FTFL BlogImage: Courtesy of Messe Dusseldorf
Philip Law talks ‘Alt Beer’, nocturnal networking and political endorsements as he takes a look at the UK plastic industry’s involvement in ‘K 2013’.
I can't think of the K Show in Düsseldorf without the 10 CC track, 'One night in Paris', springing to mind. Certainly, one night in Düsseldorf is ‘like a year in any other place' and veterans of the K Show have surely shaved six months off their life with their assiduous attendance and nocturnal networking over the ‘Alt Beer’. It's still the largest platform globally for our industry and I'm pleased to say there will be almost 100 companies from the UK plastics industry exhibiting there.
The BPF's UK Group at K 2013 will be 30 companies strong and will be located in both Halls 5 and 12, ready to seize the opportunities stemming from the expected 200,000 visitors to the show. The companies in Hall 5 will be materials based and those in Hall 12, machinery and equipment orientated. Also in Hall 12 will be a UK village designed to provide a platform for small companies and service providers. The BPF has put together a website to promote the UK Group and we are producing 'A guide to the best of British at K 2013' which includes the contact details of over 600 companies and is supported by UKT&I and the Knowledge Transfer Network. Essentially, it provides a rationale for buying plastics-related materials, products and equipment from UK sources and it will be widely and freely available at the show.
The UK industry’s presence in Düsseldorf was given a recent boost by Prime Minister David Cameron’s recent letter of ‘congratulations’ to the BPF on its 80th Anniversary. I know there will be those who will say that the Government should be doing a lot more to support manufacturing, but actually the letter was a ringing endorsement of plastics manufacturing activity in the UK and an endorsement of the contribution of plastics products to a sustainable economy. We have sent copies to member firms and we do hope that they will show it to their employees and also send it to their customers. It was a letter not to the BPF staff but to the entire BPF membership.
The BPF’s profile with UK Government is now at a very high level. We were invited to mount an exhibition about the industry in the foyer of the Department for Business Innovation and Skills in July, which was on display to hundreds, if not thousands, of civil servants and the general public passing by. As a side benefit, it helped the BPF forge a relationship with the Museum of Plastics in Design (MoDiP) based in Bournemouth, which has now led to MoDiP staging a permanent exhibition of the history of design in plastics in the BPF’s London headquarters. The scientific and technological developments on show in Düsseldorf cannot be exploited to the full without the skill and imagination of product designers and we hope to develop more traction in this area in the future.
Visit – Hall 12, Stand D35