First Mondi Speed Data Hackathon explores big data solutions for paper and packaging industry

Publication Date:

26 October 2017

Mondi partnered with technical university to take a smart approach to innovation in the packaging and paper industry by challenging 50 of the brightest minds to apply big data to solve industry challenges.

Vienna, 26 October 2017 - Mondi, the global packaging and paper group, welcomed 50 PhD students from all over Europe to participate in the first Mondi Speed Data Hackathon.

The Hackathon challenged the PhD students in advancing conceptual ideas for innovations within the paper and pulp industry by applying big data solutions to production processes, energy use, finance, maintenance, HR, sustainability, or any area. The students used industry insights from 14 Mondi experts as the basis for eight fresh innovation concepts.

The concept which convinced the jury most was titled “smart value chain”. It covered the full value chain for packaging and packed goods, with a focus on the end consumer, to create a closed feedback loop from the end consumer to the producer of the goods and packaging. Mondi has shared all results of the Hackathon with all participants in the spirit of open collaboration and knowledge sharing.

“Mondi’s culture embraces innovative approaches to evolve packaging and paper.” said Leo Arpa, Head of R&D Paper at Mondi. “At the hackathon, these talented students have the opportunity to contribute to the future of the industry. And Austria, as one of Europe’s leading scientific hubs for packaging and paper, is the perfect venue. Mondi´s focus on R&D ensures that our customers and consumers benefit from highly efficient and sustainable processes and supply chains.”

The hackathon was part of the three-day Cellulose Materials Doctoral Students Conference 2017 organized by Graz University of Technology under the auspices of the renowned European Fibre and Paper Research Organisation (EFPRO).

Tad Maloney, president of the European Fibre and Paper Research Organisation (EFPRO), says, “People are often surprised at just how much innovation is going on in the paper and packaging industry. It is very vibrant, with many organisations working on innovations that are right at the cutting edge of industry and science. By organising this year’s student workshop, Mondi showed its ongoing commitment to driving that innovation and its integral role in helping the industry keep moving forward.”

The hackathon is one example of Mondi’s many activities focused on innovation. The company is involved in numerous projects and collaborations and runs six innovation centres.



Relevant photography can be downloaded from



Mondi’s Rene Stadler, Head of Energy Procurement (left), and Leo Arpa, Head of R&D Paper, were among the Mondi experts who laid the groundwork for the Speed Data Hackathon with presentations on how the packaging and paper group uses data in, for example, sustainability, production, energy and HR.

PhD and Masters students from around 20 European universities and institutes took part in the Mondi Speed Data Hackathon on 24 October in Styria, Austria. Mondi experts share insights on the complex systems and types of data used in packaging and paper production and operations.

The doctoral and master’s students – all researchers in pulp, paper and fibre science at universities throughout Europe – were put into eight groups for the hackathon. Each group comprised scientists from a range of universities and specialisations – working together for the first time.

Mondi Speed Data Hackathon. The newly formed groups were given less than two hours to ‘hack’ a concept for a big data application for the packaging and paper industry. Each group was assigned a Mondi expert to support the process and provide key insights from the industry perspective.

Daniel Ericsson (pictured) and teammates present their concept “smart value chain” in a 1-minute elevator pitch culminating the Mondi Speed Data Hackathon. The team of PhD and Masters students was one of eight teams competing in the Mondi Speed Data Hackathon. They went on to win the Mondi jury’s prize for best concept.

Speed was the word of the day, with just two hours to brainstorm and only one minute to present their big data concept to the audience. Each group nominated a spokesperson to present their final concept in the form of an elevator pitch to the audience and Mondi jury.

Leo Arpa, Head of R&D Paper, Mondi, prepares the audience and jury for the final stage of the Mondi Speed Data Hackathon: eight, one-minute elevator pitches.

The team of the Mondi Speed Data Hackathon with the most convincing concept, titled “smart value chain”, with Leo Arpa, Director of R&D Paper, Mondi (right) and Bernard de Galembert, Director of CEPI Paper (second from right). The team members (left to right): Annika Ketola (VTT), Daniel Eriksson (KTH Stockholm), Matthias Hobisch (TU Graz/IPZ), René Kleinert (TU Dresden), Tanja Pleša (Pulp and Paper Institute Ljubljana). (Photos: Mondi, PR086)



Nico Bouguerra, Communication Manager
Mondi Group
Tel: +43 664 2476928
Email: [email protected]

About Mondi


Mondi is a global packaging and paper group, employing around 25,000 people across more than 30 countries. Our key operations are located in central Europe, Russia, North America and South Africa. In 2016, Mondi had revenues of €6.7 billion and a return on capital employed of 20.3%.

We are fully integrated across the packaging and paper value chain - from managing forests and producing pulp, paper and compound plastics, to developing effective and innovative industrial and consumer packaging solutions. With over 100 products customised into more than 100,000 solutions, we offer more than you may expect. Leading brands around the world rely on our innovative technologies and products across a variety of industries such as agriculture; automotive; building and construction; chemicals and dangerous goods; food and beverages; graphic and photographic; home and personal care; medical and pharmaceutical; office and professional printing; packaging and paper converting; pet care; retail and e-commerce; and shipping and transport.

We believe sustainable development makes good business sense. It's integral to our responsible and profitable growth, and embedded in everything we do, every day. We continue to look for ways to do more with less, promote the responsible management of ecosystems, develop and inspire our people, and enhance the value that our sustainable product solutions create.

Mondi has a dual listed company structure, with a primary listing on the JSE Limited for Mondi Limited under the ticker code MND and a premium listing on the London Stock Exchange for Mondi plc, under the ticker code MNDI. We have been included in the FTSE4Good Index Series since 2008 and the JSE's Socially Responsible Investment (SRI) Index since 2007.