Dr. Sonja Schulte, Editor-in-Chief of the European Coatings Journal, opened the European Coatings Congress on Monday morning. She announced that over 700 delegates have registered to attend this largest technical coatings congress in Europe. New this year is live streaming of the Plenary Session of the Congress to those not able to attend in person.

Dr. Schulte began her speech by conducting a live online poll of the audience and displaying the results in real-time on a screen as answers were submitted. The first question asked what regions represent the most important markets to attendees.  The top three answers were “Western Europe” with 54%, “Asia” with 20% and “North America” with 18%.

Dr. Schulte also asked what the most important future technology is. “Waterborne” technology came in with 51% of the responses, with “functional and smart coatings” at 30%. “High solids technology” took 8%, “UV/EB technology” took 7% of responses and “powder coatings” received 4%.

The next two questions covered green technology and sustainability. When asked what drives green R&D activities, “responsibility for society” won with 39%, while “legislation” had 32% and “customer requests” took 29%. And when the attendees were asked to rate how important sustainability is to them, 44% said it was “important”, 40% said “highly important”, 10% said “nice to have,” and 6% said it is “marketing hype.”

The technical presentations during the Congress address all of these issues – many of them reporting significant findings that have not been presented before.