In a Q&A session, JEC World’s organisers JEC Composites reveal what visitors can expect to see at this year’s show, held from 25-27 April 2023 at the Paris Nord Villepinte Exhibition Centre.
Leading players from the four corners of the world are getting ready to reunite at JEC World. The international tradeshow dedicated to composite materials, their manufacturing technologies and application markets is all set to take place in Paris, the capital of composites from April 25-27, 2023. The event will welcome the entire community in a spirit of innovation, business and networking.
Q) How do you expect the show to grow this year and what are your targets for the 2023 event?
The show will be the biggest ever in terms of number of companies, with all regions of the world represented, reflecting the dynamism of our industry and the growing demand of various application sectors. 112 countries are expected to join, with 26 international pavilions, from the five continents, including Japan, India. The trend so far in terms of visitors is very positive, so we expect an exceptional edition.
Q) How will you go about promoting this year’s theme of ‘sustainability’ in the drive to net zero at the event?
In 2023, sustainability is still a key growth driver for the composites industry, enabling diverse application sectors to achieve ambitious sustainability goals, from energy and transportation, to building and infrastructure.
We will address this topic via four conferences: Green is the New Black: Natural Fibres & Bio-Based Polymers for Bio-composites; Less is Better: Reducing Waste, Costs, Energy & Time for Sustainable Composites Manufacturing; Lightweight Made in Europe: Challenges & Opportunities; 4 Rs (Recycling, Reusing, Repurposing, Repairing): Composites in a Circular Economy.
Q) What are you anticipating from UK-based companies attending?
The UK pavilion this year will be the biggest one ever. The market has been very dynamic and innovative since Brexit. The number of applications for the awards and Startup Booster competitions is also proof of this.
Q) Are there any plans to introduce some form of ‘exporting’ educational strand to the event?
It is one of our main goals this year. As always, universities and training programmes will be on the CAMPUS area, and each of them will be on stage on April 27th to pitch their programme. But this will be part of a bigger project: a ‘Join the composites industry’ day. Training and recruiting are a key challenge of our industry, and on this day we expect to welcome HR representatives, students, recruiting agencies and many more to gather at JEC World. Two conferences will also take place as part of this particular day: ‘Empowering Women in the composites industry’ and ‘Join the Composites Industry and Contribute to a more Sustainable Future.’
Q) What kind of representation do you expect to see from the additive manufacturing/3D printing sectors?
Thermwood will be running the 3D Printing Village with IMT presenting the latest innovations, and CMS will present Large Format Additive Manufacturing (LFAM), used to manufacture tooling for composites, allowing significant savings in materials, shortening of manufacturing cycles and times, and reduction of waste.
Q) How will the aerospace sector be represented at the event, conference programme and Innovation Planet?
Many exhibitors from the aerospace sector will be at the show, and a dedicated conference is to be held in the Agora 6 on Wednesday April 26th. As the aerospace sector prepares for a new round of major programme launches, the question of where and how composite materials will be applied weighs heavily on the supply chain. Plenty of challenges remain to meet the need for higher-volume production, but at the same time there is also plenty of opportunity for the composites world to rise to the challenge.
Different subjects will be discussed: Pioneering Sustainable Aerospace - 'Wing of Tomorrow' by Sue Partridge, head of Wing of Tomorrow Programme, Airbus; Open Fan/RISE (Revolutionary Innovation for Sustainable Engines) - by Jerome Bonini, vice-president, research and technology, Safran Aircraft Engines; Vertical Aerospace and Composite Materials’ Impact on Urban Air Mobility - by Alison Green, head of structures, Vertical Aerospace.
Q) Who is the ‘country on stage’ this year?
We have two ‘Country on stage’ exhibits this year. On April 25th, the South Korea conference will focus on the importance of lightweight materials in the aero-mobility industries, and how they can contribute to environmental sustainability. Hosted by KCARBON, the session will feature successful examples of lightweight carbon composite applications in South Korea, as well as insights from industry experts and renowned speakers.
And on April 26th, the US state of Michigan will share its history of innovation in the automotive and advanced manufacturing industries. Michigan’s leadership in innovation extends into many other industries that rely on composite materials and world-class expertise. The Michigan on Stage session will showcase the people, resources, projects, and collaborations that make Michigan a global leader in the vast composites industry.
Q) Will Russian companies be invited this year?
Everybody is invited to join, but with all international restrictions due to the conflict, we will not have any Russian exhibitors. Let’s hope the conflict will soon come to end.
Q) And what can visitors expect from the forum and conference programmes - what are the chosen topics this time around?
Sustainability is still a core topic with four main dedicated conferences. They cover subjects like natural fibres and bio-based composites, the 4 Rs (Recycling, Reusing, Repurposing, Repairing) waste, costs and energy reduction as well as Lightweight. In 2023, three other conferences will tackle the strategies, trends and challenges of specific industries: aerospace, as mentioned earlier, construction and ground transportation.
Q) In terms of speakers, who can we expect to see on the Agora stage?
Each year JEC World gathers more than 250 speakers on stage, all of them experts in the composites industry from leading companies or renowned universities and programmes. In 2023, we will be welcoming keynote speakers to highlight particular end-user applications. Greg Lynn, a renowned architect will talk about the advantages of using composites in construction, Roland Jourdain, a French skipper, will share his experience of the Vendée Globe race on a linen fibre boat, and George Kotsikos, project officer - European Commission, will present Advanced Lightweight Materials - A European Commission Perspective.
Q) Finally, what is the importance of JEC World for the sector and what are its main aims?
It is unmissable! Players from the entire value chain come each year at the show. Companies take the opportunity of this big gathering of the community to launch new products, seal business deals and find inspiration for future developments. And as all frontiers have reopened, we will be happy to welcome suppliers and buyers from all continents at the show.