On October 17-21, 2022, a trade mission to Anaheim, California in USA took place as part of the REC-N-COMP project. This is the first of three missions to support the internationalization of European SMEs planned under the project.
The meeting was attended by representatives of 5 clusters and 5 companies participating in the project from Italy, France, Belgium and Poland:
- Cluster Next Technology Tecnotessile (NTT) from Italy
- Cluster Polish Automotive Group (PGM) from Poland
- Cluster Techtera from France
- Cluster Legno Arredo Casa FVG from Italy
- Cluster Flanders Make from Belgium
- DRP Group from Poland
- Manifattura Maiano from Italy
- Santalucia Mobili from Italy
- EconCore from Belgium
The main point of the program was the participation in the composite fair CAMX – The Composites and Advanced Materials Expo in Los Angeles / Anaheim. For all participants of the mission, taking part in the CAMX exhibition was an excellent opportunity to learn about the technologies of production and application of composites in the automotive, textile and furniture industries, and to make interesting acquaintances.
On the second day of the CAMX fair, we met with the vice president of the American Composites Manufacturers Association (ACMA), which represents American composites manufacturers and suppliers for this industry. John Schweitzer is responsible for ACMA’s sustainability issues. During the meeting, he familiarized the participants of the mission with the challenges related to the recycling of composites faced by this industry in the United States. It turns out that due to the small scale of composite waste, the high cost of its processing, and the fairly good availability of natural resources, the American government does not promote the recovery of secondary raw materials with such commitment as it does in Europe.
Project participants also met with prof. Clement Hiel – an outstanding Belgian scientist and entrepreneur who is known for having helped put the Belgian space industry on the world map. For decades he worked for NASA, is a lecturer at the University of California in Los Angeles, and was awarded the Order of Leopold II (one of the most important distinctions in Belgium). The gala dinner was hosted by Flanders Investment & Trade branch office from Los Angeles. In an extremely interesting and inspiring way, prof. Hiel presented his vision for innovation.
The last day of the economic mission to the USA as part of the REC-N-COMP project was spent at the University of South Carolina (USC), where we met, among others, Dr. with prof. Steven Nutt – director of M.C. Gill Composites Center. He introduced us to the composite technologies that are being worked on at the university.
The REC-N-COMP project, co-financed by the COSME program of the European Union, aims to develop and commercialize technologies for the production of recycled composites, using waste from the automotive, clothing and furniture sectors as raw materials. Thanks to this, recycled composites will find specific applications in the automotive, textile and furniture sectors as part of the circular economy. The project will establish a partnership to internationalize the recycled composites value chain for SMEs in three selected markets: the US, Japan and Singapore.
Learn more about the project:
The official project’s website: https://clustercollaboration.eu/content/european-recycled-materials-based-composites-and-end-life-products-processing
Project’s LinkedIn profile: https://www.linkedin.com/company/rec-n-comp/