IULTCS holds successful hybrid congress
The XXXVI biennial Congress of the International Union of Leather Technologists and Chemists Society (IULTCS), hosted by the Africa Leather and Leather Products Institute (ALLPI) and in conjunction with the Ministry of Industry of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia was recently held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The event was officially opened by minister of industry Mr Tarekegn Bululta and messages of welcome to the delegates were also given by Mr Ghebregziabher Ghebremedhin (acting executive director of ALLPI) and IULTCS president Dr Luis Zugno.
The congress had the theme of ‘Greening the leather value chain’, and was organised in a ‘hybrid’ mode to bring together more than 240 scholars, researchers, experts, leather and leather products manufacturers and investors from Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, North America and South America.
Thirty-eight oral and 76 poster scientific paper presentations were made during the three days of the event. The thematic areas for these papers included scientific research into leather production, intelligent manufacturing of leather products, cleaner technologies, use of chemicals, composite materials and the utilisation of leather waste, environmental management technologies, entrepreneurship and progress towards sustainability, fashion, lifestyle leather products and design innovation.
The prestigious keynote Heidemann lecture of the congress was delivered by Professor Anthony Covington, who has authored over 300 technical publications, and received the IULTCS Merit Award for Excellence in the Leather Industry in 2009, in addition to the Alsop Award for Outstanding Scientific Contribution to the Leather Industry from the American Leather Chemists Association in 2011.
The IULTCS 2021 Merit Award for Excellence in the Leather Industry was given to Dr Thirumalachari Ramasami, who is known for his significant contributions to the chemistry of chromium, his leadership in the Indian leather sector and as a civil servant.
SATRA technical advisor Tom Bayes was kindly offered an opportunity to present a paper on the subject ‘Is leather still the ‘material of choice’ for footwear?’ This focused on the expectations of biodegradability and compostability, the claims that can be made and how natural materials such as leather compare to synthetics.
Speakers at the IULTCS congress included the body’s vice president Jean-Pierre Gualino (pictured above), who will become president in January 2022.
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A more in-depth video version of the SATRA presentation can be found at www.satra.com/resources/public.php under the webinar title ‘Sustainability workshop on biodegradability testing of leather’ and this topic will be covered in a forthcoming SATRA Bulletin article.
This article was originally published on page 2 of the December 2021 issue of SATRA Bulletin.