What are technology/solution areas that you have a primary interest in?
Founded in 1858, Bemis Company, Inc. is a global supplier of innovative, flexible and rigid plastic packaging solutions used by leading food, consumer products, healthcare and other companies worldwide. Our core research interests center on packaging-based approaches that help ensure the safety and quality of food, pharmaceuticals and medical devices. Some of our specific interest areas include:
- methods and materials that control (usually decrease) small molecule diffusion through micron-scale thick membranes.
- the manipulation of surface and interfacial chemistries, particularly with respect to wettability and adhesion.
- enhancement of the environmental responsibility of our and our customers’ products.
- techniques to ensure the microbiological safety of our customers’ products.
- novel methods to support interaction of packaging with the environment, the packaged product or the consumer.
What level of commercial maturity do you typically look for in technology partnerships?
Bemis does fund some formal university research where we work together to assess and advance a concept. The bulk of our technical partnerships, though, evolve from materials or processes that are presented to us after proof-of-concept has been demonstrated.
Please describe your company’s Innovation model and how this model helps to find new innovations.
Bemis’ 158-year history in packaging suggests that we have been able to reinvent our business and adopt technologies that support packaging innovation. Over that time, we transitioned from fabric to paper to polymer-based platforms. As we look forward, we have to prepare ourselves for the time when another reinvention must occur. In support of that vision, we are working to build an inseparable link between innovation and our business. This has allowed us to increase our assessment throughput since early recognition of the business perspective forces us to make advancement decisions sooner and improve our overall agility. Currently, our formal innovation model involves a linear stage gate tool supported by pre-stage gate exploration.
Why work with TechConnect and the National Innovation Summit as a technology prospector? Who are you looking to meet with?
From a historical viewpoint, some of Bemis’ biggest successes began with the use of materials or processes that were atypical for our industry. TechConnect provides a convenient way for us to interact with technically diverse entities who do not normally foresee connections to applications in the packaging space. We look to engage with anyone who can support advancement of materials science that is relevant to our business.
What did you like most about the 2015 conferences?
Personally, I truly enjoyed the one-on-one sessions. In addition to being intellectually challenging, it was a lot of fun to find the intersections that could benefit both Bemis and a technology partner.