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CARRARAMARMOTEC 2016 OPENS ITS DOORS

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From 18 to 21 May, the best of marble and technology and great attention to technological innovation with start-ups. The 33rd edition of Marmotec is host to 189 exhibitors, with 28 foreign exhibitors from 9 countries. On show there are stone materials, technology, accessories, services and start-ups for technological innovation. Over 3,000 meetings are scheduled between the 200 foreign delegates and participating companies.

There are 189 exhibitors at the 33rd CarraraMarmotec over a total area of 20,000 square metres, 52% of which for stone materials, 40% for accessories and tools technology companies and 8% working in the various services available to the industry. On the exhibition front, there are 110 Tuscan companies, i.e. the majority, but there are also excellent companies from Lombardy, Veneto, Emilia Romagna, Liguria, Lazio, Piedmont, Sicily and Puglia, not surprisingly regions with a strong vocation for stone both in terms of important materials and large technology companies. Two important companies, Henraux and Campolonghi, are returning to Carrara and exhibiting in the COSMAVE area. Both companies are convinced of the significance of the IMM’s project and the work carried out in the area in recent months by the new management. For the technology sector, two historic companies from Carrara, MarmiLame and Benetti Macchine, will be celebrating their 50 and 90 years of work respectively, two very important achievements.  Another company that is back this year is MGI (Marmi e Graniti International). The consortia and cooperatives are very active this year too. Among theforeign exhibitors, in addition to the group of Chinese companies from the Yunfu area, there are new entries fromVenezuela with 4 companies producing local granites and BKS, a Russian company of semi-precious stones and jade from Eastern Siberia.

Over the last few months, the IMM/CarraraFiere has worked closely with the Ministry for Economic Development, the ICE (the Italian Institute for foreign trade) and Confindustria MarmoMacchine, selecting 114 operating buyers and contractors operating in the management of the major international companies. Thanks to the IMM/CarraraFiere’s international relations, another 100 operators have been invited, making a total of 214 delegates visiting from the areas of most interest to the sector. The visitors to Carrara seeking stone materials are from Canada, Denmark, Estonia, Kazakhstan, Scandinavia, Quasar, Russia and the USA, while operators interested in technology are from Algeria, Saudi Arabia, Argentina, Egypt, Estonia, Ethiopia, Germany, Jordan, Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Macedonia, Montenegro, Norway, Palestine, Poland, United Kingdom, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Tunisia, Turkey and Sweden. There are also 21 architects at the exhibition belonging to some of the most important international architectural firms coordinated by the project led by the Massa-Carrara Chamber of Commerce, the review Platform and Carrara Fiere. The delegation will be visiting the exhibition, the quarries and a group of companies in our area.

For the first time, representatives from supply and demand have been able to define their preferences on the meetings through an innovative matching system based on advanced systems in clouds and restricted areas through which the IMM/CarraraFiere has organised, following careful profiling work, 3,432 bilateral meetings. Every exhibitor has an agenda of scheduled appointments, 30 for those offering stone materials and 38 for those producing technology. The meetings will be conducted by LIKEEVENT and its staff, with the use of a dedicated mobile APP.   The event, which has always been an important moment for updating and discussion on current issues involving the techno-stone industry, focuses on 4 main areas: innovation and training, architecture and design, business and the sustainable supply chain. The latter will be discussed on 20 May at the International Conference, the “1st International Sustainable Stone Conference”. This is an educational symposium organised by the IMM with the IRCRES CNR and the CGT, University of Siena, where – for the first time in an exhibition context - national and international good practices in terms of eco-sustainability, safety, recovery and reuse of waste materials and innovative technology will be discussed. This is an all-important, very current topic that in recent years has been pushing operators towards greater social and environmental responsibility in the management of firms, which is partly to meet the growing demand of markets in Europe and America for sustainable products. In the United States, the main market for Italian stone products, the standard known as "The Natural Dimension Stone Standard ANSI/NSC373" was drafted in 2014 for the sustainability of production processes in the field of natural stone.

For the "innovation and training" sector, featuring at the exhibition in the STARTUP ARENA (Pad. B) are 13 young innovative companies recently set up presenting innovative products and processes based on the concept of the circular economy. The start-ups taking part will have the opportunity to meet buyers and investors by taking part in the bilateral meetings scheduled during the exhibition. On Thursday 20 May at 12:00, there will be "Sustainable Stone - Best Innovation 2016". The award, of a value of 1,500 euro, made possible thanks to the support of the Tuscan Regional Government, will be given to the most innovative and eco-sustainable start up in the Arena. The winner will be selected by an international scientific committee following an “Elevator Pitch” during which the start-ups will have to convince the committee of the worth of their ideas in no more than five minutes.

Great attention also to architecture and design, with a rich programme of side events organised for the occasion thanks to renewed synergies and cooperation with ADI, the Association for Industrial Design, the architectural reviews IQD andPlatform, MIA+BSI (the Marble Institute of America and the Building Stone Institute) and the CNA (the National Council of Architects).
On 19 May, there is a free training course – a Short course on design-driven innovation organised by ADI, D'APPOLONIA and MP (Milan Polytechnic). This is part of the cycle of courses called "Design for Enterprises" organised by the European Commission to show how design-driven innovation can become the key to improving the competitiveness and efficiency of European SMEs. Some events will also be valid for training credits: on the morning of 18 May, “The decorative and technical characteristics of the main Italian coloured stone materials" and in the afternoon "Marble Leap: new tools and technologies for designers in the role of project managers”. On the morning of 19 May, there will be the assisted design workshop "Marble Leap: horizons of marble", while in the afternoon, discussion will focus on "The laying of stone floors with adhesive systems and the enhancement of the ornamental qualities of stone."

On 20 May, there will be the award giving ceremony for "Best use of Carrara Marble in North America”, an IMM award established with the assistance of MIA+BSI.

Among the more "technical" events, on 18 May at 14:30, there will be the presentation of the annual statistics report by the IMM research office “Stone Sector 2016” while on 19 May, from 10:30 to 18:00, the Conference by the ANIM (the National Association of mining engineers) entitled "The mining of quarries: safety as the pillar of sustainability" will be taking place. This will also give credits to engineers and geologists. On 20 April, there will be the FILLEA_CGL event, "Stone industry, without legality there is no development." Among the many other events on the programme, of note on Thursday, 19 May at 12:30 is the official ceremony to dedicate the Marble Library Conference Hall to Giulio Conti, the first Chairman of the IMM.

"I am satisfied with the work done and the ability of this fair to renew itself, looking ahead, creating synergies and cooperation projects in the territory, developing new international projects that will accompany us for the next two years- said IMM Chairman Fabio Felice - who continued – the event remains a reference point for an industry that sees our country and our territory among the main players. Italy, in fact – as shown by the analysis carried out by the IMM research office – exported a striking 915,000 tons of finished products to the rest of the world in 2015 for a total value of over one billion euros, an increase of 2.6% in quantity and 9.8% in value compare to 2014. In this positive scenario, the Apuo-Versilian area confirms its position as the leading exporter of finished products on a national level, with an increase of 11.4% on the previous twelve months. “

Luca Figari, IMM/CarraraFiere managing director added “I consider CarraraMarmotec2016 as a first edition. There is no point in me talking about the many critical issues that I have had to deal with since my arrival last July to date. We have worked hard with the awareness of the difficulties, with the commitment that distinguishes the staff of Carrarafiere, to achieve what for me is a good result. We have listened to business owners and we have tried to give them what they need: business and training. And our project has rewarded us with encouraging numbers. Now our commitment is to make Carrara a permanent centre of excellence, a place to host foreign operators throughout the year. We are working on short and long term projects with Iran, America and Vietnam. We have changed our style, enhanced the content, created a start-up arena where innovation and design will be discussed and more than 50 training sessions will be organised."

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CarraraFiere Communication, Promotion and Marketing office