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28.02.2024

ECHA: 21% REACH registrations evaluated

The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA), between 2009 and 2023, has performed compliance checks of approximately 15 000 registrations, representing 21 % of full registrations.  The Agency has met its legal target for dossier evaluation, which was increased from 5 % to 20 % in 2019. While, for substances registered at quantities of 100 tonnes or more per year, ECHA has checked compliance for around 30% of them.  

In 2023, the Agency conducted 301 compliance checks, covering more than 1 750 registrations and addressing 274 individual substances. These checks focused on registration dossiers that may have data gaps and aim to enhance the safety data of these substances. As a result, 251 adopted decisions were sent to companies, requesting additional data to clarify long-term effects of chemicals on human health or the environment.

The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA), between 2009 and 2023, has performed compliance checks of approximately 15 000 registrations, representing 21 % of full registrations.  The Agency has met its legal target for dossier evaluation, which was increased from 5 % to 20 % in 2019. While, for substances registered at quantities of 100 tonnes or more per year, ECHA has checked compliance for around 30% of them.  

In 2023, the Agency conducted 301 compliance checks, covering more than 1 750 registrations and addressing 274 individual substances. These checks focused on registration dossiers that may have data gaps and aim to enhance the safety data of these substances. As a result, 251 adopted decisions were sent to companies, requesting additional data to clarify long-term effects of chemicals on human health or the environment.

ECHA will now put more focus on following up the requests sent to companies. In the follow-up evaluation process, the Agency assesses the incoming information for compliance. The outcome of the incoming data is shared with the Member States and European Commission to enable prioritisation of substances. ECHA will work closer together with the Member States for enforcement of non-compliant dossiers.  

Compliance of registration dossiers will remain a priority for ECHA for the coming years. This year, the Agency will review the impact of the Joint Evaluation Action Plan, aimed at improving REACH registrations compliance, and, together with stakeholders, develop new priority areas to work on.

 

Source:

European Chemicals Agency

26.02.2024

AkzoNobel: Full-year 2023 results

Highlights Q4 2023 (compared with Q4 2022)

  • Revenue in constant currencies up 4% on higher volumes and pricing (reported revenue -3%)
  • Operating income improved to €214 million (2022: €103 million)
  • Adjusted operating income at €221 million (2022: €126 million); ROS at 8.7% (2022: 4.8%); €244 million before €23 million negative impact from hyperinflation accounting
  • Net cash from operating activities positive €574 million (2022: €291 million)

Highlights full-year 2023 (compared with full-year 2022)

Highlights Q4 2023 (compared with Q4 2022)

  • Revenue in constant currencies up 4% on higher volumes and pricing (reported revenue -3%)
  • Operating income improved to €214 million (2022: €103 million)
  • Adjusted operating income at €221 million (2022: €126 million); ROS at 8.7% (2022: 4.8%); €244 million before €23 million negative impact from hyperinflation accounting
  • Net cash from operating activities positive €574 million (2022: €291 million)

Highlights full-year 2023 (compared with full-year 2022)

  • Revenue in constant currencies up 5% driven by pricing (reported revenue -2%)
  • Operating income improved to €1,029 million (2022: €708 million)
  • Adjusted operating income at €1,074 million (2022: €789 million), despite €77 million adverse
  • currency effects from translation; ROS at 10.1% (2022: 7.3%)
  • Adjusted EBITDA at €1,429 million (2022: €1,157 million), despite €92 million adverse currency
  • effects from translation
  • Net cash from operating activities positive €1,126 million (2022: €263 million)
  • Net debt to EBITDA leverage ratio improved to 2.7 (2022: 3.8)
  • Final dividend proposed of €1.54 per share (2022: €1.54)

Outlook mid-term
For the mid-term, AkzoNobel aims to expand profitability to deliver an adjusted EBITDA margin of above 16% and a return on investment between 16% and 19%, underpinned by organic growth and industrial excellence. The company aims to lower its leverage to around 2 times in the mid-term, while remaining committed to retaining a strong investment grade credit rating.

More information:
AkzoNobel financial year 2023
Source:

AkzoNobel

26.02.2024

SGL Carbon: Review of options for Business Unit Carbon Fibers

SGL Carbon SE is currently evaluating various strategic options for the Business Unit Carbon Fibers (CF). These include a possible partial or complete divestment of the Business Unit. In a first step, potential interested parties shall be approached with the general data of the Business Unit to determine their interest in an acquisition. If there is sufficient interest, a structured transaction process will be carried out in a second step. Overall, a share of sales amounting to around € 179.6 million after nine months in 2023 (9M 2022: € 269.0 million) is therefore under review. The CF sales share corresponded to 21.9% of SGL Carbon's consolidated sales after nine months in 2023 (9M 2022: 31.5%). Adjusted EBITDA of the Business Unit excluding the result from joint ventures amounted to minus € 10,9 million after nine months in 2023 (9M 2022: € 27,9 million). Despite the operating loss of CF after nine months in 2023, SGL Carbon maintains its guidance for fiscal year 2023. This shows the positive development of the three other business units and the resilience of SGL Carbon's business model.

SGL Carbon SE is currently evaluating various strategic options for the Business Unit Carbon Fibers (CF). These include a possible partial or complete divestment of the Business Unit. In a first step, potential interested parties shall be approached with the general data of the Business Unit to determine their interest in an acquisition. If there is sufficient interest, a structured transaction process will be carried out in a second step. Overall, a share of sales amounting to around € 179.6 million after nine months in 2023 (9M 2022: € 269.0 million) is therefore under review. The CF sales share corresponded to 21.9% of SGL Carbon's consolidated sales after nine months in 2023 (9M 2022: 31.5%). Adjusted EBITDA of the Business Unit excluding the result from joint ventures amounted to minus € 10,9 million after nine months in 2023 (9M 2022: € 27,9 million). Despite the operating loss of CF after nine months in 2023, SGL Carbon maintains its guidance for fiscal year 2023. This shows the positive development of the three other business units and the resilience of SGL Carbon's business model.

Carbon Fibers manufactures textile, acrylic and carbon fibers as well as composite materials at seven locations in Europe and North America. Following the temporary drop in demand for carbon fibers from the important wind industry market, the Business Unit's sales and earnings fell significantly in the course of fiscal year 2023. Due to the importance of the wind industry for the European Green Deal, SGL Carbon and many experts assumed that the wind industry recovers quickly. Unfortunately, this is currently not the case. Even if demand picks up, the company assumes that Carbon Fibers will need additional resources to remain competitive in the international market environment and to exploit market opportunities in the best possible way. Against this background, SGL Carbon is reviewing all possibilities to support a positive further development of the Carbon Fibers Business Unit.

More information:
SGL Carbon carbon fibers
Source:

SGL Carbon SE 

23.02.2024

Kelheim Fibres: Price increase for viscose fibres from 1 April 2024

Kelheim Fibres GmbH, a leading manufacturer of specialty viscose fibres, has announced to increase its prices by 12% to 15% for specialty viscose fibres starting April 1, 2024.

With the strong rebound in cotton fibre prices, there has been a sharp increase in the demand for viscose, especially in Asia. In the face of the rapid rise in interest rates, wages, chemicals, and environmental costs, accompanied by depressed fibre prices over the past years, Kelheim Fibres sees no other choice than to start improving margins back to sustainable levels by raising the base price.

Kelheim Fibres GmbH, a leading manufacturer of specialty viscose fibres, has announced to increase its prices by 12% to 15% for specialty viscose fibres starting April 1, 2024.

With the strong rebound in cotton fibre prices, there has been a sharp increase in the demand for viscose, especially in Asia. In the face of the rapid rise in interest rates, wages, chemicals, and environmental costs, accompanied by depressed fibre prices over the past years, Kelheim Fibres sees no other choice than to start improving margins back to sustainable levels by raising the base price.

Source:

Kelheim Fibres

Pointcarre integrates Archroma's portfolio of 5,760 colors Photo: Archroma
23.02.2024

Pointcarre integrates Archroma's portfolio of 5,760 colors

Archroma Textile Effects expands the digital textile design and production system (CAD/CAM) Pointcarre with its entire portfolio of 5,760 colors.

Pointcarre Textile Software enables fashion, home furnishing and technical textiles designers to create accurate digital samples, streamline the fabric weaving, knitting and printing processes, and produce realistic presentations of their collections.

Incorporating the Archroma color portfolio into this workflow will allow designers to bring their ideas to life with greater speed and accuracy. They will not only have access to a vast searchable library of Archroma colors, but they will also be better able to produce the exact color they need at the factory.

All of the Archroma color references can be formulated with dyes that meet leading international eco-standards and the brand customer’s desired sustainability profile.

To support customers to optimize the potential of the new color library, Pointcarre is offering new interactive e-learning modules on its Academy training platform, as well as assistance in several languages.

Archroma Textile Effects expands the digital textile design and production system (CAD/CAM) Pointcarre with its entire portfolio of 5,760 colors.

Pointcarre Textile Software enables fashion, home furnishing and technical textiles designers to create accurate digital samples, streamline the fabric weaving, knitting and printing processes, and produce realistic presentations of their collections.

Incorporating the Archroma color portfolio into this workflow will allow designers to bring their ideas to life with greater speed and accuracy. They will not only have access to a vast searchable library of Archroma colors, but they will also be better able to produce the exact color they need at the factory.

All of the Archroma color references can be formulated with dyes that meet leading international eco-standards and the brand customer’s desired sustainability profile.

To support customers to optimize the potential of the new color library, Pointcarre is offering new interactive e-learning modules on its Academy training platform, as well as assistance in several languages.

More information:
Archroma Pointcarre CAD/CAM Software
Source:

Archroma

19.02.2024

Lectra: Financial statements for 2023

  • Revenues: 477.6 million euros (-6%)
  • EBITDA before non-recurring items: 79.0 million euros (-15%)
  • Net income: 32.6 million euros (-26%)
  • Free cash flow before non-recurring items: 45.3 million euros
  • Dividend: €0.36 per share

Lectra’s Board of Directors, chaired by Daniel Harari, reviewed the consolidated financial statements for the fiscal year 2023. Audit procedures have been performed by the Statutory Auditors.

Currency changes between 2022 and 2023 mechanically decreased revenues and EBITDA before non-recurring items by 3.9 million euros (-3%) and 1.7 million euros (-8%) respectively in Q4, and by 11.2 million euros (-2%) and 4.8 million euros (-6%) respectively in the year, at actual exchange rates compared to like-for-like figures.

  • Revenues: 477.6 million euros (-6%)
  • EBITDA before non-recurring items: 79.0 million euros (-15%)
  • Net income: 32.6 million euros (-26%)
  • Free cash flow before non-recurring items: 45.3 million euros
  • Dividend: €0.36 per share

Lectra’s Board of Directors, chaired by Daniel Harari, reviewed the consolidated financial statements for the fiscal year 2023. Audit procedures have been performed by the Statutory Auditors.

Currency changes between 2022 and 2023 mechanically decreased revenues and EBITDA before non-recurring items by 3.9 million euros (-3%) and 1.7 million euros (-8%) respectively in Q4, and by 11.2 million euros (-2%) and 4.8 million euros (-6%) respectively in the year, at actual exchange rates compared to like-for-like figures.

OUTLOOK
While the 2023 full-year results were affected by the adverse environment, they also attest to the substantial improvement in the fundamentals of the Group's business model, which will have a positive impact on 2024 results. Persistent macroeconomic and geopolitical uncertainties could nevertheless continue to weigh on investment decisions by the Group's customers.

While the most recent indicators seem to suggest that the situation is unlikely to deteriorate further, the timing and magnitude of a rebound in new system orders remain uncertain.

Outlook for 2024
To facilitate analysis, the accounts of Lectra excluding the Launchmetrics acquisition ("Lectra 2023 Scope") will be analysed separately from the Launchmetrics accounts in 2024.

The Group has based its 2024 objectives on the exchange rates in effect on December 29, 2023, in particular $1.10/€1. When converting 2023 results using the exchange rates retained for 2024, 2023 revenues are mechanically reduced by 4.7 million euros (to 472.9 million euros) and 2023 EBITDA before non-recurring items is reduced by 2.2 million euros (to 76.8 million euros). Thus, for the Lectra 2023 Scope, the comparisons between 2024 and 2023 printed below are based on constant exchange rates.

At this early stage of 2024, continuing low visibility regarding orders and revenues from new systems makes it impossible to predict the actual timing and scale of the future rebound in this area. On the other hand, visibility is high for recurring revenues, which accounted for 68% of total revenues in 2023 and will continue to grow in 2024.

In light of the above, Lectra has set as its objective for 2024, for the Lectra 2023 Scope, to achieve revenues in the range of 480 to 530 million euros (+2% to +12%) and EBITDA before non-recurring items in the range of 85 to 107 million euros (+10% to +40%).

The low end of the revenues range is based on the absence of a rebound in new systems orders, which would remain stable in 2024 relative to 2023, with a 6% decline in revenues from perpetual software licenses, equipment and accompanying software and non-recurring services, as the order backlog was lower on December 31, 2023 than a year before.

The high end of the revenues range reflects a gradual rebound in new systems orders, which at year-end 2024 would be back to year-end 2022 level.
 
In addition, Launchmetrics revenues (for the consolidation period from January 23 to December 31) are projected to be in the range of 42 to 46 million euros, with an EBITDA margin before non-recurring items of more than 15% (assuming an exchange rate of $1.10/€1).

19.02.2024

CARBIOS and De Smet Engineers & Contractors: Partnership for construction of PET biorecycling plant

CARBIOS and De Smet Engineers & Contractors (DSEC), a provider of Engineering, Procurement and Construction services in the biotech’s and agro-processing industries, announce their collaboration to spearhead the construction of the world's first PET biorecycling plant. Under the agreement, De Smet has been entrusted with the project management and detailed engineering, including procurement assistance and CARBIOS partners’ management, to ensure the execution of the plant's construction in Longlaville, France, due for commissioning in 2025.  CARBIOS’ first commercial facility will play a key role in the fight against plastic pollution by offering an industrial-scale solution for the enzymatic depolymerization of PET waste to accelerate a circular economy for plastic and textiles.

With over 70 members of De Smet's expert team dedicated to the project and working alongside CARBIOS teams, the collaboration aims to guarantee the project timeline and budget while upholding quality, safety, health, and environmental standards. Construction is currently underway and on schedule.

CARBIOS and De Smet Engineers & Contractors (DSEC), a provider of Engineering, Procurement and Construction services in the biotech’s and agro-processing industries, announce their collaboration to spearhead the construction of the world's first PET biorecycling plant. Under the agreement, De Smet has been entrusted with the project management and detailed engineering, including procurement assistance and CARBIOS partners’ management, to ensure the execution of the plant's construction in Longlaville, France, due for commissioning in 2025.  CARBIOS’ first commercial facility will play a key role in the fight against plastic pollution by offering an industrial-scale solution for the enzymatic depolymerization of PET waste to accelerate a circular economy for plastic and textiles.

With over 70 members of De Smet's expert team dedicated to the project and working alongside CARBIOS teams, the collaboration aims to guarantee the project timeline and budget while upholding quality, safety, health, and environmental standards. Construction is currently underway and on schedule.

ACIMIT: Italian textile machinery orders remain stationary (c) ACIMIT
19.02.2024

ACIMIT: Italian textile machinery orders remain stationary

In the fourth quarter of 2023 Italian textile machinery orders index, drawn up by the Economics Department of ACIMIT, the Association of Italian Textile Machinery Manufacturers, appears to be stationary compared to data recorded for the same period in 2022. In terms of absolute value, the index stood at 82.4 points (basis: 2015=100).

This is the result of an upswing in orders from foreign markets, counterbalanced by declining orders on the domestic front. While orders in Italy decreased at 18% rate, a 4% increase was observed abroad. The absolute value of the index on foreign markets amounted to 77.9 points, whereas it came in at 126.2 points domestically. Overall for the fourth quarter, the average order backlog yielded 3.7 months of assured production.

In the fourth quarter of 2023 Italian textile machinery orders index, drawn up by the Economics Department of ACIMIT, the Association of Italian Textile Machinery Manufacturers, appears to be stationary compared to data recorded for the same period in 2022. In terms of absolute value, the index stood at 82.4 points (basis: 2015=100).

This is the result of an upswing in orders from foreign markets, counterbalanced by declining orders on the domestic front. While orders in Italy decreased at 18% rate, a 4% increase was observed abroad. The absolute value of the index on foreign markets amounted to 77.9 points, whereas it came in at 126.2 points domestically. Overall for the fourth quarter, the average order backlog yielded 3.7 months of assured production.

For the whole 2023 year, the index declined 25% overall compared to the 2022 average (absolute index of 82.4). On the home front however, the index dropped 24% (absolute index of 124.5), while slipping 25% abroad (absolute index of 78.4).
 
ACIMIT president Marco Salvadè commented: "The orders index for October – December 2023, as elaborated by our Economics Department, confirms an intake of orders that is still weak, with a negative trend in demand for machinery that is ongoing for the domestic market."

Nonetheless, the orders index abroad shows a slight increase. We estimate that the global geopolitical context is still a source of concern,” continued Salvadè, specifying that, “For the first nine months of 2023, Italian exports on major global markets (i.e. China, Turkey, India and the United States of America), confirm a widespread decline. However, some positive signs emerged in the fourth quarter of last year, as reflected by the latest orders index. For 2024 we expect a consolidation of this trend reversal."

Source:

ACIMIT - Association of Italian Textile Machinery Manufacturers

DITF: Modular cutting tool recognized with JEC Composites Innovation Award Photo: Leitz
Hermann Finckh (DITF) and Andreas Kisselbach (Leitz GmbH & Co. KG)
16.02.2024

DITF: Modular cutting tool recognized with JEC Composites Innovation Award

Hermann Finckh received the JEC Composites Innovation Award in the category Equipment Machinery & Heavy Industries for the innovation MAXIMUM WEIGHT REDUCTION OF COMPOSITE TOOLS. The research team from the German Institutes of Textile and Fiber Research Denkendorf (DITF) developed a new modular cutting tool for woodworking machines, which was produced and successfully tested by the industrial partner Leitz GmbH & Co. KG.

The extremely lightweight planing tool was made from carbon fiber-reinforced plastics (CFRPs) instead of aluminum using a completely new modular construction principle. As a result, it weighs 50 percent less than conventional tools. It enables significantly higher working speed, which enables a one-and-a-half-fold increase in productivity. The development of the extreme-lightweight principle was performed by numerical simulation and every solution was virtually tested in advance. A patent application has been filed for the concept.

Hermann Finckh received the JEC Composites Innovation Award in the category Equipment Machinery & Heavy Industries for the innovation MAXIMUM WEIGHT REDUCTION OF COMPOSITE TOOLS. The research team from the German Institutes of Textile and Fiber Research Denkendorf (DITF) developed a new modular cutting tool for woodworking machines, which was produced and successfully tested by the industrial partner Leitz GmbH & Co. KG.

The extremely lightweight planing tool was made from carbon fiber-reinforced plastics (CFRPs) instead of aluminum using a completely new modular construction principle. As a result, it weighs 50 percent less than conventional tools. It enables significantly higher working speed, which enables a one-and-a-half-fold increase in productivity. The development of the extreme-lightweight principle was performed by numerical simulation and every solution was virtually tested in advance. A patent application has been filed for the concept.

Messe Frankfurt launches brand events in Central Asia (c) Messe Frankfurt Group
16.02.2024

Messe Frankfurt launches brand events in Central Asia

Messe Frankfurt will extend its footprint in the Central Asian market by establishing seven brand events in Tashkent, Uzbekistan. The country’s strategic location as a crossroads of Europe and Asia positions it as a promising trade gateway and transportation hub, facilitating the economic development of neighbouring countries and access to the wider region. The company’s stronger presence in the market will promote business opportunities and foster the sustainable development of pillar industries, including cosmetics, textiles and clothing, automotive, logistics and transportation.

Messe Frankfurt will extend its footprint in the Central Asian market by establishing seven brand events in Tashkent, Uzbekistan. The country’s strategic location as a crossroads of Europe and Asia positions it as a promising trade gateway and transportation hub, facilitating the economic development of neighbouring countries and access to the wider region. The company’s stronger presence in the market will promote business opportunities and foster the sustainable development of pillar industries, including cosmetics, textiles and clothing, automotive, logistics and transportation.

Uzbekistan has a promising consumer market with significant potential. It is the largest in Central Asia and is expected to increase due to population growth, rising incomes and the modernisation of economic and industry sectors.
 
The nation has actively sought to diversify its economy in recent years, undertaking reforms for greater entrepreneurial freedom and opening up to more international and regional cooperation. The country already exports precious metals, textiles and agricultural produce. It imports machinery, equipment, means of transportation, and vehicle components from foreign trading partners. Attracting overseas investment is also apparent through incentives such as tax benefits, reduced import duties and simplified procedures for overseas investors.
 
In addition, shifting global supply chains and trading patterns could also drive opportunities in the region. The nation benefits from its geographical location owing to its position between Asia and Europe, to which the Uzbek Government recognises the prospects of investing in infrastructure, such as transportation and logistics, to create an efficient transit hub. Against this backdrop, China acknowledges the importance of developing routes along the Belt and Road while Europe has expressed a readiness to support Uzbekistan’s efforts to diversify transport corridors.

Line-up of shows include:

  • Automechanika Tashkent; Futuroad Expo Tashkent; and, Scalex Tashkent: 23 – 25 October 2024
  • Heimtextil Uzbekistan; Texworld Tashkent; and, Apparel Sourcing Tashkent: 6 – 8 November 2024
  • Beautyworld Central Asia: 21 – 23 November 2024
Source:

Messe Frankfurt (HK) Limited

Archroma launches Super Systems+ Photo: Archroma
14.02.2024

Archroma launches Super Systems+

Archroma introduced Super Systems+. These end-to-end systems combine fiber-specific processing solutions and intelligent effects to help textile and apparel brands, retailers and mills positively impact their economic and environmental sustainability.

Archroma’s Super Systems+ suite encompass wet processing solutions that deliver measurable environmental impact; durable colors and functional effects that add value and longevity to the end product; and technologies that eliminate harmful or regulated substances. It will allow brands and mills to achieve their desired level of sustainability through measurable resource savings and cleaner chemistries.

Archroma introduced Super Systems+. These end-to-end systems combine fiber-specific processing solutions and intelligent effects to help textile and apparel brands, retailers and mills positively impact their economic and environmental sustainability.

Archroma’s Super Systems+ suite encompass wet processing solutions that deliver measurable environmental impact; durable colors and functional effects that add value and longevity to the end product; and technologies that eliminate harmful or regulated substances. It will allow brands and mills to achieve their desired level of sustainability through measurable resource savings and cleaner chemistries.

Products and technologies that are be used in Super Systems+ solutions include: AVITERA® SE for resource savings, an improved cost-to-performance ratio for cotton and its blends and chlorine fastness; DIRESUL® EVOLUTION BLACK for shade and wash-down effects on black denim and an overall impact reduction of 57%*; aniline-free** DENISOL® PURE INDIGO 30 LIQ for authentic blue denim; ERIOPON® E3-SAVE all-in-one auxiliary for resource-intensive polyester dyeing that reduces processing time and conserves water and energy; and PHOBOTEX® NTR-50 LIQ for bio-based, PFAS-free, formaldehyde-free and crosslinker-free durable water repellence.

*As determined by Ecoterrae, a leading Spain-based sustainability consulting firm, through a Life Cycle Analysis (UNE-EN ISO 14044:2006) at the synthesis stage, using the ReCiPe 2016 Impact calculation methodology.
**Below limits of detection according to industry standard test methods.

Source:

Archroma

06.02.2024

Hohenstein future part of the AI hotspot IPAI

The testing service provider and research partner Hohenstein is joining the Innovation Park for Artificial Intelligence (IPAI) in Heilbronn. There are already points of contact with AI applications in some interdisciplinary research projects. In addition, there is the cooperation with the Munich-based start-up Sizekick and its AI-based technology for size recommendations, which aims to reduce size-related returns in online fashion retail.

"We expect the connection to the IPAI AI network to provide us with valuable impulses to remain fit for the future," explains Hohenstein CEO Dr. Timo Hammer, "This unique platform brings together a wide variety of players with their experience and knowledge. New ideas, projects and even products can be generated with great dynamism in the network as an intelligent response to future requirements. Because one thing is clear - artificial intelligence is THE key technology of the future".

The testing service provider and research partner Hohenstein is joining the Innovation Park for Artificial Intelligence (IPAI) in Heilbronn. There are already points of contact with AI applications in some interdisciplinary research projects. In addition, there is the cooperation with the Munich-based start-up Sizekick and its AI-based technology for size recommendations, which aims to reduce size-related returns in online fashion retail.

"We expect the connection to the IPAI AI network to provide us with valuable impulses to remain fit for the future," explains Hohenstein CEO Dr. Timo Hammer, "This unique platform brings together a wide variety of players with their experience and knowledge. New ideas, projects and even products can be generated with great dynamism in the network as an intelligent response to future requirements. Because one thing is clear - artificial intelligence is THE key technology of the future".

The Innovation Park for Artificial Intelligence (IPAI) in Heilbronn (www.ip.ai) sees itself as an innovation platform for applied AI and a German lighthouse project with international appeal. The center is intended to map the entire AI value chain, from the qualification of specialists to the application of ethically responsible AI. The aim is to use the AI ecosystem to bring together companies, start-ups, research institutions, scientists, and public institutions and to secure Germany's digital independence and competitiveness in a key future technology.

Source:

Hohenstein Laboratories GmbH & Co. KG

AkzoNobel participates in research program with SusInkCoat project (c) The Dutch Research Council (NWO)
05.02.2024

AkzoNobel participates in research program with SusInkCoat project

More than 82 companies, businesses and social organizations – including AkzoNobel – are involved in a major Dutch research program focused on developing new technologies that will help solve some of today’s societal challenges.
 
Seven broad consortia have been established as part of the government-funded “Perspectief” program, with AkzoNobel set to play a leading role in the SusInkCoat project, which will explore how to make inks and coatings more sustainable.

The company will work together with private partners and other societal stakeholders to develop new materials, processes and applications to improve the durability, functionality and recyclability of coatings, thin films and inks. The program, which will run for the next five years, is backed by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy and the Dutch Research Council (NWO).

More than 82 companies, businesses and social organizations – including AkzoNobel – are involved in a major Dutch research program focused on developing new technologies that will help solve some of today’s societal challenges.
 
Seven broad consortia have been established as part of the government-funded “Perspectief” program, with AkzoNobel set to play a leading role in the SusInkCoat project, which will explore how to make inks and coatings more sustainable.

The company will work together with private partners and other societal stakeholders to develop new materials, processes and applications to improve the durability, functionality and recyclability of coatings, thin films and inks. The program, which will run for the next five years, is backed by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy and the Dutch Research Council (NWO).

“Our discussions about collaborating with our SusInkCoat partners have been very positive,” says AkzoNobel’s R&D Director of Scientific Academic Programs, André van Linden, who is also the co-lead of SusInkCoat. “We’re all facing the same societal challenges – how to become more circular – and we’re looking for the same solutions in different application areas. But we’ve never done that together for this specific research topic, so we need an ecosystem to help us solve these challenges.
 
Van Linden adds that the program – one of many R&D projects the company is involved with – will also support AkzoNobel’s ambition to achieve 50% less carbon emissions in its own operations – and across the value chain – by 2030.
 
 “We want to make the recyclability of materials - such as furniture, building materials and steel constructions - easier by introducing functionalities like self-healing, higher durability and triggered release,” he continues. “The more you can leave the materials in their original state, the more sustainably you can operate.”

AkzoNobel will be collaborating with Canon, Evonik, GFB, PTG and RUG Ventures, who together possess extensive knowledge of market demands, supply chains and production processes. All the SusInkCoat partners will also work with academic researchers at several Dutch universities in an effort to identify promising developments that can be commercialized, used for education purposes or for outreach to the public.

Research being conducted by the other six consortia includes investigating methods to make tastier plant-based food; flat optics for more sustainable hi-tech equipment; and cheaper and more accessible medical imaging technology.

More information:
AkzoNobel Coatings Sustainability
Source:

AkzoNobel

05.02.2024

Launch of ERCA Textile Chemical Solutions

In January 2024, ERCA Textile Chemical Solutions TCS was launched as an independent entity within the ERCA Group.

The decision to make ERCA TCS a separate company stems from the desire to focus exclusively on solutions for the textile industry and to build an agile entity oriented towards responsible research and production, while continuing to leverage a solid productive and financial background from ERCA S.p.A.

ERCA TCS aims to be the unique and innovative point of reference for textile companies in terms of products and services specifically designed for the needs of a sector that is currently facing challenges and opportunities related to sustainability and responsible production.

In January 2024, ERCA Textile Chemical Solutions TCS was launched as an independent entity within the ERCA Group.

The decision to make ERCA TCS a separate company stems from the desire to focus exclusively on solutions for the textile industry and to build an agile entity oriented towards responsible research and production, while continuing to leverage a solid productive and financial background from ERCA S.p.A.

ERCA TCS aims to be the unique and innovative point of reference for textile companies in terms of products and services specifically designed for the needs of a sector that is currently facing challenges and opportunities related to sustainability and responsible production.

ERCA TCS bases its activity on the principles of "green chemistry" to offer the textile industry chemical solutions that make concrete the concepts of safety, performance, and circularity. Its flagship product - REVECOL® - is born from critical waste materials (used vegetable oils) and present in abundance, which through a process attentive to environmental compatibility and safety, are transformed into a line of innovative, certified, high-performance chemical auxiliaries usable by the entire textile industry.

ERCA Group has six plants in three macro-regions: Europe, Latin America, and Asia and produces chemical specialties and auxiliaries with an approach of responsible innovation. Its production covers several markets: textile, cosmetics, polyurethanes, concrete. It has a turnover of 150 million euros and employs 350 people worldwide, 100 of whom are in the sole Grassobbio plant.

Source:

ERCA Textile Chemical Solutions (ERCA Group)

IHKIB: Green Transformation Journey of the Turkish Apparel Industry (c) Istanbul Apparel Exporters' Association (IHKIB)
TIM and IHKIB President Mustafa Gültepe
05.02.2024

IHKIB: Green Transformation Journey of the Turkish Apparel Industry

The fashion industry, which has strategic importance for the Turkish economy with its value-added production, employment, and exports, came together with representatives of global brands and Laison offices at the 'Green transformation' summit. At the meeting hosted by the Istanbul Apparel Exporters' Association (IHKIB), the studies carried out in the process of adaptation to the Green Deal were put under the spotlight, and the expectations of the Turkish fashion industry from the stakeholders were also expressed.

The opening of the meeting, attended by representatives of relevant ministries and foreign representations, national and international fund providers, as well as brands and buying groups were brought together, was made by Türkiye Exporters Assembly (TIM) and IHKIB President Mustafa Gültepe. In his speech, Gültepe underlined Türkiye's importance in the global apparel industry, by realizing approximately 3.5 percent of world apparel exports. Gültepe continued as follows:

The fashion industry, which has strategic importance for the Turkish economy with its value-added production, employment, and exports, came together with representatives of global brands and Laison offices at the 'Green transformation' summit. At the meeting hosted by the Istanbul Apparel Exporters' Association (IHKIB), the studies carried out in the process of adaptation to the Green Deal were put under the spotlight, and the expectations of the Turkish fashion industry from the stakeholders were also expressed.

The opening of the meeting, attended by representatives of relevant ministries and foreign representations, national and international fund providers, as well as brands and buying groups were brought together, was made by Türkiye Exporters Assembly (TIM) and IHKIB President Mustafa Gültepe. In his speech, Gültepe underlined Türkiye's importance in the global apparel industry, by realizing approximately 3.5 percent of world apparel exports. Gültepe continued as follows:

"As IHKIB, we aim to increase our current annual exports, which are around $20 billion, to $40 billion. The road to the goal goes through Europe and America because the European Union is our largest market in apparel. We export 60 percent of our total apparel exports to EU countries. When we add other European countries and the USA, the ratio approaches 75 percent. While working on alternatives for the $40 billion in exports, we need to focus more on the European and U.S. markets because, as the data shows, the path to $40 billion in apparel exports goes through Europe and the U.S. We already have long-standing collaborations with brands centered in Europe and America. With our knowledge, speed, production quality, design power, and geographical proximity to Europe, we distinguish ourselves from competitors. We took a very important step in the transformation process exactly one year ago. We shared our action plan, which is a road map for our fashion industry's compliance with the Green Deal, with the public on January 30, 2023."

After Mustafa Gültepe's opening speech, Euratex Director General Dirk Vantyghem, Deputy Director General of the Ministry of Trade Bahar Güçlü, and Deputy Secretary General of ITKIB Özlem Güneş made presentations regarding the ongoing efforts in the Green Deal process.

Dirk Vantyghem discussed the sustainability strategy of the textile and apparel industry and the expectations from the EU administration, while Bahar Güçlü provided information about the reflections of legal regulations related to the Green Deal on Türkiye.

Deputy Secretary General of ITKIB Özlem Güneş emphasized the significant opportunity that the Green Deal represents for the Turkish apparel industry, providing comprehensive insights into the efforts conducted by IHKIB regarding the Green Deal adaptation process.

Source:

Istanbul Apparel Exporters' Association (IHKIB)

05.02.2024

ECHA: Strategic goals for 2024-2028

The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) has published its Strategy Statement 2024-2028. The strategy details the agency’s goals and priorities over the next five years to protect health and the environment through its work for chemical safety.

Main elements of the Strategy – Goals and Priorities

Be a trusted chemicals agency – ECHA aims to achieve this by delivering its legal mandate using independent expertise and robust data. The Agency, to support this, will:

  • Deliver transparent, independent, and high-quality scientific advice, opinions, and decisions;
  • Enhance decision and policy making through optimal use of data, knowledge, and competence; and
  • Facilitate the prioritisation and co-ordination of regulatory actions on substances and groups of substances with the European Commission (EC), EU agencies and Member State Authorities.

 
Respond to emerging challenges and changes in their legal landscape – ECHA will prepare for new tasks and inform EU chemical and environmental policy. To support this goal, it will focus on the following priorities:

The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) has published its Strategy Statement 2024-2028. The strategy details the agency’s goals and priorities over the next five years to protect health and the environment through its work for chemical safety.

Main elements of the Strategy – Goals and Priorities

Be a trusted chemicals agency – ECHA aims to achieve this by delivering its legal mandate using independent expertise and robust data. The Agency, to support this, will:

  • Deliver transparent, independent, and high-quality scientific advice, opinions, and decisions;
  • Enhance decision and policy making through optimal use of data, knowledge, and competence; and
  • Facilitate the prioritisation and co-ordination of regulatory actions on substances and groups of substances with the European Commission (EC), EU agencies and Member State Authorities.

 
Respond to emerging challenges and changes in their legal landscape – ECHA will prepare for new tasks and inform EU chemical and environmental policy. To support this goal, it will focus on the following priorities:

  • Implement new legal requirements using existing and new synergies and experience;
  • Work with relevant EU agencies and bodies to deliver Chemical Strategy for Sustainability (CSS) actions and objectives; and
  • Provide scientific and technical advice on chemicals to EU policy makers.

 
Communicate and Engage – by collaborating with stakeholders and partners, ECHA will strengthen public confidence in chemicals regulation. In support of this goal, the Agency will:

  • Deepen their network of engagement with EU institutions and agencies and Member States;
  • Collaborate and provide tools, advice, and support to industry; and
  • Promote awareness and understanding of ECHA's work to stakeholders representing workers, the public and the environment.

 
Lead on chemical knowledge and expertise – the Agency will advance knowledge and understanding on chemical safety. To achieve this, it will:

  • Contribute proactively to expanding scientific and technical competence and knowledge on chemical safety;
  • Promote the development and use of alternative methods for the assessment of hazards and risks of chemicals; and
  • Support the EC to enhance engagement and synergies at international level.

 
Invest in people and organisational excellence – ECHA is committed to working together to achieve their vision. In order to achieve this they will:

  • Develop and empower their people for success;
  • Create optimal ways of working for the Agency, its bodies, its people, and the environment; and
  • Adopt an IT delivery model that is cost-effective, streamlined, modular, interoperable, cloud based and centralised.
Source:

European Chemicals Agency

05.02.2024

Solvay: Educational alliance with MIT and Fermi High School

Solvay awarded a scholarship to facilitate an educational alliance between the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Fermi High School in Cecina. The initiative unfolded during an event held at Solvay's Rosignano site in Italy, providing a platform for students and faculty. Through this partnership, 200 Fermi High School students participated in STEM* and digital lessons from MIT's Global Teaching Labs project, emphasizing the teaching of scientific disciplines by the American university.

Beyond the scholarship award ceremony, students received a tour of Solvay's factory in Rosignano. The tour highlighted the company's dedication to safety, sustainability, and bridging the gap between academia and industry challenges. The experience illustrated the practical application of academic studies in an industrial context, showcasing Solvay's advanced control procedures, safety protocols, technological innovations, digital transformation efforts, and sustainability measures.

Solvay awarded a scholarship to facilitate an educational alliance between the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Fermi High School in Cecina. The initiative unfolded during an event held at Solvay's Rosignano site in Italy, providing a platform for students and faculty. Through this partnership, 200 Fermi High School students participated in STEM* and digital lessons from MIT's Global Teaching Labs project, emphasizing the teaching of scientific disciplines by the American university.

Beyond the scholarship award ceremony, students received a tour of Solvay's factory in Rosignano. The tour highlighted the company's dedication to safety, sustainability, and bridging the gap between academia and industry challenges. The experience illustrated the practical application of academic studies in an industrial context, showcasing Solvay's advanced control procedures, safety protocols, technological innovations, digital transformation efforts, and sustainability measures.

Discussions during the event included key sustainability topics such as water conservation, energy efficiency, waste management, and Solvay's commitment to promoting a balanced work-life culture and diversity within the workplace.

This collaboration aligns with Solvay's global Corporate Citizenship program. Through this program, Solvay supports individuals and communities, channeling efforts to tackle worldwide societal challenges through strategic investments in education, sustainability, and local community initiatives.

*STEM stands for science, technology, engineering and mathematics