For the first time, the yearly General Assembly of ESMA, the European Specialist Printing Manufacturers Association, took place in Lisbon. On 23-24th March 2017, member companies came together for the 27th GA to set future goals, elect a new chairman, vice-chairman and an Honourable Ambassador, as well as to network with the Portuguese printing community.
The evening of the 23rd of March started with awarding Rudi Röller with the Honourable Ambassadorship of ESMA. One of the founding members of the organisation, its chairman for two terms of office and former Executive Board Member of Kissel+Wolf, Rudi emphasised the importance of cooperation between the members. “The future growth can only be reached in close collaboration of suppliers and manufacturers. ESMA has built an excellent platform for that”, said Rudi Röller in his acceptance speech.
The ceremony was followed by keynote presentations delivered by Prof. Arben Merkoçi from Catalan Institute of Nanotechnology who highlighted the role of functional printing in production of biosensors for diagnostics, and Ana Paula Cecilia from “Integraficas” who described the current landscape of Portuguese printing market. Both talks stimulated vivid conversations between ESMA members and the invited representatives of local industry during the networking dinner which closed the day.
After opening the General Assembly on 24th of March, Oliver Kammann handed over the ESMA Chairmanship to David Parker from MacDermid Autotype. “It is the balance of both internal cooperation and external communication that provides the real benefits to our members”, explained David the advantages of ESMA membership in his exposé. “For some companies, it is the ability to discuss the scope and implementation of demanding European health, safety and environmental legislation. For others, it is the provision of highly focussed, technical seminars with tabletop exhibitions. And for others, it is the ability to network with suppliers of allied materials in their market segments.”
Further changes in the association’s board included Debbie Thorp from Global Inkjet Systems who was elected vice-chairman, as well as Gabriele Heller from Marabu and William Shorter from MacDermid Autotype who will now head respectively – Health, Safety & Environmental Protection and the Marketing & Promotion committees.
General Assembly 2017 abounded in new project ideas and productive discussions about the roll-out of the events already planned for the upcoming months, such as The Inkjet Conference (24-25th October), Direct Container Print (27-28th November), GlassPrint (29-30th November), Expert Team activities, as well as the brand new ESMA Academy (first course scheduled for early July this year). The key to success of all these undertakings lies in the joint support of the member companies. “Imaging technology has changed over the years but what ESMA offers transcends the individual applications or technologies used by our members, as cooperation and communication are common to all, irrespective of what markets our particular companies serve. The simple slogan ‘together we are stronger’ captures the very essence of ESMA ethos”, concluded David Parker.
The next General Assembly of ESMA will take place in Dublin in early March 2018.
ESMA 2017 General Assembly photo gallery