The 2023 edition of JEC World, which will take place in Paris April 25-27, is approaching.
In March, the Innovation Awards ceremony was held, which turns 25 years old; the Awards celebrate projects that are not only innovative, but made with the collaboration of multiple partners, representing the full cycle: manufacturing companies, universities, research centers, end-users….
It is an important award for those who receive it, as it provides international visibility. This year JEC organizers have also added new category dedicated to the circular economy.
The JEC 2023 edition
Hopes for this edition are high: there will be as many companies as there were in 2019, and the same is hopefully true for visitors, also thanks to the fact that Asia will be returning (Japan, India, China…).
Italy is the third country represented in terms of exhibiting companies (more than 100), and in terms of visitors we are still in the top three after France and Germany.
Many initiatives have been organized in order to show the dynamism of the composites industry:
- 4 on sustainability, which represents the real future of the industry; 1 on Natural fibers, 1 on the production process, 1 circular economy and recycling/reusing/repurposing and repairing, 1 on lightweight;
- on some industries that are very dynamic at the moment: Aerospace, Construction (the great promise for Europe and comparison with the situation in the US), Ground transportation
- on some particularly dynamic regions: south Korea and Michigan region in the states
STARTUP COMPETITION: with 20 finalists + a dedicated area.
INNOVATION PLANETS, i.e. two specific areas with:
- the display of the most innovative products identified in the last year: the cabin of a train, cars, motorcycles, bicycles, a “flying water cab”… (These are not necessarily products from JEC exhibitors, but some of them are)
- new processes and new ways of using natural fibers.
The Main Topics
JEC organizers aim to have multiple exhibitors for each thematic focus – e.g:
- 3D manufacturing, with machines that process composites applied to this field;
- natural fibers, represented in the startup village;
- an area dedicated exclusively to small companies that want to develop their export business and find new clients, but have few resources;
- an historical area to show the development of the industry over the past sixty years and how processes and materials have changed over time.
- There is certainly a great demand for qualified designers and technicians, so engineering and architecture and design schools must be urged to ensure that tomorrow’s professionals know about composite materials: there is a serious shortage in this respect at the moment, not only in Italy but throughout Europe.
- Then there is the whole part of the training of practitioners: a topic not addressed in this edition, but certainly in future ones. There is a huge demand for this as well: there are bodies that deal with it, but they lack coordination at national and European level.
However, one has to consider that non-university training cannot be managed at an European level, because of issues of language, culture, and industry types typical of different countries.
“JEC has long had a campus where schools and universities can present their training courses” told us Nelly Baron, Marketing & Communication Director, JEC World.”This year, moreover, we have asked all exhibiting companies to arrive at the fair with an HR director or manager, in order to find interested young people on the spot, because there will be many students and job seekers in this field at the fair”. Interesting in this regard will be the Job Center, dedicated to job offers in composites.
Also, on Thursday there will be a conference regarding how to join the composites industry and how to contribute to a composites world that is more sustainable.
Another interesting conference will be dedicated to women in the composites industry: it will be an opportunity to tell about examples of women who have been successful in this field and to inspire others to enter this world (consider that, in Italy, the situation is improving in recent years: about 25 percent of people employed in engineering are women).
The Industries involved
Composites reach different industries: for now, the JEC has identified 14 (image below) but in the future they could undoubtedly grow.
At the moment Aerospace and Automotive are the largest users of composites, but Construction is also growing and will continue to do so in the coming years.
The composites sector has been affected quite a bit by Covid, mainly because of the blockade just to the Aerospace and Automotive sectors-but an outstanding fact has been that many companies, to overcome the crisis, have experimented with new industries such as Marine, Construction, Equipments, Sports&Leisure, and Consumed Good with great success.
In 2021 composites reached 12 million tons part produced with composites = 37 billion dollars in value, and by 2022 even higher figures are expected – so it is a huge market.
The Marine Industry
In Italy, the Yachting industry is the main market for fiberglass (so resins of all types that contain with glass fibers), while the biggest market for carbon fibers – as mentioned before – are Aerospace and Automotive.
“As far as the boating industry is concerned,” says Roberto Frassine, President of the Italian composites association Assocompositi, and the European association EuCIA, “for the first time the European commission has prepared a letter supporting the endorsement of the boating industry to be more sustainable in the near future”.
At the end of March, for the first time, the boating industry in Europe (represented by EBI) launched a roadmap for solving the roadblocks to end-of-life boat recycling.
Based on a three-year process involving all public and private stakeholders (including national authorities, industry, consumers/boaters, academia, and related industries), it sets ambitious targets for the period until 2030. The boating industry also commits to phasing out unsustainable recycling practices.
The Roadmap follows the successful dismantling and recycling schemes already set up in many European countries. The industry, represented by EBI, commits to phasing out landfilling and energy recovery by 2030. It will expand the use of more sustainable recycling solutions in coordination with other composite use industries.
JEC Forum Italy
JEC Forum Italy is a two-day event dedicated to the Italian industry, to be held in Bologna, Italy, June 6-7. Organized by Assocompositi and JEC together, it will be held entirely in Italian language.
The main purpose is to bring buyers from industries together with those offering materials and/or services. The JEC started by organizing a similar event in Germany, this year in addition to Italy it will be held in Austria and next year in Switzerland.
It all stems from the reflection that some companies are not yet ready for export, but they are still interested in developing and knowing more about composites: it is easier for them to participate in these small formats.
This, of course, also serves as a promotion for JEC World: making the world of composites better known in a country that is a strong producer and/or user of composites could motivate more companies to attend the Paris event next year or two years from now.
Fill in the partecipation form!
it is a different format than JEC World, so as not to overlap with the flagship event in Paris; it is designed for small- to medium-sized companies in Italy that want to approach the use of composites but do not have R&D and procurement centers like large companies.
The event will consist of an exhibition part (of offerings of service or material supplier companies) + an information part, with lectures on:
- innovation: e.g., in Automotive – in addition, for the first time in iTalia, the JEC Composites Startup Booster competition will take place
- sustainability: a European expert will speak on the sustainability of composites
- construction: the official from the Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport will come to present the guidelines on reinforcing bars for concrete reinforcement, and the chairman of the technical committee of CEN – European Committee for Standardization will present the Eurocodes.
More than half a century later, that newsletter became JEC Composites Magazine, a magazine dedicated to composite materials, their technologies and application areas.
JEC’s DNA is to promote composites throughout the world and in different industries, firmly believing that they are key to achieving a more sustainable world.
The main purpose is to identify the most innovative technologies, processes and materials to help companies meet the challenges of the circular economy; this is also done through constant collaborative work with R&D centers and universities, trying to find the best partners around the world, so the event has a very strong multicultural and international nature.
There are no boundaries or limits to creativity and innovation when it comes to developing the best, lightest, strongest composite solution.