Dubbed 'R8', the new facility will enable DS Smith and its customers to 'accelerate the research and development of radically new packaging fulfilment solutions', it said in a statement.
It includes a 4,000 square metre pilot hall, four laboratories, conditioning chambers, an ideation and design studio, prototyping areas, and collaboration spaces, and will be home to DS Smith's Group Innovation and R&D teams.
'Innovation And Sustainability'
“Our customers are some of the world’s most iconic FMCG brands, online retailers, and industrial players, so innovation and sustainability are very high on their agenda," commented Stefano Rossi, CEO, packaging division, DS Smith. "Our global R&D and Innovation Centre will facilitate the collaboration that we know is needed to solve some of the industry’s biggest challenges.
"We will be partnering with customers to help them transition to the circular economy by focusing on novel packaging solutions that deploy new materials and technologies. Nothing is off the table – we have designed the hub to encourage scrutiny of existing ways of working and explore all the possibilities, especially for service-based offerings in the packaging supply chain.”
'Under One Roof'
According to the company, R8 will bring all aspects of the innovation spectrum 'under one roof', including material development, ideation, and concept development, testing and product development, prototyping and customer pilots.
It will be used to explore a variety of new initiatives related to packaging, including the use of natural resources, reusable fibre-based packaging and technologies, and advanced barrier technology.
“We believe in sharing expertise to help customers reduce waste, streamline production, and increase sustainable productivity," Rossi added.