Leather research and innovation at the IULTCS Congress


The 35th Congress of the IULTCS (International Union of Leather Technologists and Chemists Societies) gathered in Dresden, Germany, a pulsing industry. Dozens of projects have shown that research and innovation in the leather industry have only strengthened and gathered the support and decisive intelligence of entrepreneurs, technicians, and academics from around the world. There were over 450 congress attendants from 32 different countries, following an agenda of lectures and debates about experiences in chemistry, sustainability, and production technology.

The Brazilian delegation was one of Dresden's most representative, composed of professionals from tanneries, the chemical industry, laboratories, the press, and academia. There was also a lecture on the Brazilian Leather Certification of Sustainability (CSCB) and an exclusive space for the presentation of the Brazilian potential and the Leather Preview collection. The two initiatives were supported by the Brazilian Leather — an export stimulus project developed by the Centre for the Brazilian Tanning Industry (CICB) and the Brazilian Trade and Investment Promotion Agency (Apex-Brasil).

Ernani Pohren, CEO of Química Carioca, participated in the entire schedule of events and highlighted that the congress was able to bring together high-level technical discussions and themes from the day-to-day of those who work with leather. "It was an interesting opportunity to talk to colleagues about the challenges of the industry and discuss points that are fundamental to the whole chain, such as communication and sustainability," he said.

Aline de Cássia Campos Pena's two-year UFRGS master's study was presented in the form of a poster at the congress, on the actions of micro-algae on tannery effluents. Soon she'll be starting her doctorate, and she emphasized that the IULTCS made public a number of unpublished and innovative findings for the sector. For Lucas Zoldan, representative of the Senai Institute of Technology in Leather and the Environment, the presentation of solutions was one of the congress' strongest points. One of them was a project that showed the possibility of differentiating leathers and alternative materials through infrared spectroscopy (a technique that identifies the molecules of a given material), in a process that is even faster than those available today.

It was clear in Germany that there are intense research efforts in the leather sector that has shown objective results for the industry at large. The 35th Congress of IULTCS was able to gather a significant sample of these activities that are being carried out around the world, also providing opportunities for creating relationships and business contacts. The next edition of the event will be in 2021, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia from October 20th-23rd.

About Brazilian Leather - As a leather sector internationalization project, Brazilian Leather is conducted by the Centre for the Brazilian Tanning Industry (CICB) in partnership with Apex-Brasil (the Brazilian Trade and Investment Promotion Agency). There are numerous strategies for consolidating national leathers and hides in foreign markets — encouraging the participation of tanneries in the principle global trade fairs and business missions focused on closer relations between Brazilian suppliers and buyers from other countries are but two of them. More information at www.brazilianleather.com.br