Sappi encourages innovation by supporting one of the first Graphic Arts Industry Hackathons

Sappi has joined forces with VIGC (Flemish Innovation Center for the Graphic Communication) and EY in their endeavor to launch one of the first Graphic Arts Industry Hackathons. A Hackathon is a method of creative problem solving designed to boost disruptive innovation. The target of this event is to create synergies, foster innovation and trigger ideas that will future-proof the print industry by tackling and contributing solutions to its most pressing challenges.

These categories being covered are: Commercial Print, Packaging & Labels, Publishing and Industrial Printing. The hackathon will take place on 12th and 13th of October, 2020, in a virtual format, thus enabling global participation. Startups, scale-ups, students, creatives and all industry enthusiasts are encouraged to join. Registrations can be done here:

Winners of this innovation contest will gain exposure in VIGC´s Het Congress event on October 15th, 2020, where they will have the opportunity to showcase their Minimum Viable Product/s to experts and industry decision-makers. Furthermore, they will receive €3,000, sponsored by Sappi, as well as 3 months of mentorship by Sappi experts to help them materialize their idea.

Sappi has already taken its own steps in digital innovation with OctoBoost, Sappi´s internal startup, which develops digital solutions for the print industry. “Innovation and digitization will be the catalysts of the print industry´s prosperity”, says Anna Oñate, Sappi´s Intrapreneur, Co-Founder of OctoBoost and Mentor at the VIGC Hackathon, “A Hackathon is the perfect platform to bring bright, creative minds together, willing to contribute to the industry´s transformation”

 “One of the key pillars of our Digital Transformation Strategy is to create an ecosystem of digital innovators around us. We want to be closer to innovative players within and outside of our industry”, says Kouris Kalligas, Head of Digital Transformation in Sappi Europe and Mentor at the VIGC Hackathon. “A Hackathon is a celebration of Open Innovation and we want to enable as many as we can, as much as we can.”

About VIGC

VIGC: VIGC (Flemish Innovation Center for the Graphic Communication) is the independent knowledge center for graphic communication in the Benelux. The VIGC is at the service of the printing industry, its customers and its suppliers. It consists of a multidisciplinary team of seasoned domain experts and project leaders with extensive practical experience in graphic communication.

About EY:

EY is a global service provider with more than 250,000 professionals. EY The Factory, enables innovation within EY, in startups and scale-ups and inside larger corporations. EY is committed to building a better working world — with increased trust and confidence in business, sustainable growth, development of talent in all its forms, and greater collaboration. It wants to build a better working world through its own actions and by engaging with like-minded organizations and individuals.

Press Contact VIGC

Jos Steutelings

T: +32 (0) 476 76 08 94


Press Contact EY The Factory

Jan De Clippeleer

T: +32 2 774 92 01




About Sappi

Sappi is a leading global provider of sustainable woodfibre products and solutions, in the fields of Dissolving wood pulp, Printing papers, Packaging and speciality papers, Casting and release papers, Biomaterials and Bio-energy. As a company that relies on renewable natural resources, sustainability is at our core. Sappi European mills hold chain of custody certifications under the Forest Stewardship Council™ (FSC™ C015022) and the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification™ (PEFC/07-32-76) systems. Our papers are produced in mills accredited with ISO 9001, ISO 14001, ISO 50 001 and OHSAS 18001 certification. We have EMAS registration at 5 of our 10 mills in Europe. 

Sappi Europe SA is a division of Sappi Limited (JSE), headquartered in Johannesburg, South Africa, with 12,500 employees and 19 production facilities on three continents in nine countries, 37 sales offices globally, and customers in over 150 countries around the world.