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Italian Economic Diplomacy, 30 October: latest news from the world

Luxembourg: the Italian Guala Closures Group opens a research centre on new packaging materials

The multinational Guala Closures Group – which started as a small factory in Alessandria manufacturing crown corks and expanded to become a global leader in the manufacture of anti-counterfeiting caps for bottles (with an annual production of 14 billion units) – recently opened its new research and development unit for new materials to employ in the packaging industry at the Foetz technoport (in Luxembourg). 

Group CEO, Marco Giovannini gave a number of demonstrations on the use of 3D printers to generate used gears in the production chain. Giovannini then illustrated the new frontiers being opened, thanks to the use of electromagnetic energy to create closures in aluminium, steel and copper for high-end production lines (the ‘flex cap’ project). 

Great media interest was aroused by the ‘smart cap’ project. It involves electronic chips being inserted into closure caps, allowing a signal to be sent each time a bottle is opened, confirming its location, and in the future, payment of the attendant excise duty (which will replace paper wrapping).

The Luxembourg Minister of Finance, Pierre Gramegna, also attended the opening of the new facility, stressing the Grand Duchy’s interest in attracting highly specialised industries to the country. Using the open innovation criteria, the presence of high-level companies will make fruitful interaction possible with the University of Luxembourg and related research centres. These intentions are in line with the economic production diversification guidelines promoted by the Xavier Bettel government, in accordance with the ‘Rifkin Report’ on the third industrial revolution. It will also benefit from funding by the Luxembourg government to start up research and development projects.