British Gas, Mintel, Cambridge University, Blippar and Knowledge Transfer Network are among the major names set to speak as part of Packaging Innovations 2017’s newest show feature, The Ideas Factory. This brand-new theatre will welcome an array of non-packaging based experts to share skills, experience, knowledge and the newest techniques from their sector, in order to see how they can be applied to the packaging sector.

On day one of the show, Wednesday 1 March 2017, Tom Guy, Hive Global Product Director at British Gas, will kick things off with his session ‘Hive: Different for a reason’. He will explore the latest technological advances and wireless products that allow you to control your home from your mobile, tablet or laptop.

Making sure that people want to talk about and share pictures of products on social media is an important part of any brand’s design process, particularly when it comes to the packaging. With this in mind, David Glenwright, Head of Training Services at JC Social Media, will discuss the nature of ‘user generated’ content and showcase innovative product packaging designs created specifically to encourage social sharing.

The automotive sector is a vital part of the UK’s economy, accounting for more that £71.6 billion turnover. It is currently experiencing its greatest levels of innovation as electric vehicles and developments of the ‘connected car’ flood the market. Dr Ben Lane, Director at Next Green Car and Za-Map, will take to the stage to explore the key lessons being learned from the automotive innovation, giving packaging professionals plenty of reasons to continue driving forward.

Ritchie Bosworth, Founder and Head Brewer at Twisted Barrel Ale, will use his session to explain ‘How craft beer has turned premiumisation on its head’, analysing the pitfalls and mistakes made, and how to best learn from them.

Following Bosworth’s session will be Brian McCarthy, Knowledge Transfer Manager – Advanced Materials for Functional Systems at Knowledge Transfer Network, who will discuss ‘Smart technologies in the UK packaging sector’.

Bringing day one to a close, Zeen Cala, Head of Employer Development at Skills Funding Agency – National Apprenticeship Service, will be giving attendees an in-depth look into the process of innovation.

The educational platform continues on Thursday 2 March with Regina Haydon, Food and Drink Analyst at Mintel. Haydon will reveal Mintel’s 2017 Global Packaging Trends, detailing how new active and intelligent technologies hold out the promise of extended shelf life, improved products and brand security and a more positive consumer experience.

Steven Bagshaw, Business Development Manager at the Centre for Process Innovation, will discuss its development of a simple breathalyser that will give diabetes sufferers a non-invasive method for monitoring glucose levels. Bagshaw will also outline the use of smart packaging in healthcare – one of the fastest developing areas in the sector.

To ensure that the majority of the population are able to use a product or service, organisations must consider the principles of Inclusive Design. Mike Bradley, Senior Research Associate at Cambridge University, will examine the opportunities and challenges of applying these principles in automotive product development. This will be illustrated with the original Ford Focus case study.

Closing the Ideas Factory stream will be Geert Berckmans, Commercial Director – Strategic Partnerships at Blippar. He will present ‘What the packaging industry can learn from FMCG adoption of AR’. During this session, Berckmans will showcase a series of ‘best in class’ examples, whilst discussing the key lessons learned from working with thousands of brands to bring their products to life through augmented reality.

The Ideas Factory will run alongside four other theatres packed with educational content, delivered by major names including Amazon, Innocent Drinks, Jaguar Land Rover and Mondelēz International. There will also be a series of interactive show features, including The Innovation Showcase, The Drinks Symposium, The Great Innovation Debate, The Packaging Consultancy Clinic and The BIG Print Debate.

In addition to this, visitors will have access to over 350 leading international suppliers who will be demonstrating the latest products and services, spanning the entire supply chain. 

For more information, including the full seminar programme and free registration, please visit www.easyfairs.com/PIUK, www.easyfairs.com/EmpackUK and www.easyfairs.com/Label&PrintUK or via the show team on +44 (0)20 3196 4429 or PackagingUK@easyfairs.com.