328 brands on show and representatives of the major shipyards visiting the IMM-CarraraFiere exhibition dedicated to the nautical accessories and composite materials sectors, confirming its strength among the events offered in the sector by focusing on quality B2B meetings and high-level training.

9 April 2019

The 2019 edition of Seatec-Compotec, the double event held by IMM-CarraraFiere from 3 to 5 April, dedicated to technology, accessories, design and subcontracting applied to pleasure boating and composite materials and their multiple applications closes positively. The events highlighted the high level of the professional visitors in line with the previous edition, attracted by the 328 brands present at the fair, covering an area of over 10,000 square metres, of which 110 from all over Europe and Japan, New Zealand, Great Britain and America.

In an undoubtedly complex macro-economic and trade-fair scenario, marked both by the years of crisis in the nautical sector - which has only recently begun to pick up thanks to exports - and by the appearance of competing exhibition events, the Carrara event has once again confirmed its appeal as a highly specialised technical hub, a professional meeting place between supply and demand for experts in the respective sectors, proving its hold and scope despite the difficult economic situation and in a constructive effort to adapt the format to the different market needs.

Among the strengths of the recently concluded edition, the B2B Workshop dedicated to the Seatec-Compotec Marine Supply Chain, now in its 4th edition, which was another success. The event enabled more than 100 exhibiting companies, who chose to take part in the business-to-business programme organised by IMM-CarraraFiere in collaboration with the Digital Partner Uplink Web Agency, to meet the one hundred carefully selected foreign operators invited for the occasion by IMM-CarraraFiere with the support of the ICE – Italian Trade Agency, for a total of 2117 one-to-one meetings and 94.7% satisfaction regarding the format resulting from the “live” surveys, demonstrating the success of the initiative. The companies participating in the B2B programme did in fact benefit from optimised business meetings thanks to customised agendas defined before the event. The foreign trade delegations included prominent professional figures (including managers of purchasing departments and technical offices, engineers and nautical architects) representing strategic markets that are recording interesting prospects in terms of potential demand for Italian technology: Albania, South Korea, Croatia, Denmark, United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Iran, Israel, Kosovo, Latvia, Lithuania, Morocco, Norway, Holland, Poland, United Kingdom, Russia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Tunisia, Turkey, Ukraine, Hungary and USA.

The business opportunities generated by the one-to-one meetings were then examined more closely at the exhibitors' booths thanks to the Seatec-Compotec Showroom Experience, which enabled buyers to see the innovative products and technologies first hand. This was a highly appreciated formula that led to the conclusion of business deals already during the event and contributed to the creation of a model for the entire marine chain that Seatec-Compotec has grasped and intends to pursue further in future editions.

In addition to the B2B workshops, the main strengths of the 2019 edition were the attention to technology and the consolidation of relations with the main associations and trade organisations in the respective sectors, as well as with prime associations and companies involved in various ways in the industrial processes active in the reference fields. These are aspects that were fully developed in the high profile training sessions at the Seatec & Compotec Academy, a training centre dedicated to professional updating in the sector which, through conferences, seminars and round tables, took stock of a wide and diversified range of topics related to the economy of the sea and ports, the circular economy and recycling, the conservation of the environment and research on the most innovative materials but also on the tourist port system and on the nautical refit situation in the Mediterranean. The special training offered was especially aimed at shipbuilding yard representatives, as well as all those professionals who, in order to comply with the requirements of their respective professional associations, both Engineers and Architects, needed Professional Training Credits. The 2019 Seatec & Compotec Academy designed 14 training sessions, 7 of which are valid for training credits recognised by the Professional Associations, which were attended by 200 nautical engineers and architects. In addition to these events, another 22 thematic workshops on topics crucial to the sector were staged.

The synergies put in place by IMM-CarraraFiere were decisive for involving the highest authorities and the most prominent experts in the Academy programme, from universities that have departments and schools related to naval and nautical engineering, naval architecture and research in the composites sector, such as Genoa, Trieste, Naples and La Spezia. Another important synergy with The Italian Sea Group led to the presence of a prestigious shipbuilder at the fair that had meetings with its suppliers at the exclusive Seatec VIP Lounge. The Italian Sea Group also supported Seatec with an exclusive party at its headquarters, to which Italian and foreign trade journalists, authorities and exhibitors were invited.

The important register RINA made a substantial contribution to the Academy by organising the conference "New frontiers for emission reduction", where Engineer Enrico Ursomando, head of the Rina Academy, examined all the solutions currently being studied to reduce the emissions of large marine engines, proposing and illustrating a series of solutions applied by the Tankoa, Benetti and Sanlorenzo shipyards (who took part directly, bringing their case histories to the attention of the public) and highlighting how the solutions to the problem are not around the corner and, on the contrary, will require significant investments not only from the shipyards, but also from engine manufacturers such as Volvo, Man, Mtu and Caterpillar, who presented their in-house solutions at the fair.

In terms of composite materials, a high-profile academic panel represented by  Enrico Cestino and Giacomo Frulla from the Polytechnic of Turin (Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering) - both Associate Professors and permanent members of the advisory board of the College of Mechanical, Aerospace, Automotive Engineering and Production - addressed the issue of identifying equivalent materials for the creation of representative models in laboratory experimentation, the creation of moulds for composite lamination using 3D printing and the analysis of slamming damage and fatigue of the Volvo Ocean Race 2017- 2018 fleet.

The conference section linked to the composites sector, from the beginning a feature of Compotec, addressed the importance of research on composite materials as a tool for technological evolution and more sustainable development within the prestigious framework of the Academy, coordinated by the journalist Angelo Colombo. The seminar calendar also touched on the theme of recycling materials that feed and support the circular economy, for a better quality of the environment, accompanied by a report on the Italian Stock Exchange of regenerated materials deriving from recycling chains. Thanks to these sessions, prominent speakers were hosted such as: Engineer Pietro Russo of CNR IPCB; Engineer Claudio Mingazzini of ENEA; Engineer Claudio Voto of the Aerospace District of Campania; Aldrovandi and Ribaldi, Scientific Advisors of the "Mario Veronesi" Technopole - Democenter-Sipe; Professor Andrea Bracciali and D.Eng. Gianluca Megna representing DITECFER and the University of Florence;  Rosario Pavone from AIPAS and Tenent Colonel Giuliano Cioccolo from Segredifesa;  Luigi Carrino, President of the Aerospace District of Campania; Engineer Giovanni Caprino of Cetena; Engineer Giovanni Cecchini of the Cecchini Racing Team; Engineer Paolo Ponsicchi, Technical Director of Eurocraft, and Engineer Günther Lutz, a consultant for Composites Engineering.

Speakers at the Academy included the Deputy Minister of Infrastructure and Transport Edoardo Rixi, who spoke at the conference on "The Logistics/Port Supply Chain – Port facilities and Logistics as success factors for the development of the country", organised by IGB Srl in collaboration with IMM CarrararaFiere. Rixi brought the government's standpoint to the complex relationship of Italian ports of the Northern Tyrrhenian Sea, regarding both present and future trade flows and competition with other Mediterranean ports and the infrastructures necessary to keep the competitiveness of national ports strong. Taking part in the conference were Carla Roncallo, President of ADSP ML Orientale/Assoporti - Antonella Querci, Director of Development, European Programmes and Innovation ASDP MT Settentrionale, Andrea Gentile, President of Assologistica, Admiral Giuseppe Tarzia, Maritime Director and Commander of the Livorno Port Authority, Giancarlo Laguzzi, President of Fercargo, Nereo Marcucci, President of Confetra, Gian Enzo Duci, President of Federagenti Marittimo, Daniele Testi, Marketing Director of Contship, Olimpia Ferrara, SRM, Head of Maritime Team, Iames Pigani of Gavio Group, Marco Toccafondi, Manager of RFI. Lorenzo Forcieri, President of the Ligurian Marine Technology District, moderated the round table.

A distinguished panel of international speakers also characterised the much-awaited conference dedicated to trends in the refit sector, organised by IMM-CarraraFiere in collaboration with the well-known Dutch magazine dedicated to the world of superyachts, Super Yacht Times: Franc Jansen of the yacht management team JMS Yachting, Andrea Carlevaris of ACP Surveyors, Stephen Hills of Pendennis Shipyard, Alberto Perrone Da Zara of Lürssen, Pierre-François Lepoutre of Monaco Marine and Stewart Parvin of the new refit yard Cantiere Rossini.

Spotlights on the world of nautical design with the conference "Close encounters in the third millennium - Dialogues between designers and shipyards", organised by the magazine Barche and moderated by its director Franco Michienzi in the presence of leading Italian yacht designers of the calibre of Brunello Acampora, Fulvio De Simoni, Alberto Mancini, Giovanni Ceccarelli, Sergio Cutolo, Roberto Piatti, Vasco Buonpensiere and Lamberto Tacoli. The conference analysed the evolution of yacht design in the last decade directly through designers and leading shipbuilding players with whom the designers work, in a close exchange of ideas, visions and production complications, in a constantly changing market. In addition to the conference, the director of Barche, Franco Michienzi, organised the exhibition "The Idea Factory", dedicated to 19 designers, true nautical archistars, who have contributed to the fame and greatness of Italian yachting. Again on the subject of design, the conference organised by ADI Toscana, chaired by its President Perla Gianni and held by Sergio Buttiglieri, Style Director of Cantieri San Lorenzo, who presented the unique history of the shipyard that is at the top of the list of yacht builders over 24 metres thanks to innovation based on nautical traction and the organic relationship with design and art.

On the innovation front, the participation of Toyobo Co.Ltd, a Japanese textile chemical company leader in the creation of innovative fibres and materials for highly technical applications such as "Breathair," the incredible material used to replace the polyurethane padding on the Tokyo subway seats and the famous Japanese fast train Shinkansen .

The attention of Seatec-Compotec also focused on the lively world of Start-ups (8 present in total), which thanks to the Start Up Arena interacted with the public presenting their innovations during the Elevator Pitch, where they were evaluated by a panel of experts from the Talent Garden community and by the President of ADI Toscana, who declared the joint winners 9T Labs and Superfici, both composites start-ups. All the start-ups also participated in the B2B meetings with foreign buyers like all the other exhibiting companies.

In view of the event's increasing importance as a moment for high level technical updating in the sector, this year Seatec-Compotec awarded the "Entrepreneur of the Year" Award to the nautical entrepreneur who has made a significant contribution to the growth of the economy of the sector by demonstrating product innovation and work and wealth generation. The winner of the 2019 award was the Ferretti Shipyard, which through its Supply Chain Director Giovanni Berra thanked and praised the qualities of the companies in the marine supply chain represented at Seatec and Compotec.

This year in its 16th edition, the Myda prize, the contest that has become a reference point for the discovery of the most talented nautical and naval designers, awarded the first prize in the Professionals category, the people-oriented boat section, to designer Anthony Lee for the MultyDouble project, considered to be perfectly in keeping with the spirit of the competition ("the people-oriented boat for simple and functional solutions for an approach to recreational boating which is not necessarily technical”) by the jury chaired by Andrea Ratti and composed of Roberto Franzoni, Massimo Franchini, Marco Amadio and Ivan Zignego. The same jury selected the winner for the Beginners category: Sebastian Borzoni, designer of the S005 project, whose efficient and original concept for motor yachts characterised by a strong personality and good control of shapes and proportions was appreciated.

For the coveted Qualitec award for best product in terms of technology and design, the jury, composed of the Chair, Engineer Paolo Scifoni, Architect Marco Amadio and nautical journalist Angelo Colombo, awarded both prizes to Biquadro Marine Division due to the value and merits of the proposal. A special mention was also given in the QUALITEC award for the technology part to the product AMPRO BIO Multi Purpose Epoxy System by the exhibitor GURIT (Resintex brand). The jury appreciated the attention to the new environmental and anti-pollution requirements that led GURIT - Resintex to present this new epoxy resin, already ready for applications such as traditional lamination, adhesives, grouting and filling, coating and painting, introducing a solution on the market with a drastic reduction of pollutants released into the environment.

ADI Toscana, chaired by Perla Gianni and a prestigious partner of Seatec-Compotec, in turn confirmed the choice with its Innovative Design Technology Award, applying the new protocol of the ADI Design Observatory dedicated to awards hosted by trade fairs. The selected products will go directly to the final selection by the ADI Design Observatory panel, entering the highly sought-after ADI Design Index award.
"The genesis of a fair is long and complex. Behind the three-day event is a year's work of our sales department and communication and marketing team – said IMM-CarraraFiere Chairman Fabio Felici: "this year we have worked on new content with particular attention to the issues of most interest to the sector, also in terms of conferences. We have invested, both in financial and professional terms, inviting, with the collaboration of the Italian trade agency, 100 high profile delegates to offer our exhibitors the best possible bilateral meetings. Ours is and remains the only B2B event in the sector in Italy and we want to work increasingly in this direction, making sure that participating companies find the best opportunities for doing business at Seatec and Compotec. We are satisfied with this edition and we shall now be starting work again with even greater enthusiasm to make the 2020 edition even more quality-focused with more professional meetings, thereby confirming SEATEC’s technical vocation".