Exploring New Ideas
March 1, 2009 By Pulp & Paper Canada
With just over 1000 people attending from mills, research organizations, and industry suppliers from Canada and around the world, the Pulp and Paper Technical Association of Canada’s EXFOR trade show …
With just over 1000 people attending from mills, research organizations, and industry suppliers from Canada and around the world, the Pulp and Paper Technical Association of Canada’s EXFOR trade show and 95th annual meeting in Montreal, Que., garnered its fair share of positive feedback.
Taking place at the Fairmont Queen Elizabeth Hotel from Feb. 3-4, this year’s event was consolidated so the technical and business programs plus the EXFOR trade show ran simultaneously on the convention floor.
“It’s a smaller format, and I think it’s a little more intimate,” comments Buckman Laboratories’ president Tom Johnstone, a long-time exhibitor at EXFOR. “It’s not about the quantity of people, but we’ve got some good quality decision makers, and we’re quite pleased.”
Over the two days, participants at the event were able to learn about new technologies in a number of fields, including biofuels, recycling, process control, and many more, as part of the technical program. The business programs featured presentations from industry leaders on timely issues, such as managing energy costs, carbon strategy, innovation, and surviving the current economic storm.
The EXFOR trade show gave suppliers and industry members the chance to discover the new technologies available, exchange ideas, and network with their peers. Students also had the opportunity to participate in the PAPIER (Canadian Pulp and Paper Network for Innovation and Research) poster session during the two days of EXFOR and the annual meeting, as well as the graduate student seminars held at the Fairmont Queen Elizabeth Hotel on Feb. 5.
“This is a very unique event where you see most of your customers and partners. It generates a lot of discussion and a lot is happening,” says Jean Hamel, FPInnovations-Paprican’s director of research. “Right now, it’s as important as ever to participate in these kinds of events … with the economic situation and the state of the industry. Now, innovation is the key to change. And you cannot change if you don’t see what’s going on around you.”
Outgoing PAPTAC chairman Marie Dumontier agrees that the exchange of knowledge and personal connections are what makes this annual event so important.
“If we stay in our own mills, our resources are rather limited,” she says. “Yes, there is the Internet, but it’s never like having a conversation with a supplier, with somebody else from another mill, with a speaker, with the experts.”
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