Maximising product and minimising waste with innovative packaging. The European Patent Office announced Inventors from MIT selected as finalists for the European Inventor Award 2023

MUNICH, May 9, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — The United Nations estimates that approximately 36% of all plastics produced are used in packaging, including single-use plastic products for food and beverage containers. Approximately 85% of these packages end up in landfills or as unregulated waste. Kripa Varanasi and David Smith have invented a customisable non-stick packaging solution that is set to disrupt the industry.  This first-of-its-kind coating platform could change the way we package and consume various products, including food, paint, cosmetics, condiments, and more, by reducing waste and maximising product utilisation. The inventors’ vision is for widespread applications of their customisable coatings to eliminate waste and reduce the CO2 and water footprint of the whole packaging industry and beyond.

A first-of-its kind coating that enables frictionless packaging

Varanasi and Smith invented liquid-based coatings that cling to packaging while repelling the products inside them, allowing substances as sticky as paint, glue, ketchup and toothpaste to glide over the coatings and flow effortlessly out of their container.  All the products can be used while leaving a clean container that can be recycled.  For industrial applications, such as manufacturing tanks and pipes, the liquid can be replenished as needed, thus giving it infinite life.

LiquiGlide™ coatings can eliminate waste in multiple industries, including consumer products, manufacturing, energy, and agrochemicals, saving billions of tonnes of product wastage and billions of euros in associated equipment cleaning costs.  In 2021, the company provided coatings for a new generation of recyclable toothpaste tubes. LiquiGlide partners with package designers within health and beauty, food and beverage, household products, etc. to use the technology, allowing customers to get every drop.

The company has further expanded to biomedical applications, where the technology can enhance the performance of a range of medical products, including catheters, implantable devices, pharmaceutical packaging, and syringes.

Varanasi and Smith have been named among the three finalists in the ‘Non-EPO Countries’ category of this year’s European Inventor Award, which recognises the work of outstanding inventors from outside the EPO’s 39 member states but who have been granted a European patent. The winners will be announced at a ceremony on 4 July 2023 in Valencia (Spain). This ceremony will be broadcast online and is open to the public.

Find more information about the invention, the technology and the inventors’ stories here.

SOURCE European Patent Office

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