Technical Textiles 1/2020: Index 2020: What c...
Technical Textiles 1/2020

Index 2020: What can we expect?

Pierre Wiertz
Pierre Wiertz

The interest and expected attendance at Index 2020 once again confirm its position as the largest global meeting place for the nonwovens market. Visitors can expect a truly unique opportunity to explore the industry’s latest innovations and connect with like-minded professionals.

The previous edition of Index attracted a record number of visitors and closed to resounding positive feedback and extensive coverage. Therefore I am sure the ambitious and novel program plan put together by the Edana and Palexpo teams should see us build on that this year. We expect some 13,000 attendees from over 100 countries engaging with over 660 exhibitors in 50,000 m2 of exhibition space.

The ability of those within our industry to continue to find ingenious new applications for nonwovens never ceases to surprise. Weekly I come across new products in sectors spanning filtration, transportation, hygiene and cleaning, geotextiles and civil engineering, and once again Index covers the full range of applications.
Filtration is one of the fastest growing sectors of the wider economy and this is of course reflected in our industry and, accordingly, at Index.
Smart nonwovens and geosynthetics will also be notably more prominent at this edition, a testament to the growing number of applications in these fields.

To further highlight the range of nonwoven applications, the event will again feature the ‘Big Picture Seminars’ – breakout sessions featuring expert insight on transportation, filtration, infection prevention, smart nonwovens and geosynthetics. Each seminar will open with an expert introducing a “big picture” look at the global forces impacting and each area. A separate seminar is devoted to sustainability as an overarching theme in all nonwovens sectors.
These seminars and exhibits will provide numerous opportunities to learn about the diverse qualities of nonwovens, cutting-edge technical innovations and product development, but of course the exhibition also provides a very good opportunity to go straight to the source. The Index is an unmissable opportunity to view the latest products and services alongside thousands of industry visitors from all over the world, including senior executives, decision makers and the media.

Furthermore, of course, to publicly acknowledge and congratulate innovation within our industry, Index will again feature the Index 20 Innovation Awards for “Excellence in the nonwovens and related industries”. The awards are a high accolade for examples of distinction in the industry, highlighting creativity and innovations from businesses of all sizes, and from all parts of the nonwovens supply chain. The award ceremony will be conducted at the Edana stand on March 31, 2020.

Producers and users of nonwovens are increasingly committed to playing their role in promoting the move towards a more circular economy. Across the globe we are witnessing a growth in investment in renewable, recycled materials and the development of recycling techniques for nonwovens products across a range of applications, while also ensuring a reduction in the use of material inputs, energy and production of waste.

Index is a good place to come to find further guidance for such products and strategies: A new feature I am very much looking forward to this year is the Index Innovation Lab, which provides a dedicated space to showcase innovation and R&D, enable the discovery of nonwovens’ key features and functions in various applications and enhance the understanding of their potential. As well as presentations of a range of research projects and the nominees (and winners) for the Index20 Innovation Awards, the Innovation Lab will also feature a ‘walkthrough’ of nonwovens in daily life, showcasing the extensive range of applications and growing number of sectors touched by nonwovens. The products and services displayed throughout the exhibition provide a snapshot of how our innovative industry is developing. It is a privilege to witness this first-hand, knowing that the dynamic nonwovens market of the future will continue to make positive contributions to the world in which we all live.
Pierre Wiertz

General Manager Edana
Brussels/Belgium

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