The European Coatings Conference opened Monday morning with 800 registered delegates from around the world. At the Plenary Session, European Coatings Journal Editor in Chief, Dr. Sonja Schulte, conducted a live audience poll with questions relating to trends and drivers in the coatings industry.

When asked what the most important markets are for their business, 60% of respondents said Western Europe, 20% said North America, 14% said Asia, 2% said Eastern Europe, 2% said South America and 2% said Africa.

When asked what the most important future technology in their sector is, 55% said Waterborne, 22% said Functional/Smart, 12% said High Solids, 5% said Other, 3% said Powder and 3% said UV/EB.

Drivers for R&D activities are 44% Customer Requests, 24% Market Competition, 19% Sustainability, 9% Legislation and Regulation, and 4% Cost Reduction.

58% of respondents ranked sustainability as Important, while 23% said it is Indispensable, 16% said it is Nice to Have, and 3% think it is Marketing Hype.

The final question asked which regulation is currently most important. 61% said REACH, 23% said VOC, 7% said Biocide Directive, 7% said Food Contact, 1% said CLP and 1% said Cobalt Replacement.