During the Plenary Session of the European Coatings Conference, Dr. Sonja Schulte, Editor in Chief of the European Coatings Journal, invited the delegates to participate in a live survey involving key coatings industry issues, including market focus, future technologies, R&D activities and sustainability. This is a tradition for the ECS, and while the answers offer no surprises, it is interesting to see the responses and what’s driving the coatings industry in this part of the world. The survey results follow. Respondents were able to give more than one answer for each question, so the totals add up to more than 100%.


What are currently the most important markets for you?

Western Europe: 67%

North America: 34%

Asia-Pacific: 33%

South America: 8%

Africa: 1%


What are the most interesting future markets in your opinion?

Asia-Pacific: 67%

Western Europe: 30%

North America: 27%

South America: 19%

Eastern Europe: 12%

Africa: 7%


Which of the following do you regard as the most important future technologies in your industry sector?

Waterborne: 65%

Functional/smart: 47%

High-solid: 19%

UV/EB: 16%

Powder: 11%

Other: 4%


What drives your R&D activities?

Customer requests: 63%

Market competition: 39%

Sustainability: 30%

Legislation and regulations: 28%

Cost reduction: 26%

Short supply of raw materials: 8%


What drives your activity in sustainability?

Responsibility for our planet and mankind: 56%

Customer demand: 46%

Competitiveness: 27%

We have no activity in sustainability: 6%


Which of the following regulations is currently most important for your company?

REACH: 68%

Biocide directive: 26%

Eco-Label: 23%

Food contact: 19%

CLP: 9%

Cobalt replacement: 2%


Many of the answers are very similar to two years ago, however there are a few notable differences. Customer requests and sustainability have risen as major R&D drivers. Additionally, this year Asia-Pacific has a larger response as a current market interest than the 2017 survey, and a new question this year on future market interest demonstrates that the region will clearly continue this trend.