142 persons from 36 countries worldwide registered to the 28th ETRA Conference, which was held in Brussels Wednesday through Friday 29 -31 March. Some of them, owing to Visa delays or flight cancellations were unable to attend. However it has been the most attended ETRA Conference ever. Extra chairs were added in the Conference room to accommodate allattendees.
The conference theme, Tyre Recycling in changing economy: what are the opportunities? included some of the amazing advances that have been made in the tire recycling industries and highlighted its exciting role as part of the circular economy. The very extensive program addressed the key issues tyre recyclers are facing today.
The Conference was opened by a clear analysis on global economic situation and trend, with a specific attention to energy and transports.
Then, as usual, updated data on ELTs arising across the EU were described and commented on, followed by a series of presentations of tyre recycling from around the world. This session was quite dynamic as was joined by Mr. Mattia Pellegrini, Head of Unit at DG Environment, who contributed to a lively and constructive discussion.
The RE-PLAN CITY LIFE program showed significant examples of use of Recycled Tyre Materials (RTMs) in high quality products and applications for rails and roads.
Then the Sport WG of RE-PLAN which worked on the issue of the infill ban, reported the work carried out over the past year, highlighting an analysis that put the figures into a new perspective, also illustrating an innovative tool for systematically analyze the many publications made so far in order to obtain an objective synthesis of the existing evidences.
The Spotlight session was really exciting: innovations, developments, projects, attracted the attention of the Delegates. The construction session disclosed three METABUILDING projects and other valuable applications of RTMs in concrete.
Friday was entirely dedicated to the development of materials for the Tyre and Rubber industry: Devulcanisation and Pyrolysis. Although the results recently achieved are industrially and commercially sustainable, R&D is still in progress and a motivated group of experts discussed with interest, beyond the times foreseen in the programme.
The last session was dedicated to tools to support our SMEs with four EU Program experts, who explained how to find suitable calls for new project ideas and how to prepare competitive proposals.
Lunches, cocktails and breaks provided many opportunities for networking and informal discussions.
We thank all the Speakers and Participants for having contributed to the success of the Conference.