ECMA Congress 2016 Report

Big Data - The New Folding Carton Industry | ECMA Congress 2016

ECMA Congress 2016From 14 until 17 September 2016 the European folding carton industry came together in Antibes/Juan-les-Pins (France) for the ECMA Congress. This year's congress theme was: ‘Big Data – The New Folding Carton Industry’. A great line-up of international acknowledged experts and trend watchers showed the huge influence of Big Data on the future of our industry. In short: Big Data + Big Ideas = Big Impact and also requires "Big Thinking". 

The ECMA Congress is the networking event of the year for the folding carton industry. We offer prospect to the industry and a thorough understanding of major industry trends and developments. To give an impression of what has been presented during the plenary working programme, here's an overview of the presentations.  

Phil Gwoke


When everything is connected
On the threshold of the age of The Internet of Things / Industry 4.0, everything will be connected by the internet. But what happens when generations connect? Phil Gwoke from Bridgeworks presented a very useful insight in what happens when different generations connect (or sometimes collide) and how to build effective working relationships across generational lines.

Big Data is everywhere
Matthijs van Leeuwen from the Leiden Institute of Advanced Computer Science & Leiden Centre of Data Science explained that Big Data itself is a hype term, but the technology is here to stay. It is emerging everywhere. The real questions you need to answer are: Do you have data? Do you have the right data? Are you willing to spend time and resources on analysing it? Do you have (access to) the expertise? Before you can even start thinking about refining your data.

When digital becomes human
Steven van Belleghem stated that humans are becoming digital, and technology is becoming our sixth sense. How everything will be connected by the Internet of Things and will become smart, and this development also holds the future of our industry. We have already moved from digital to mobile, and the next step will be towards artificial intelligence and algorithm based decision making. We still have a few years to prepare for this new revolution, but we should start preparing right now.    

NetworkingCongress Centre Beach

The Role of Sustainability in Packaging
Smithers Pira carried out an independent survey on behalf of Pro Carton in 2016 aimed at determining the views, opinions and attitudes of the downstream carton supply chain as to the importance of sustainability in packaging. Dominic Cakebread form Smithers Pira showed that 96% of all respondents felt sustainable packaging important to their business. The results of this study will be published on the Pro Carton website on short notice. 

Sustainability – How to Thrive in the Next Economy
John Thackara presented some mind provoking views on the resource intensive global economy, and how the future will become trans-local. Economy and sustainability are not two separate things. Sustainability is more than recycling, new materials and resource efficiency. It’s also about new geographies (trans-local), new business models (sharing), new modes of exchange (local platforms and partners) and new supply chain infrastructure (decentralized).

Award CeremonyCarton Awards 2016
On Thursday evening the Pro Carton ECMA Awards were handed out to the winners in Cannes Movie Festival style. 

The Folding Carton Industry 4.0
Stefan Kero from Atos explained how digital transformation / 3rd digital revolution has enabled us to enter the Digital Age and the Internet of Everything. We are moving from single, siloed systems and organizations to an industrial network of capabilities. He also showed the critical success factors for building your company’s digital roadmap.

Award WinnersECMA 360° Industry Update
For the first time ECMA presented a 360° update on our industry. It was compiled from a wide variety of sources, and contained both industry statistics and trends. Also an update on ECMA’s food safety journey was presented by the Technical Committee. The presentation of the 360° industry update was very well received, and will certainly be repeated next year. 

Peter Fisk

Innovating for growth in folding carton packaging
Peter Fisk showed how the application of new technologies and the Internet of Things leads to exponential change (an explosion of connected possibility). Big Data will transform every industry, and there are new opportunities to grow everywhere. But it’s about combing big data with big ideas that will lead to big impact.   

Performance Improvement in F1
The congress working programme was closed by Nick Fy, former CEO of the F1 Mercedes-Petronas team. In a world which is more competitive than ever, it’s all about extended teamwork. Sport has no special processes, it’s just more focussed and faster. 

For congress particpants the presentations have been made available on the ECMA website. 

ECMA looks back on a very successful Congress in Antibes/Juan-les-Pins, and already started up the preparations for next year’s congress in Salzburg!