Among the highlights of ABRAFATI 2013 were the four plenary sessions, showing the ideas and reflections of leading experts on the prospects of the economy and industry, as well as on innovations and trends in technology.
Antonio Carlos Lacerda, President of the ABRAFATI Board of Directors and senior vice president of BASF South America highlighted the enormous potential for growth in sales of coatings in Brazil. He pointed out the importance of focusing attention on issues such as sustainability, functionality, quality, value for money, and the use of colors essential from the standpoint of market trends and consumer demands.
Analyzing megatrends affecting the coatings market and technological innovations that are associated with them, Anna Paula Dacar, business director for Dow Coatings Materials in Latin America, emphasized the current three pillars of innovation: sustainability, performance, and greater functionality. In turn, Bob Mussell, research and development director for industrial and functional coatings, Dow Coatings Materials, detailed the main focus of innovation in coatings such as increased covering power, low VOC levels, functional additives, new high-performance chemical families and reduced cost of application.
Professor Jamil Baghdachi, of the Coatings Research Institute at Eastern Michigan University said that it is possible to use existing knowledge to innovate and advance the emerging technologies that respond to three complex and combined challenges: global competition, the requirements related to sustainability and the pursuit of multifunctionality associated with aggregated value and efficiency.
Henrique Meirelles, former president of Brazil’s Central Bank, analyzed the scenarios and challenges that the country must face as a component of the dynamics of a global economy. He assessed the present panorama as being more encouraging, but foresaw certain difficulties for emerging countries, which could represent a good opportunity for Brazil to implement necessary structural reforms by investing in infrastructure, productivity and education.
“We received a group of experts of the highest level at the plenary sessions, who presented very valuable content on the broad audience that attended,” said Dilson Ferreira, executive president, ABRAFATI. “These presentations complemented each other and gave a comprehensive view of how we are building the future of coatings, and all of the impacts that the global economy will exert in the paths of our industry.”