Tag Archive for: Events

Theme for September 23rd: How do we encourage the right knowledge to enter the packaging industry?

On September 23rd, Packbridge after 3 will be focusing on how we can attract the right knowledge and the right people to the packaging industry in the future.

The general need for a skilled workforce is significant, and not only in the packaging industry. Among other things Packbridge has been involved in helping the Packaging Technician vocational course to get started in Eslöv, and for example in Sunne and Stockholm there are courses that focus on packaging design. In most cases those who attend these courses get a job immediately upon completion of their studies, or very soon after. This proves the need for this sort of training.

But beyond the current situation, it is also important to lift our gaze towards the horizon and see what will be needed in the future. What skills do we need to attract into the industry in the future? And how will we do that? In other words, what are the arguments that encourage future talents to really want to work in the packaging industry? How can we profile ourselves and become interesting to people with different skills?

These are some of the topics that we will be taking up at Packbridge after 3 on September 24th. We will also try to define what needs the packaging industry must fulfil in the future to meet trends such as digitisation and urbanisation, to name but two.

And, not least of interest, how do recent graduates really view the packaging industry? Why do they approach the industry at all? Is it an attractive area?

As you can see, it will be an interesting afternoon. We will announce the venue and a detailed programme shortly. Meanwhile, you should make a note of the date in your calendar.

The afternoon will also be streamed live so that everyone in the Packbridge North area will be able to watch the broadcast together, rather than sit alone in front of a computer.
Networking is an important part of Packbridge events.

Click here for registration

Workshop on the future of packaging

Last week Packbridge held a workshop in Barcelona, Spain, together with German food cluster Food Regio and Spanish packaging cluster Packaging Cluster. The theme was the future of packaging and participants examined both the industry and the value chain.

We started the day by identifying the market forces that are really driving development towards the packaging of the future. We then turned to look at the concrete solutions that the demand of these markets is resulting in. We had a very good discussion where participants generously shared their thoughts and ideas.

Finally, we reviewed the technologies that are enabling these solutions to come into being. The result was a “roadmap” showing how we think the packaging of the future will develop.

Packbridge after 3 focused on changes in the business world that we should be exploiting


Robert Östman, Beneli

The only thing that is constant in the world today is change. That’s how Per-Stefan Gersbro introduced Packbridge’s latest Packbridge after 3 workshop, which was hosted by label producer Beneli in Helsingborg. The company calls itself a “global, leading label manufacturer with a twist”, according to MD Robert Östman. Functionality, design and innovation are what make the twist, he said, and presented a new product; a label that can be applied inside the human body and which measures heart function. There is a lot of money to be saved. For example, Beneli also works with Acreo in the production of smart labels with printed electronics which do things such as keeping track of the ambient temperature a drug is exposed to. This is extremely important, especially in the subtropical climate and during emergency relief efforts. A label is still a label, but today it can be so much more too.

The theme for the day was “How will change in the global business context affect packaging?” Around fifty people gathered at Beneli for the workshop and, as usual, many more watched via the livestream.


Lisa Önnerlid, W Communication Agency

The first speaker was Lisa Önnerlid from W Communication Agency. She gave us an insight into the most prominent current trends in the communication world. Every year her company analyses the current trends, and this year the following areas are included:

Content Marketing
Mobile marketing
Wearable tech

Of these, Lisa only had time to focus on personalisation and authenticity. Everyone wants to stand out and be special, and there’s a new word for this today: “Youniverse”. We want the whole universe to revolve around us. An example of how self-centred we are becoming can be seen in the Coca Cola campaign where first names are put on bottles. Last year this led to the group increasing its sales by 2.5%; the first time in ten years that growth had improved for them.


Benedicte Kristoffersson, BK Consulting

Reliability, or authenticity, was the second word, and this is very important for all brands. The consumers must know that you can trust them. Those who succeed in this have great opportunities and can withstand attempts at piracy. Transparency is required to achieve this. Lisa gave a number of tips about the two concepts she had discussed.

Benedicte Kristoffersson from BK Consulting gave a number of examples of the sort of changes that are affecting packaging. She has a background at Procordia, now Orkla, as product manager and export director of Felix, and she now runs her own consulting firm. Benedicte gave examples, from Orkla, of innovation in packaging that reflected change. Openability, the environment, “on the go”, and new ways to serve food, were all included in her presentation. Among other things she demonstrated easy opening lids for glass jars and minimal packaging for super concentrated FUN Light drink.


Maud Rahm, Flextrus

Maud Rahm, MD of Flextrus, gave her views on how the packaging industry can benefit from the world we are now living in. The Earth turns as it always has, but today’s information flow is quite different. Being able to manage this flow the right way is the key to success, says Maud. Many people are afraid of the concept of Big Data, but we shouldn’t be. It requires work to deal with it, but done right there are huge benefits. Those who use data in a better way can be compared to the people who long ago first started pumping oil; in other words they will be very successful. It is also important to understand your USP, i.e. unique selling proposition. Success also requires a good workforce and great teamwork inside the organisation.

Do it with passion or not at all” were Maud Rahm’s final words.


Jenny Bramell, IUC Skåne

IUC Skåne and Jenny Bramell took the stage after Maud. IUCs are Industrial Development Centres, and IUC Skåne is one of 15 such development centres in the country. IUC works a little like Packbridge by connecting people and businesses together, but it works from a broader perspective. Jenny also spoke about the digitisation of society and pointed to increasing transparency in the value chain, that everything will be connected to everything else on a global basis and that it’s all about making the new technology usable. She said that while there will always be a need for human contact, the unfortunate reality today is that many people have more interaction with their smartphone than they do with their partner.

Increasing automation and increased interactivity between people and robots is also an important part of the future. We must not be afraid of automation.

Be prepared for the future, was Jenny’s final message. What will all this mean to you, what will it require of your business and how can you adapt to it?


Rolf Elmér, Svenskt Näringsliv

The last speaker was Rolf Elmér, from the Confederation of Swedish Enterprise. No change is possible if we don’t have strict control over the economy, he claimed in his presentation, which looked at the position for Sweden in purely economic terms. Over the past two quarters there has been optimism about the future, at least the near future, with forecasts of growth in Swedish industry, he said.

Rolf also raised the possibility of moving production back from abroad to Sweden; “reshoring”. There is a strong trend towards this in the United States. It is clear that a great deal of business has moved out of Sweden in the past 30 years, and this is also true for relatively small companies. Of 6,000 surveyed companies, 12% had operations abroad and only a fairly small proportion of these had moved production back home again. Those who had moved back had done so primarily for economic reasons. Automation has increased the opportunities of producing at home again. But the fact remains that more companies are moving production out of the country than are bringing it back home.

One conclusion Rolf drew was that low profitability slows down investment in Sweden and that Sweden needs clear reforms to encourage investment in R&D and production.

Packbridge after 3 ended, as always, with a panel discussion, and this was followed by a quick guided tour of Beneli’s production facilities before it was time for a little supper.

If you think that this all seems quite interesting but didn’t have the opportunity to be present, as usual you can log in on our website and watch it again on Packbridge TV if you are a Packbridge member. The whole afternoon is available to view.



Packbridge after 3 on June 2nd – How will change in the global business context affect packaging – how can you make it work in your favour?

Our world is constantly changing and that also applies to the ways we do business. But how do the changes affect the packaging industry and are there are ways to ensure that the changes will be to the industry’s advantage? This is the question we will be examining at Packbridge after 3 on 2 June. The theme for the afternoon is “How will change in the global business context affect packaging – how can you make it work in your favour?”

If you can make it (or even watch the livestream) you will learn much more about globalisation and areas such as economic changes, global challenges and the scarcity of resources, and about urbanisation where areas such as on-the-go, take-away, consumer behaviour and single households will be addressed. Of course, demographics – with increasing numbers of elderly people – gender equality, mixed communities and technology with the Internet of Things and Industry 4.0 will also be included.

We are delighted to present the following speakers:
·       Benedicte Kristoffersson, BK Consulting
·       Jenny Bramell, IUC Skåne
·       Lisa Önnerlid, W Communication Agency
·       Maud Rahm, Flextrus
·       Rolf Elmér, Svenskt Näringsliv

The Region Skåne initiative Scania Innovation Week is also under way on 2 June, and Packbridge after 3 will form part of this week’s events. It will be in Helsingborg at the premises of Beneli, a well-known label producer with interesting offices which, according to CEO Robert Östman, are similar to Louisiana in Denmark. Beneli is providing not only a venue and refreshments, but is also sponsoring the live broadcast which production company 16:9 will be arranging.

As usual, the event will be held in English and begins at 15:01, concluding with a panel discussion and ending by 17:00 when a light evening meal will be served.

Register your interest with Olof Nyström at  olof@packbridge.se or click on the link for more information and registration.

Beneli is situated in the north part of Helsingborg, just south of the Väla shopping centre. The address is Porfyrgatan 5.

Major interest from industry in the Packbridge Research Forum


Lars Samuelson, Lunds universitet

Around 150 people were present when the Packbridge Research Forum presented cutting edge packaging research from the academic world and research organisations in the Nordic countries. Normally when the academic world presents its latest news, the audience consists of people from the same world, but the unique aspect of the conference on 7 May was that representatives from industry formed the majority of the audience. This demonstrates the great interest that industry has in what is taking place inside research and is a clear signal that the Packbridge Research Forum is needed and important.

During the day, fourteen speakers were present at Medicon Village in Lund, giving insights into a very wide range of packaging research. Here is a brief summary.


Anna Bergstrand, Chalmers Industriteknik

First up was Lars Samuelson from the Nanometer Structure Consortium at Lund University. He began by saying that he was probably the person present with the least knowledge of packaging and then took the audience on a quick journey through the history of nanoscience before describing the nanotechnology research situation in Lund. Lars noted that nanotechnology is important for the packaging industry and that it will become still more important in the future.

Anna Bergstrand from Chalmers Industriteknik asked whether foamed material based on hemicellulose can be of use as a packaging material – and showed that the answer is “Yes”. The development concerns the shift from fossil-based to renewable raw materials and it is taking place in the context of a project called SmartFoam. Packbridge is a member of the working group. This is a five-year project that began in 2014.


Jesper Clement, Copenhagen Business School

Jesper Clement from Copenhagen Business School is researching how we behave in shops and how we notice new packaging and new design. Eye-tracking – determining what catches our eye – is important in his work. In brief, his message was that contrast and form are a must and that the design must be easy for the consumer to understand when they are trying to make a quick, easy decision.

Peter Rättö came from Innventia to talk about the opportunities represented by printing presses. He asked whether they can be used to create function in packaging – and once again, the answer was “Yes”. You can print barriers, surfaces which should be experienced in a particular way or which should provide a good grip, for example. In other words, you can improve the characteristics of an item of packaging in a flexible manner.

The fact that packaging is an important interface between the product and the consumer was emphasised by Annika Olsson from LTH, who explored whether we can create value from this. She observed that it is a potential value-creator, but that value is only value if the consumer really perceives it as such. Otherwise it isn’t added value but merely added cost. Her presentation also examined the new book, “The (un)sustainable package”, of which she is one of the authors, and which looks at packaging within the food, medication and luxury packaging sectors.


Jouni Lattu, VTT

The day began with nanotechnology, but the next two speakers, Helena Theander from Chalmers and Niklas Lorén from SP Food and Bioscience, addressed an alternative; namely graphene, which has been described as a material for the future, and of course one of great interest to the packaging industry. One area is coatings, where it is possible to create superhydrophobic surfaces or highly effective oxygen barriers. You can also make small holes in the layer to create an ultrafine membrane which is permeable to water but not salt if you pour salt water on it. Graphene has unique permeability, but also unique mechanical properties.

How can we use protein-based materials to tailor-make new conditions for packaging? This question was answered by Ramune Kuktaite and Bill Newson from SLU. There are no products of this type on the market today. The project employs plant-based proteins to produce a biobased material with good gas barrier properties and which can even be used to produce edible packaging. However, there are still many issues to resolve according to these two speakers.


Cecilia Fredriksson, Lunds Universitet Campus Helsingborg

Jouni Lattu represented Finnish VTT. He gave an in-depth presentation of a packaging application; barrier polymers for conservation applications. This was VTT GAT, a polymer with good oxygen barrier and mechanical properties. The idea is that the material will be used as a barrier in packaging for food and drink. In 2020 it will be possible to manufacture 8 000 tonnes per year. In price terms, it will be at the same level as the well-known EVOH. In addition, unlike EVOH the material is biodegradable. The material is also slightly better than EVOH regarding oxygen permeability, and is transparent.

Cecilia Fredriksson is an ethnologist, so packaging isn’t specifically her area of expertise. She is researching retail at Lund University in Helsingborg. She discussed consumption patterns and morals and ethics in consumption.

Under the extremely broad title of Packaging research at the Danish Technology Institute, Søren Østergaard examined a number of current packaging projects, although the fibre-based bottle that Carlsberg is hoping to start using in around three years got most interest from the audience. Following his presentation, many attendees took the opportunity to examine and discuss the bottle.


Marie Ernstsson från SP Chemistry, Materials and Surfaces

The last-but-one speaker was Marie Ernstsson from SP Chemistry, Materials and Surfaces, who returned to the subject of chemistry. She discussed the opportunities for improving adhesives in self-adhesive paper labels by identifying migrating components. This involves looking at nanometre thick surfaces. Her research shows that many factors affect adhesion and other characteristics.

The day ended with Axel Steuwer from Invest in Skåne, who provided an up-to-date report on two major facilities being constructed close to Medicon Village in Lund, namely the ESS and Max IV, two gigantic microscopes based on electrons (Max IV) and neutrons (ESS). It will still be a few years before they are both finished. Hopefully the ESS will be ready for use in 2019. Both facilities can be extremely useful in packaging material research.

Adjacent to the conference was a table exhibition where there was at least one well-travelled exhibitor. PopPack from San Francisco is a new member of Packbridge and the company had travelled half way around the world to show off its unique opening solution. Speaking about their visit a few days later, William Perell and his wife – who also works for the company – said:

The intimate gathering of professionals sharing their research and innovations made the journey from San Francisco worth every minute and every mile of travel. We have attended packaging conferences in Germany, Japan, and the United States, and without hesitation we can state that not one of them holds a candle to the unforgettable day we spent with Packbridge members in Lund.

We’ll be back again!

While we will happily accept the praise, naturally we still aren’t satisfied. It will be even better in the future.

packbridge gnget p scenen 7maj-15

Meet the future with smart specialisation

Next week sees an important event in the calendar – the Packbridge AGM on 23 April. The theme for the afternoon will be Meet the Future with Smart Specialisation – and the intention is to provide an insight into the dynamics and direction of industry in Skåne, with a special focus on the packaging sector.

Of course no AGM can take place without a good description of the past business year. As usual, Per-Stefan Gersbro will provide us with that overview, and the AGM will be followed by four speakers on topics linked to our theme.

Bodil Rosvall Jönssonwill speak first. She is Enterprise Manager and CEO of Business Region Skåne, and her presentation is entitled “Skåne – a region with focus on innovation”.

Representing the industry will be Jan Boberg, vice CEO of Ystad-based Scanfill, which has really begun to gain momentum after a tough initial period. Scanfill, which is owned by Polykemi, has a business concept involving offering cost-effective and sustainable packaging materials, and is a great example of a Swedish company based on innovative knowledge.

Johan Mårtenssonis project manager at Packbridge, and together with entrepreneur Robin Thiberg from Innosensia and Seedfundit, he will give an insight into the opportunities of open innovation and talk about how it is going to rewrite the rules for business.

The event will conclude with a panel discussion.  The AGM will be held in Swedish, but the presentations will be given in English.

The venue is Media Evolution City, Stora Varvsgatan 6 in Malmö. The meeting starts at 15:00 and finishes at 17:00, after which we will be offering refreshments. You are more than welcome to arrive a little early for coffee and networking.

Register your participation via Eva Norling Gersbro at  eva@packbridge.se.

We look forward to seeing you for a very rewarding afternoon!

View the programme for Packbridge Research Forum 2015

Packaging research is a vast and fascinating area. It is an ongoing process taking place across universities and research institutes. It addresses technical challenges and practical solutions, but also studies areas such as consumer interaction and logistical challenges.
At Packbridge Research Forum we are going to meet a line of researchers representing quite a few of the many sides of packaging related research.

We are looking forward to a full day of exciting research projects. These are projects that give us a hint of what we can expect from future packaging solutions. What is packaging, if not material and functions.

Brand new materials that are being developed

Biodegradable polymers with a superior barrier

Printing technology as well as about labels and migration

Nano technology and the possibilities with graphene

Consumer’s present and future view of the shopping experience

During the day we will also cover packaging as a means for value creation and what we can expect from the soon completed ESS research centre.

Speakers in alphabetical order:

Anna Bergstrand
Chalmers University of Technology

Jesper Clement
Copenhagen Business School

Marie Ernstsson
SP Technical Research Institute

Cecilia Fredriksson
Lund University, Campus Helsingborg

Ramune Kukaite and Bill Newson
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU)

Jouni Lattu
VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland

Annika Olsson
Faculty of Engineering LTH Lund University

Søren Østergaard
DTI Danish Technological Institute

Peter Rättö

Lars Samuelson
Faculty of Engineering LTH Lund University

Axel Steuwer
Invest in Skåne

Helena Theander
Chalmers University of Technology

Please go to the website for more information or contact Felix Helander at felix@packbridge.se.