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    Innovative collaboration beyond borders

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    07. June 2023
    3:10 min.

    Krones has established an innovation hub in Parma in cooperation with the Italian subsidiary Kosme. There, true to the idea of open innovation, the companies work together with universities and other local organizations to research technology solutions for the future.

    Collaboration is key to our success

    Climate change, global food security, and responsible use of packaging materials are three of humankind’s greatest challenges. To overcome them will take pioneering solutions that reach beyond the boundaries of individual companies, industries and nations. That is why we at Krones are open to collaboration with outside knowledge carriers to leverage our collective technical expertise. That enables us to continue to develop innovative, sustainable solutions for our customers.

    To this end, our Research and Development department, together with Krones’ Italian subsidiary Kosme, has established an innovation hub in Parma, Italy, which will enable more effective cooperation. In concrete terms, it is a space where teams explore development ideas for the food and beverage industry. Of course, the R&D partnerships are not limited to Italy but rather extend to include subject-matter and technology experts wherever they may be located.


    “We firmly believe that these challenges can never be resolved by a single person or company working alone. That’s why we are creating an innovation ecosystem by connecting the departments within the Krones Group with outside experts, to make possible truly interorganizational collaboration,” explains Sandra Breitschädel of the Research and Development department. “The innovation hub is the first step in that direction. With the launch of our joint efforts between Kosme and Krones R&D and the opening of the Parma office, we aim to strengthen cooperation with regional research organizations and industry.”

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    In Italy and in Germany, project leaders Sandra Breitschädel and Enrico Bedogni serve as interfaces within and outside the Krones Group.

    Why Parma?

    Parma lies in the heart of Italy’s “Food Valley” and has been designated by UNESCO as a Creative City of Gastronomy. Furthermore, the city is home to the EFSA (European Food and Safety Agency) headquarters. The Emilia Romagna region in northern Italy is known for its large share of companies in food and agriculture – over 5,000 of which are in the food industry. Many of them contribute to the development of the regional food supply chain by producing food, packaging machinery, and sustainable packaging. “The region, with its more than 25.000 exporting companies, is the first Italian region by export value per capita. For Krones, this combination of entrepreneurship, cooperation and international connections is extremely valuable for building collaborative relationships. The companies in this region – both in research and in production – have the best understanding of the food and beverage industry and so, together, we can explore promising solutions for our customers,” says Marco Casappa, Head of Compact Class.

    First joint research projects completed successfully

    Building on the existing relationships between Kosme and the University of Parma, the innovation hub initiated its first research cooperation for developing new packaging materials in July 2022. Together with CIPACK, the University of Parma’s Interdepartmental Center for Packaging, new packaging solutions and materials were examined for their properties and environmental impacts using the Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) methodology.

    According to Professor Giuseppe Vignali, Associate Professor in the Industrial Systems Engineering Department of Engineering and Architecture at the University of Parma and Coordinator of the master’s degree program in Engineering for the Food Industry, the collaboration with the Krones Innovation Hub adds value to all the research activities that are at the core of the university. By working together with the industry, the university has a better insight into the real application, i.e., both the market requirements and the legal regulations, which a company like Krones knows in detail.

    Now that the first projects have been completed successfully, the collaboration is to be expanded to include other disciplines within the research center.

    Community brings research networks to life! Would you like to become involved and collaborate with us? If so, please contact to receive additional information.

    07. June 2023
    3:10 min.

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