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Interior & Design students win innovation prizes at AR Metallizing and VOKA entrepreneurship fair

Today, AR Metallizing, world leader in metallised paper production, awarded a VOKA Bryo scholarship and a stipend to Laura Melis, second-year student in interior and design at Thomas More College in Mechelen.

Innovative competition

Earlier this year, AR Metallizing, in association with Interior & Design instructors at Thomas More College, organised a competition for the best and most creative and innovative subject for a product in metallised paper. Many inspiring and artistic projects saw the light of day in less than four weeks.

Composed of instructors and staff of AR Metallizing, the panel of judges chose Laura Melis’s project out of some 32 entries. Laura designed an innovative and commercially very usable cold pack of metallised paper for the direct cooling of sport injuries among other applications. Laura presented not only a strong, commercially usable product, but shared a good portion of knowledge with the panel of judges, which she had acquired from her extensive market research.

Other entries were also rewarded. The CEO of the internationally operating AR Metallizing, Bart Devos, who is rarely in Belgium, had come to Mechelen specially for the award ceremony.

Julie Blanckaert received a pecuniary prize for Tree Paper Tree, a project suitable for trade fair materials and booth layout. Elke Van Casteren and Dominique Ter Braak each received a pecuniary prize for inventive flower seed bags made of metallised paper. Danique Krijn and Simone van Rooijen were rewarded for their beautifully designed lunchboxes under the name of Green Box.

The winning designs will be shown at various international trade fairs attended by AR Metallizing in the coming months.
With the competition and related prizes, AR Metallizing wants to stimulate the creativity and entrepreneurship of young talents.

Worth repeating

This was the first time that the competition was organised, but it is most likely it will not be the last. Bart Devos, CEO of AR Metallizing: "Entrepreneurship, sustainability, inventiveness and creativity are highly prized at AR Metallizing. And we like to get others involved as well. You cannot stand alone as a company. The cooperation with the students and the college turned out extremely well. We are very much impressed by the quality, professionalism and diversity of the entries by Interior & Design students. We will presumably organise such competitions more often!"

Thomas More College can also look back on fruitful cooperation with the internationally active AR Metallizing. Interior and furniture design lecturer Bart Baccarne: "It was a very instructive assignment for our students. We are always eager for new, sustainable materials. The students were given carte blanche for their creative process. It was a fruitful cooperation with AR Metallizing, indeed."

"The process and fabulous result from the cooperation between AR Metallizing and Thomas More College is a source of utter delight for us. It is a fine example of win-win situations that ensue from the cross-fertilisation between education and business. As VOKA – Mechelen Chamber of Commerce, we vigorously endeavour to build bridges between the two. All proof provided in support thereof makes it clear to us and to the world that we are on the right track. Furthermore, it provides additional motivation to continue to invest in it," says Frédéric Achten, general manager of VOKA – Mechelen Chamber of Commerce.

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