At the ribbon cutting, with the IMM_CarraraFiere Chairman Fabio Felici was the Councillor for Economic Development of the Tuscany Region Stefano Ciuoffo, the Regional Councillor Giacomo Bugliani and the Councillor for Productive activities Andrea Raggi. Many institutional representatives were present at the opening press conference, including the CNA (Nautical sector) and the police commissioner of Massa-Carrara Giuseppe Ferrari.

The event is enhanced by a rich calendar of bilateral meetings. Seatec_Compotec will be holding around 1,000 one-to-one meetings this year too, based on the preferences expressed by the over 100 foreign industry players visiting from 25 countries working in the construction of boats and yachts and in the application of composite materials, players that have been selected by the ICE – the Italian Trade Agency. The meetings between foreign delegates and exhibitors are a sort of prelude to the visits to the stands and business opportunities. Alongside the buyer delegates, the ICE has invited a delegation of specialised nautical journalists representing the most prestigious news media in France, Germany, Spain, Turkey, UK and USA, to join the host of Italian and foreign journalists invited directly by IMM- Carrara, 3 April 2019

The 17th edition of Seatec has begun, an exhibition of technology, components, design and subcontracting applied to pleasure boating, conceived and organised by IMM/CarraraFiere, the only event dedicated to the sector in Italy and southern Europe, and the 11th Compotec, the only professional event in Italy dedicated to the composite materials industry in their various areas of use.

A total of 328 brands on display, of which 110 from all over Europe, Japan, New Zealand, Great Britain and America, covering an area of 10,000 square metres, as highlighted by Chairman Fabio Felici during the press conference to present the two events. The Chairman gave a brief overview of the sector, among the most important in the Tuscan economy: “The Italian nautical sector, with a production value of 1.7 billion euros, represents 10% of the world market for new pleasure craft and is the second largest producer country in the world after the United States, while for building large yachts it is the absolute leader in the world. This year, the top three brands in the ranking of the top 20 manufacturers in the world for boats over 24 metres are Italian (Azimut/Benetti – Ferretti Group – San Lorenzo). The leadership highlighted by this success is the result of teamwork. The large ship building sector is in fact supported by the entire supply chain for the construction of boats and yachts. Italy boasts excellent companies in the sector capable not only of supporting the shipbuilding industry, but often offering innovative design solutions too. Seatec is dedicated to this sector, in Carrara, in the heart of the Italian district with the greatest concentration of small boating companies, with 17.6% of the 2,773 Italian companies in the sector, that is 488 companies employing almost 2000 and generating revenues equal to 21.7% of the total in the sector. It is not easy to keep fairs like this alive year after year, especially since this sector has experienced divisions and the birth of many small events in recent years. It would be a good idea to develop synergies moderated by the institutions, whose role should be one of protection and guidance. Despite the “attacks”, our organisation has managed to maintain the scope of the events over the last difficult and controversial years for the sector, with an effort to adapt the format to the different market needs.”

This year, there will also be the Seatec-Compotec Academy, a training centre with high profile activities aimed at shipbuilders and industry representatives who can issue the Professional Training Credits required by the Association of Engineers and Architects) thanks to the agreement between IMM-CarraraFiere and the Associations of the Province of Massa Carrara.

Among the numerous and important meetings at the Seatec-Compotec Academy, a presentation by Edoardo Rixi, Deputy Minister of Infrastructure and Transport, scheduled for 5 April that will bring 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.

The list of the Seatec-Compotec Academy activities is available online at the link –

The section dedicated to Start-ups is further expanding too. Conceived three years ago by IMM-CarraraFiere, its aim was to allow new ideas to find fertile ground for employment by offering young entrepreneurs in the sector a precious opportunity for visibility with the giants of boating and composites. 8 start-ups will be presenting and illustrating their products and services to visitors. The Talent Garden Sarzana campus, with which Seatec and Compotec organisers have signed a collaboration agreement, strongly supports the Seatec – Compotec 2019 Start-up Arena.

On the COMPOTEC front, important conferences address the topic of research on composite materials, the circular economy as well as research and experimentation on composite materials.

The Councillor for Productive Activities Andrea Raggi, who spoke on behalf of the Municipality of Carrara, expressed his satisfaction with this event that is important for the territory, underlining how the ongoing collaboration with IMM_CarraraFiere is aimed at reducing parochialism and rifts that sometimes occur with regard to trade fairs to the detriment of all those involved.

Stefano Ciuoffo, Councillor for Economic Development of the Tuscany Region, reminded those present of the extensive work necessary to build a quality event: “The ‘fair system’ must be able to give new solutions to new needs. Trade events do not always evolve in the best way, but in the case of Seatec, it is a significant meeting point for the sector. The role of the event is important for the industrial district because it can be the driving force to do business and encourage economic development. Seatec has been witnessing the experience and skills of the sector in this area for 17 years. It is no coincidence that Tuscany is ranked fourth out of the top exporters on a national level. As institutional representatives, we have a duty to support companies by anticipating their requests too. For example, last December’s financial law also examined beach concessions, giving shared answers on Bolkenstein. Port concessions were not, however, taken into consideration. While it is necessary to think about the global system, a basin in the Northern Tyrrhenian Sea is needed to ensure that Tuscany remains the leader in the development of the nautical sector, and that everyone does their part well in order to continue moving forward.”

Lorenzo Pollicardo, new Technical & Environmental Director of SYBAss, (the international association that brings together the major Superyacht builders) who has worked with IMM_CarraraFiere this year on the organisation of the event, expressed his satisfaction about the common will to create an event that is increasingly focused on the operators’ requirements, an important meeting point for Italian and foreign professionals because, beyond the “roller coaster” experienced by the market and by the event itself, Seatec remains a very important event both in terms of content and exhibitors.

At the end of the conference, Perla Gianni, Chair of ADI Toscana, the Association for Industrial Design involved in design in every production sector since 1956, took the floor.

ADI Toscana organises, in collaboration with IMM_CarraraFiere, the Innovative Design Technology Award, to promote the quality and culture of design dedicated to advanced technology components for the nautical and composite materials sectors. This award enables exhibitors to compete in the selections for the ADI Design Index and the Compasso d’Oro, a fundamental reference for Italian and foreign observers on the evolution of Made in Italy products.