Going global with innovations

Going global with innovations

Frédérique Mutel, president and CEO of JEC Composites, tells Ed Hill in this Q&A session what visitors can expect to see at JEC World, held at the Paris Nord Villepinte Exhibition Centre from 14-16 March.

Q: How do you expect the show to grow this year and what are your targets for 2017?

We expect a big growth this year for two reasons. The first one is that all composites industrialists recognise the importance of having one international showcase where innovation is brightly enhanced and where they are proud to invite their customers.

The second reason is that for the last twelve months, the JEC Group has been investing a substantial budget in working on the needs of the final market. It means we have been studying the concerns of end users, we have identified the key decision makers in the main markets, we have created programs that facilitate the understanding of their requirements and we expect significant growth in the number of end users. The industry should benefit tremendously from the arrival of all these new visitors coming to the show for the first time.

Q: This is the second year the show is being held at the Nord Villepinte Exhibition Centre. How successful was the move to the new venue and how is it enabling you to develop the show into a more global event?

The move to the new venue was much appreciated. From the exhibitors’ side, they have expressed satisfaction. The logistics in this venue are easy and fast. Exhibitors are very happy with the enhanced services that the venue is providing them. Visitors also find it practical. Our attendance is very international, most of participants arrive in Charles de Gaulle airport or from Northern Europe highways.

We have developed our commuting network to facilitate access to Paris Nord Villepinte from Paris city centre. We have regular shuttles from Charles de Gaulle Airport which is just minutes away for the convention centre. The proximity with this airport allowed visitors from Europe to make a day trip to the show and this is certain to develop our global attractiveness.

Q: What are you anticipating from UK companies and organisations who will be attending the show?

UK participation is very strong at JEC World 2017. The composites industry is vigorous in UK. There is a strong national composites association that is very active in mobilising companies and they will come in numbers. JEC World will be the opportunity for all British companies and scientific organisations to meet with European and international companies to discuss new ways of cooperation.

Q: Will there be any particular themes at this year’s show? What will be the features & highlights of the Planet Innovation zones?

The Innovation Planets are returning to JEC World in 2017 with four Planets this year. Since transportation is the most important industry to our sector, visitors will find two Planets dedicated to this area, Automotive and Aerospace. There is also the Better Living Planet, including sustainability and sports and leisure.

The highlight will be the Building & Construction Planet. This is completely new. We believe that there is huge potential for composites in construction. JEC Group will take the opportunity of the show to issue a new book on construction with case studies from all over the world. Finally, the Composites in Action areas will showcase how manufacturing is developing for composites applications in partnership with the Aachen Centre for Integrative Lightweight Production (AZL), Technical University of Munich (TUM) and CETIM, the Technical Centre for Mechanical Industry.

Q: What have been the biggest developments in the worldwide composites market? How is their involvement in higher volume production developing?

The biggest development is automatisation and the capacity to produce large series. The composites market was a niche sector developing prototypes or small series. Now we are approaching the days of higher volume required by aerospace and automotive. In these markets, manufacturers and OEM are processors of mass production with robotised manufacturing. If this trend is confirmed, then our industry could see a real change of scale.

Q: Is there a particular theme for this year’s show?

Our ‘Theme of Honour’ is Entrepreneurship. In 2017, JEC World will bring to the forefront the spirit of innovation through entrepreneurship. Indeed, JEC Group has created a completely new initiative: the start-up Booster Program. The goal is to enhance dynamic founders of new companies in the field of composites. We will support impactful innovations among young structures. The programme aims at demonstrating how composites innovations can change the industrial landscape.

Q: What can people expect from the forum and conference programmes?

The Aeronautics Conference in partnership with ONERA (the national office for French aerospace research) will address predictive modelling, mechanical analysis and structure strength optimisation. The conference will benefit from presentations from ONERA, Airbus Safran Launchers, e-Xstream Engineering, Safran Aircraft Engines, Airbus and Dassault Aviation.

Q: What is the importance of JEC World for the sector? What are the main aims of the show?

JEC World is the only opportunity each year to meet all the composites value chain in every sector. The aerospace sector is well represented and can get inspiration from other sectors (automotive for example and its solutions to mass production) about the infinite possibilities composites can offer the industry.

JEC World’s aim is to bring people together, share knowledge and create connections between sectors and people. During recent decades, we focused on the composites market itself. We became stronger and stronger on the knowledge regarding materials producers and manufacturers.

Now, we are going a step further, enlarging the picture to include end users. Today, the final market is our main target. We will put end users at the centre of the show. They will be our concern and the composites industry will have to meet their requirements.


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