Nestlé to join AIPIA Advisory Board

By Jenny Eagle

- Last updated on GMT

Nestlé Research Centre
Nestlé Research Centre

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The Active and Intelligent Packaging Industry Association (AIPIA) and its new president Dick de Koning of PACKZ, has made changes to its Advisory Board.

Robert Witik, from Nestlé Research Centre, in Lausanne, Switzerland, will join existing board member Guido Schmitz of Bayer Health Care and Blue Chip packaging suppliers will be represented by Marko Hakovirta of Stora Enso, Consumer Board Division.

Dow Europe & ITENE

Dick de Koning

According to Koning, who took over the role this year, the advisory board needs ‘a blend of suppliers and end users’ to offer vision and ideas on the next phase of implementation and development of AIPIA. 

Newcomers from the supply sector include Craig Voellmicke from CSP Technologies, Pavel Korolik of Eastman Kodak and Sylvia Kaiser-Kershaw  of NXP. 

“The first board had a very strong line-up and served the association well, helping it to expand membership beyond 650 companies​,” he said. 

We are still waiting on a couple of invitations, but we already believe this board has great balance and a deep understanding of the issues confronting the Active and Intelligent Packaging sector and how we need to meet both the challenges and opportunities​.”

Witik took part in a project last year to test how some products are more sensitive than others to elements such as moisture, oxygen and light. 

His team studied 700 bars of chocolate, wrapped in transparent packaging, attached to sensors, exposed to light for 24 hours a day to predict how certain products react to different conditions. 

Not enough is known about ‘degradation factors’, and how they affect sensitive products over the course of their designated shelf lives. 

The lack of data available, and the methods for gathering it, can mean manufacturers overestimate how much protection a product’s packaging needs. 


Other members of the board include Andy Hobsbawm of EVRYTHNG, Randy Lane of American Thermal Instruments, Fabrice Digonnet of Dow Europe, Mikko Nikkanen from Smartrac, Kai Leppänen  of Thinfilm Electronics and Neil Darin of HAVI Global Solutions. 

Representing the R&D sector is Zika Vähä-Nissi of VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, Blanca Mentrida from ITENE and former president Bruno Ponsard from ITEGA. 

Incoming president

Ponsard served AIPIA from 2013-2015 and is succeeded by de Koning. 

De Koning graduated as a Strategic Packaging Professional at the Dutch Packaging Centre and started PACKZ as a founding partner alongside Johan Glaser in 2012. 

Prior to PACKZ, he worked at Unilever Vlaardingen, Bongrain, Schut Flexible Packaging the Heinz Innovation Centre and Budelpack in various R&D, packaging and quality management roles.

PACKZ works with global brand owners such as Cadburys, Unilever, Agio, Perfetti van Melle, Heinz, Friesland Campina, Nolet and DE Masterblenders, in packaging innovation projects and technology scouting.

The next AIPIA World Congress will focus on ‘Active & Intelligent Packaging by Design’ from November 14-15, 2016, at the Mövenpick Hotel in Amsterdam.

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