Winners of the first European Plastics Innovation Awards, organized by industry groups PlasticsEurope and the Society of Plastics Engineers, were announced at a special reception in Brussels on Jan. 25, attended by industry executives and officials from the European Union.
The awards, divided in seven different categories, distinguish companies demonstrating outstanding and highly innovative developments in the field of plastics technology, organizers said.
The winners of the seven categories are:
• Best Plastic Design: DSM Engineering Plastics of The Netherlands for high performance edging chassis used in a mountaineering boot made by Salomon. The material allows Salomon to produce an intricate, light and flexible structure for the boot that retains its properties at very low temperatures typical in mountain environments.
• Best Design for End-of-Life: Top Clean Packaging of France for a wine/champagne pack which allows for protection of bottles during transportation during shipping which is less bulky that existing systems and can also be used as a shelving system for bottles,
• Material Innovation: Evonik Industries, Germany, for its Vestmid NRG used in full plastic, high pressure gas pipes which replace steel.
• Hybrid Product: DuPont International Operations of Switzerland for an offshore mooring tether incorporating wave protection for floating structures used for offshore navigation buoys, marinas, barges and other systems which uses a hybrid polymer component to control motion, reducing forces by up to 70 percent.
• Best Substitute Product for Enhanced Sustainability: Dow Chemical Co. Europe for a flexible bottle with PacXPERT packaging technology for an alternative to rigid buckets and canisters for solid or viscous products ranging from 2 to 20 liters.
• Best Lightweight Innovation: Treofan and Borealis, based in Germany and Austria, for PHD1.9 —a polypropylene capacitor film of 1.9 μm thickness which enables the production of ultra-fine films that improve thermal resistance and increase volume efficiency.
• New Surfaces for Plastics Parts: Borealis Polyolefine of Austria for its lightweight, primerless paintable bumper developed in partnership with BMW AG, which will improve the economy and sustainability of auto exterior applications by reducing cycle time and system costs.
Speaking at the reception, Kurt Vandenberghe, who is the European Commission's director for climate action and resource efficiency, addressed the importance of research and innovation to ensure the competitiveness of Europe. “Europe needs more innovation for the creation of jobs and growth. Only by fostering innovation we will turn sustainability into a competitive advantage”, he said.
Patrick Thomas, President of PlasticsEurope and CEO of Covestro, added: “The plastics industry is at the forefront of innovation in Europe. With 1 out of 25 patents coming from the industry, plastics are at the heart of many of today's technological advances. Ongoing investment in innovation is essential if we want to tackle some of the major challenges Europe is facing today.”
Willem De Vos, CEO of SPE, said “The hard work, dedication and enthusiasm in our industry have helped to achieve new innovative solutions to today's societal challenges.”
The second European Plastics Innovation Awards will take place in mid-2017 and the call for parts will be sent out towards the end of this year.