THE HAGUE, the Netherlands - Signing of the UV/EB protocol for the European printing and coating industries during the opening session of the RadTech Europe 2005 conference held in Barcelona in October is the culmination of collaborative work originally initiated in 1995 between German and British health and safety organizations for the printing industry. With the new protocol, European health organizations and industrial associations pledge to observe a specific catalogue of "Best Practice" measures during the application of radiation-curing printing inks and, for the first time, also for coatings. This should bode well for the future growth of UV coatings in the European market.

Another positive note at the conference was a forecast of the current state of development and trends in UV/EB technology by Wolfgang Paulus of BASF, which he presented during the conference's plenary session. Based on a BASF study, the high growth enjoyed by the radiation-curable market over the last 10 years is predicted to remain more or less unchecked until 2015, averaging 8-9% annually in Europe and NAFTA, and 12-13% in Asia.