Polymer Innovation Day

26 November 2013

The Polymer Innovation Day 2013, held under the auspices of DPI Value Centre and attracting over 300 people, centred on the theme "How Can Polymers Work for You?". The meeting targeted SMEs, start-ups and multinationals and aimed to promote collaboration among these players on innovation in the field of polymers.

Participants were offered an extensive, full-day programme of presentations and discussions. Arie Brouwer, director of the DPI Value Centre, explains: "Our goal for today was to inform and inspire our community with new innovations as well as to give them plenty of opportunity to network. The programme for this day, in terms of topics, speakers and overall set-up, was set up around three very topical subjects: bio-based materials, the circular economy and so-called superior materials. We invited speakers of both established and new companies in each of these three clusters to tell about their recent innovations and business. For most of them we have played a valuable role in supporting their innovation projects or their new business. In order to ensure that the focus throughout the day remained on the content, we insisted on short, to-the-point presentations in which cases or challenges were presented and the audience invited to help find solutions. To enable broader discussions and one-on-one exchanges with the speakers, we set up a business market where people could meet and build networks."

Besides short presentations by people from various industrial sectors, the programme of the Polymer Innovation Day included a keynote lecture entitled "Polymer Research in the European Context: Horizon 2020 - a chance or a challenge for the European plastics industry?" by Prof. Jan Diemert of the Fraunhofer Institute for Chemical Technology. In this lecture, Prof. Diemert gave an overview of European research in the polymer industry, covering some examples of successful projects in the past, the way they were established, how they have contributed to innovation and how pitfalls can be avoided. He also spoke about the so-called Horizon 2020 funding programme of the European Union and the chances and challenges it presents to the plastics industry.

To judge from the animated discussions that took place during the breaks and the lively interactions at the business market, the Polymer Innovation Day was a great success. Arie Brouwer: "Many participants told me enthusiastically how they were able to establish new, often unpredictable or even unimaginable, contacts. It is surprising to see again and again that there is always scope for making new valuable connections and that there are so many new initiatives by new players entering the field, often via niches they have discovered. That's exactly our aim: to offer our participants the opportunity to discover new possibilities for partnerships and to gain insights into new developments in science and innovation. We will continue to serve our lively community and make every effort to ensure that the Polymer Innovation Day remains a valuable happening."

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