ELCA Attends JEC World in Paris: Networking and Discovering State of Play in Lightweighting Industry
On the 24th-27th of April 2023 the ELCA visited the JEC WORLD in Paris. The JEC World is the global trade show for composite materials and their applications. Held in Paris, JEC World is the industry’s leading event, hosting all the major players in a spirit of innovation, business, and networking. For the ELCA the JEC World was an important place for networking and for discovering the state of play of the light-weighting industry specifically in the composites sector.
ELCA partners were present for the event, Fraunhofer IWU, RKW Sachsen, Polymeris had a boot showcased at the event and many ELCA partners were present. Next to this the ELCA had specific objectives planned for the 3-day event which made the trip a well rounded and worthwhile experience.
On the first day of the JEC the partners from the RIGHTWEIGHT project assembled to have their final project meeting IPEK, TPAC, Flanders Make, IMAST, ANL, Polymeris and Bax & Company came together one last time to hold a live meeting and to present the outcomes of the project. The key outcomes were the new technologies developed by SMEs, aided by technical and business support from the RIGHTWEIGHT consortium. We hope the consortium will keep fostering opportunities to work together in the future to insure the viability of SMEs working in lightweight.
During the second day, the ELCA had the honour of moderating a keynote session featuring Werner Loscheider from the German Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Action. The following day, started off introducing another keynote speech from Dr. George Kotsikos from the European Commission. These engaging sessions provided a platform for the ELCA to work closely with public authorities, fostering awareness about lightweighting.
On the final day, the ELCA was invited by the JEC to participate in a panel discussion alongside members from ELA (European Lightweight Association). This roundtable allowed representatives from both organisations to delve into their hopes and concerns for the lightweighting industry. The dialogue served as an important stepping stone, as the ELCA, ELA, and other affiliated alliances like Eucia and Composites United, as well as public authorities, plan to hold further discussions throughout 2023.
Notable figures present at the roundtable, representing the ELCA, included Thomas Hipke (Fraunhofer IWU), Cecilia Ramberg (RISE), Pedro Mimoso (PIEP), Dirk Vogel (RKW Sachsen), and Ricardo del Valle Zermeño (Bax & Company). Rene ADAM (FACC AG) and Martin Zottler (Business Upper Austria) represented the ELA.
What were the key findings?
• The industry is preparing itself for a circular transition but cannot do so without the legislation from EU level.
• Doing a study to calculate the impact lightweighting has on a countries prosperity helps setting lightweighting on the agenda.
• Locally, between value chain actors that are in close proximity, a lot of knowledge and goods- exchange can be done, once actors are brought in contact.
• Research centres can innovate together with SMEs to exploit new business opportunities.
• The availability of secondary material for recycled lichtweight is not secured yet, and this needs to be upscaled.
• Methodologies for circularity need to be aligned an shared on EU level.
You can view the panel discussion and round up of the JEC below