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This year’s JEC World was the biggest ever, attracting 43,500+ professional visits and 1,300 exhibitors. The key themes of sustainability and circularity were evident throughout the exhibition and conference programme. During the three days of the event EuCIA communicated its latest actions to support the sustainable growth of the composites industry through participation in conferences and meetings with members, partners and industry colleagues.

New JEC Summit on construction

EuCIA’s week in Paris started on 4th March, with the first JEC Summit Building & Infrastructure. Under the theme Composites: Shaping the Future of Low Carbon Construction, the event aimed to raise awareness of the advantages of composite materials, their applications in building and infrastructure, and their potential for reducing the environmental impact of construction.

EuCIA’s President, Professor Roberto Frassine, participated in the summit’s opening session, where an expert panel discussed the benefits of composites in construction and how they contribute to reducing carbon emissions. This was followed by a discussion of progress on new standards in Europe and the United States, presentations showcasing composites use in recent projects, and a networking session enabling composites and construction professionals to engage in further discussions.

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The first CEOs Breakfast

The first day of JEC World commenced with the CEOs Breakfast, a new forum organised by JEC in partnership with EuCIA. This initiative aims to gather composites leaders together to examine strategic topics and was developed as part of EuCIA’s partnership agreement with JEC announced last year.

This first event focused on the European Green Deal and how the EU is supporting industry in the net-zero transition. Following a welcome from Roberto Frassine and Eric Pierrejean, CEO of JEC Group, the guest speaker Vincent Basuyau, Policy Officer – Energy Intensive Industries and Raw Materials, European Commission DG GROW, delivered a presentation about the Green Deal and the Net-Zero Industry Act (NZIA) and the opportunities these bring for the composites industry.

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The NZIA aims to make the EU ‘the home of clean tech industries’ by simplifying the regulatory framework for net-zero technologies, scaling up manufacturing of net-zero technologies, and fostering competitive and resilient European net-zero industry. The market opportunity is significant: the global net-zero technology market is expected to be worth about €500 billion a year by 2030. The NZIA includes are eight strategic net-zero technologies, where there are plenty of opportunities for the composites industry, Basuyau said.

He also summarised the key points of the Communication on Advanced Materials for Industrial Leadership, published on 27th February, which identifies advanced materials (including composites) as a key family of materials to implement the objectives of the Green Deal. A number of strategic sectors have been identified as priorities – energy, construction, mobility, and electronics – and there is potential to extend these to include space and defence.

In the following panel discussion, Roberto Frassine joined Xavier Pailloux, Compounds Product Line Director at MATERI’ACT (the sustainable materials division of Forvia), Clémentine Gallet, CEO of automated fibre placement machine manufacturer Coriolis Composites, and Eduardo de la Guerra Ochoa, R&D Project Manager at train manufacturer Talgo, to discuss the composites industry’s needs to enable a faster net-zero transition. Roberto Frassine introduced EuCIA and its objectives, and called for the industry to join forces and work together, opening up a new era of cooperation of all stakeholders.

Following the meeting, Vincent Basuyau toured the exhibition and visited the EuCIA booth.

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A focus on sustainability and circularity

During the show EuCIA offered demonstrations of its Eco Impact Calculator, the life cycle assessment (LCA) tool for composite parts, at its booth. Visitors were also interested in learning about EuCIA’s European Composites Recycling Solutions list as well as its participation in REFRESH, the EU-funded project developing solutions for recycling wind turbine blades.

The show also provided an opportunity to meet with members and partners. On the 6th March EuCIA organised the Gathering of Global Composites Associations together with JEC and the American Composites Manufacturers Association (ACMA). This commenced with a presentation from Roberto Frassine providing an excerpt of a market survey on the attitude of European industry towards the circular economy, This was followed by a fruitful workshop, where representatives from different regions of the world discussed their views on the composites industry of the coming decade.

To end this packed programme the EuCIA General Assembly took place on 7th March. This was followed by a EuCIA networking session with new member TECH-FAB Europe.

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