics such as thermoforming, sealing and smart packaging; applied fundamental research at PhD level; and support of bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Packaging Engineering Technology.
Topics for PhD-level research include the optimisation of bioplastics through nanotechnology, as well as applications of barrier and multi-structured materials.
A third new university-based member, this time from Finland, is Tampere University of Technology’s Paper Converting and Packaging Technology research group, which works within the Materials Science Laboratory. With over 20 years’ experience in the area, the unit’s research and development is largely to do with extrusion and co-extrusion coating, laminating, dispersion coating, wet and melt spinning.
Tampere has a “unique” pilot line able to trial tailored surface treatments and coatings, which can be particularly valuable in developing high-barrier and thin-coating options for bio-based and other sustainable materials.
Also joining the lengthening list of IAPRI members based at Nordic universities is the University of Gavle, Sweden. This is described as a ‘medium-sized university’ said to have a strong regional presence and at the same time to be part of a ‘global network’.
Some members will know the International Trade Centre (ITC), based in Geneva, Switzerland. This is a UN agency with responsibilities including sustainable trade and enterprise development. Current research focuses on scalable manufacturing for low-income countries, especially where local raw materials can be used.
Corporate member Shanying International is said to be one of China’s most important papermaking and board manufacturing companies in China. Packaging research targets sustainable materials, cushion performance testing and other non-destructive package testing.
Finally, corporate member Puratos, based in Belgium, is an international group offering its range of products and raw materials to the bakery, patisserie and chocolate sectors. Its packaging development relies largely on external partners, including European universities, institutes and materials suppliers.