The Australasian Bioplastics Association (ABA), is pleased to announce that the 2022 ABA Scholarship program for Australia and New Zealand is now open for submissions. The scholarship program is coordinated in partnership with the Australian Institute of Packaging (AIP), and will enable one eligible candidate the opportunity to undertake a Diploma in Packaging Technology valued at $9,000 and a second person the opportunity to undertake a Certificate in Packaging valued at $7,000.

President of the ABA, Rowan Williams said that ‘The ABA is pleased to once again sponsor the Scholarship program which has been designed to recognise and support deserving and emerging packaging professionals as part of their professional development.’

“We encourage all ABA and AIP Members that are interested in developing their packaging technology skills to apply for these Scholarships following on from the success of last year’s ABA Scholarships and the extremely worthy recipients Karunia Adhiputra and Maria Becerril-Roman,” Mr Williams said.

“The demand for the field of bioplastics continues to surge globally for both certified compostable and fully renewable or biobased bioplastics. These niche products are designed to replace other types of packaging that after contact with food, are uneconomical or difficult to reuse or recycle. Education on these materials, as partly provided as content from these Scholarships, will aid future packaging professionals to make sustainable design choices.” he said.

2021 Diploma in Packaging Technology winner, Karunia Adhiputra AAIP, who is a Packaging Specialist at Nestlé Australia, said that the Diploma in Packaging Technology has helped him to gain a holistic understanding of packaging technology and industry.

“The Diploma in Packaging Technology is a comprehensive course that teaches all concepts of packaging, from technical development, manufacturing, economics and sustainability of packaging materials. The course sets up candidates to achieve a well-rounded understanding of how packaging fits within the supply chain, and important factors that need to be considered to ensure packaging is developed with every aspect of its lifecycle in mind. Undertaking the Diploma has certainly helped me gain a better understanding of developing new packaging materials that are fit for purpose, a focus that is growing in the area of sustainability. I would wholeheartedly encourage all packaging professionals who have not yet completed the Diploma in Packaging Technology to consider applying for the 2022 ABA Scholarship program, it will spark inspiration to bring your packaging to the next level.” Mr Adhiputra said.

2021 Certificate in Packaging winner Maria Becerril-Roman AAIP, who is a Packaging Technologist at Mondelez International, said that winning the second ABA Scholarship was a great personal honour.

“Beyond the opportunity to keep learning and foster my career in packaging science and technology, the scholarship has opened the opportunity to connect with other AIP Members, the wider industry, receive the guidance of my mentors, apply the concepts and skills to every-day work challenges, attain a globally recognised degree, and encourage peers to continue learning and being prepared in this ever-changing space,” Ms Becerril-Roman said.

“I encourage all professionals wanting to deep-dive into the intricacies that sit behind a well-designed pack and how to best tackle the most common challenges in this industry, to apply for the 2022 ABA Scholarship program and reach out to industry and academic connections for your references to participate in this exciting opportunity to contribute to the growth and development of the packaging industry in Australia and the world.” she said.

AIP’s Education Director, Prof. Pierre Pienaar FAIP, CPP, added that that undertaking higher education in Packaging Technology is critical for the ANZ region.

“Whilst many people working in the fields of packaging are well-qualified, as evident in our 2022 Career & Salary Survey, they are not qualified in the science, engineering and/or technology behind packaging,” Prof. Pienaar said.

“We need to see more people in the industry undertaking internationally qualified and recognised degrees such as the Certificate in Packaging  and the Diploma in Packaging Technology. This will go a long way in improving the overall knowledge and skillset in the industry ensuring that we do not have a technical knowledge void within the packaging industry in the next 5-10 years. It is so important that we see more people working in and around packaging advance their technical knowledge,”

“The AIP is offering more academic courses than ever before in the various fields of packaging and I encourage each of you, irrespective of age, to take on this challenge. None of us are too old to learn something new so apply for the 2022 ABA Scholarship program today.” he said.

Visit http://aipack.com.au/australasian-bioplastics-association-aba-scholarship/ to access the entry forms and criteria for each scholarship. Applications close on 8 of April 2022.