Packaging company Amcor has expanded its global packaging innovation hubs with the opening of its new facility in Ghent, Belgium.  

The Amcor Innovation Center Europe (AICE) joins the company’s hubs in the US, South America, and Asia-Pacific regions.  

The added centre will feature new material technologies aimed at improving the sustainability and performance of packaging.  

The AICE aims to support brands from concept to completion.

This involves a flexible, collaborative, and creative codevelopment process that considers market trends, consumer needs, sustainability, recyclability, and compatibility with customers’ production lines. 

The facility features a Material Science Center dedicated to innovating packaging materials that reduce the carbon footprint of packaging.  

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The centre also facilitates the development of high-barrier paper packaging and vapour-deposited nanocoatings.

Advanced analytical labs at the facility are equipped to test new materials with the latest techniques. 

Meanwhile, the Customer Engagement Center at the AICE is designed for collaborative sessions and includes an observation room for consumer focus groups. 

It also boasts an on-site prototyping lab to create different packaging solutions for test participants. 

The E-Commerce Lab within the AICE conducts tests and certifies packaging according to International Safe Transit Association 6 standards. 

This ensures that packaging is suitable for distribution through Amazon and other e-commerce platforms.  

Amcor also plans to add a Packaging and Recycling Test Center, which will simulate brands’ packing lines for in-house machine trials and assess packaging recyclability. 

In line with Amcor’s vision to make all its packaging recyclable, compostable, or reusable by 2025, the AICE building has been developed to Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Methodology sustainability standards. 

Amcor Flexibles Europe, Middle East, and Africa president Michael Zacka said: “The opening of the Amcor Innovation Center Europe is a significant investment towards more sustainable, circular, and innovative packaging. 

“The centre brings together the brightest minds in packaging design and material science with state-of-the-art technology to offer our customers a complete brand solution, from concept to commercial launch.” 

In April this year, Amcor announced a significant expansion of its North American printing and converting capabilities for the country’s dairy market.