Innovative Virtual Launch Of Foundation For Innovative Packaging & Sustainability (FIPS)


Inaugurating the virtual event for the launch of the Foundation for Innovative Packaging and Sustainability, on January 28, 2021, Chief Guest, Padma Vibhushan, Emeritus Professor of Eminence, Dr MM Sharma applauded the innovative way the event had been packaged in a virtual format. Speaking at length about the various ways in which packaging makes our lives easier, Dr Sharma said packaging is not only high on science but also has elements of technology and art. He pointed out that although no new polymers have been developed over the past few decades there has been a continuous evolution of existing polymers which has enhanced their material properties. He touched upon popular misconceptions about plastic packaging and stressed the need to create packaging that is sustainable, recyclable and used with responsibility.

Also present at the event were Guests of Honor and Mentors of FIP, Dr UV Venkateswarlu, IAS retd., Former Chief Secretary, Tripura and Shri Rajani Ranjan Rashmi, IAS retd., Former Chief Secretary, Manipur.

Dr Venkateswarlu spoke about the critical need to enhance research funding in the field of packaging along with skill development which is central in achieving the objectives of Atmanirbhar Bharat. He also spoke about the immense opportunities for development of the horticultural and traditional produce of the North East for export around the world with the help of attractive packaging. He released a Whitepaper, titled "Unbox Another Side of Packaging". The Whitepaper has been produced by FIPS and contains 16 articles over 50 pages of text by members of the FIPS Team to highlight the opportunities and challenges facing the packaging industry today.

Shri Rajani Rashmi highlighted the challenges of climate change and "competitive environmentalism" that the world is facing. In this context he suggested there is an urgent need to relook at existing models of packaging materials, technology and design to make them more sustainable and aligned with a circular economy. He launched the FIPS website ( that gives details of the FIPS vision, mission and scope of work. The website includes links to the FIPS brochure and Whitepaper.

Knowledge Sharing MOU's signed with six reputed organisations The Foundation for Innovative Packaging and Sustainability is the brainchild of eminent packaging industry stalwart, Prof. Dr NC Saha, Former Director, Indian Institute of Packaging and Founder-Chairman, FIPS. He is partnered by Prof. Dr. Anup Ghosh, of IIT Delhi and Director - Training & Research, FIPS as well as Mr Mrinal K Ghosh, Former Research Director, Essel Propack Group as Director, Innovation.

To promote the objectives of FIPS as a knowledge resource sharing platform, exchange of MOU's with six reputed organisations was announced during the inaugural event. The MOU's were exchanged by Dr NC Saha on behalf of FIPS with:

1. NECTAR - North East Centre for Technology Application & Reach, Dept. of Science & Technology, Govt. of India. By Dr Arun K Sharma, Director- General.

2. NI-MSME - National Institute of Small & Medium Enterprises, Ministry of MSME, Govt. of India. By Smt. Glory Swarupa, Director-General.

3. MGU - Mahatma Gandhi University, Kerala. By Prof. Dr. Sabu Thomas, Vice Chancellor.

4. USTM - University of Science & Technology, Meghalaya. By Prof. Dr. GD Sharma, Vice-Chancellor.

5. FITT - Foundation for Innovation & Technology Transfer, IIT Delhi. By Dr Anil Wali, Managing Director.

6. NERIST - North East Regional Institute for Science & Technology, Arunachal Pradesh. By Prof. Dr. HS Yadav, Director. (This MOU was "in process" at the time of the inaugural event.)

First FIPS Webinar on Packaging Innovation and Sustainability

To mark the beginning of its role as a knowledge and training resource FIPS hosted its inaugural webinar on Packaging Innovation and Sustainability by inviting eminent experts to speak on the subject.

In the first plenary session Mr Chitranjan Dar, Former MD, ITC Foods made a detailed presentation on Packaging Solutions for an Emerging India. He spoke of the complex, tough and evolving "realities of the Indian market". Pointing out the many benefits of packaging, he said, "A good package saves more than it costs." In conclusion he suggested, short medium and long-term methods of working towards a brighter future for Indian packaging. The presentation was followed by a brief discussion with Dr NC Saha and a Q&A session.

For the second plenary session Prof Chris Bruijnes, Managing Director, Netherlands Institute of Sustainable Packaging made a presentation direct from The Hague, titled "Sustainability and Circular Economy". In a detailed and informative presentation enriched with videos, he spoke of the global efforts towards reducing plastic waste. He highlighted the efforts of many global companies towards reducing their "plastic footprint". He pointed out that the common goal of all good packaging is to achieve "intrinsic sustainability" and all countries must work within their circumstances and needs to achieve it. In the end Dr Laxmi Raghupathy, Former Director MOEF and Advisor, FIPS thanked Prof Chris for his presentation and valuable suggestions.

The event concluded with brief words by the four Chief Consultants of FIPS, namely, Mr Subhas Bhattacharjee and Mr Rahul Bhargava about the forthcoming webinars planned in February and March 2021. Mr Deepak Manchanda moderated the webinar proceedings and Mr Shailendra Singh concluded the event with his observations and a vote of thanks to all participants, panelists and the virtual audience that had remained logged-in throughout the almost four-hour long event, not only across India but from various countries such as Bangladesh, SriLanka, UAE as well as the US.

With this a strong foundation for the future growth of FIPS has been laid. This is an opportunity for all like-minded individuals and organisations to come together on the FIPS platform and work towards growth of packaging knowledge, research, design and sustainability in India.
Feb 24, 2021
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