Open innovation Tackles Packaging Industry Challenges

Published Jun-12-17

A novel color tester for consumers in different markets among other packaging innovations.

Dutch Packaging Association, Netherlands

The Story:

Open innovation Tackles Packaging Industry Challenges "Packaging must constantly rejuvenate," according to Michaël Nieuwesteeg, the managing director of the Dutch Packaging Association (NVC). He was talking to a reporter in the run-up to De Gouden Noot 2016, an open innovation contest to stimulate innovation of packaging and packaged products.

The industry requires creative and innovative thinking to counter the numerous challenges it faces. Among them are the need for environmentally friendly packaging solutions and to improve the supply chain. Nowadays it is less predictable because location and moment of purchase and delivery are disconnected thanks to the internet, smartphones, tablets and so on.

Open Innovation Competition

De Gouden Noot bills itself as the world’s most competitive packaging innovation contest, and is held every two years.

"The aim is to stimulate truly holistic packaging innovation and to disseminate the considerations that come into play in that perspective to the benefit of the world packaging community," said Nieuwesteeg in an interview with Packaging Europe.

The global competition is named after the unique winner's trophy, which features a solid golden walnut, a symbol for the best holistic packaging innovation.

Once the submission period closed, concepts were whittled down to ten finalists. Then in the second round of judging, the jury selected the bronze, silver and golden winners.


First place went to FLEX/design for the FLEXA Creations Color Testers. This is a novel color tester for consumers to try out different paint colors at home. It features an integrated paint roller and answers a specific need. Despite notable differences in markets, retail and logistic requirements, this product is suitable for all retail channels in different countries.

In second place was the ECOBULK HX with the SCHÜTZ Impeller system, a closed packaging system with an impeller (a rotor used to increase the pressure and flow of a liquid). This allows repeated stirring of liquids without having to open the packaging and could be used to contain high quality coatings used in the automotive industry. Other features include a single-use inner bottle to provide greater protection against impurities and a bottom plate that gives excellent stirring results.

Huhtamaki picked up the bronze award for GreeNest, an innovative bio-based packaging solution that is made out of 50% natural grass and 50% recycled paper fibers.

"De Gouden Noot is very, very important," commented Professor Onno Omta, chairman of the jury. "Why? Because once every second year we show the world how innovative the packaging industry is. Not only for the packaging industry itself, but really for everyone. It's important to see how difficult packaging is and how difficult it is to do really good innovation in this field and what brilliant innovations there are that won the De Gouden Noot."

Valuable Promotion

The handing out of prizes is not the last contact that winners will have with the organizers. In fact, all winners and finalists will be promoted by the Dutch Packaging Association for a period of two years. The De Gouden Noot competition will be held in 2018.

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Foto trofee De Gouden Noot 2016 for publication.jpg